David Buchwald: As we fix mass transit, don’t forget commuters north of the city

By David Buchwald in Crain’s New York

We are all aware that subway, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit riders are suffering. Each week brings reports of derailments, delays or schedule changes. It shouldn’t be forgotten, however, that commuters north of the city are also hurting from the insufficient investment in the regional mass transit network. Metro-North and its counterpart regional bus services require attention now if the area is to produce meaningful economic and job growth.

Neglecting Metro-North riders has already cost us.

Just recently, the National Transportation Safety Board found that a misaligned track contributed to a derailment in May on Metro-North’s New Haven Line in Rye that injured 14 people. A derailment on the Metro-North Harlem Line in Valhalla killed six people—four of them my constituents—in 2015 when a train collided with a car on the tracks, and since then not a single at-grade Metro-North crossing has been eliminated (while seven are slated for removal on Long Island). In 2013, four people were killed and more than 60 injured in Spuyten-Duyvil when a speeding Hudson Line train derailed, an accident that may have been prevented if positive train control had been in place.

Read the full op-ed, which appeared in Crain’s New York Business, online here.