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Letter to MTA Re: "no e-mail" policy

Note: The following letter was sent to MTA Chmn. Virgil Conway by resolution of the Council at its February meeting:


 March 5, 1999

Mr. Virgil Conway, Chairman

Metropolitain Transportation Authority

347 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10017-3739


Dear Mr. Conway:

I am writing you on behalf of the Metro-North Shore Line East Connecticut Rail Commuter Council. As you know, our group is made up of commuter volunteers, appointed by the CT Legislature, with the mandate to represent the interests of riders on Metro-North in Connecticut.

We share with you a strong concern about providing customers with quality service and toward that end often receive complaints from commuters which we pass along to Metro-North's representative on the Council, Mr. Gene Colonese.

Recently we have established a website to communicate with our constituents. I urge you to visit our site (, and especially to check out the "Commuter Comments" area. There you'll find recent e-mails from commuters, many with complaints worthy of an equally public response from Metro-North. But there's the problem.

Upon contacting Mr. Tom Tendy, MN's Director of Customer Service, I was told that he could not respond to the "Commuter Comments" as it was MTA policy not to respond to e-mail, but only to answer written complaints submitted by postal-mail.

It seems to the Council that this is unfair to commuters and, in the long run, an unwise policy for MTA. Why keep raising the bar for riders who are trying to help you by pointing out problems in your operations? Instead, why not encourage such feedback?

Answering a written letter on a word processor already makes an e-mail response simple. E-mail is faster too, allowing you to quickly fix situations before problems fester. E-mail is also cheaper, saving MTA on paper and postage.

At its last meeting the Council unanimously passed a resolution requesting MTA to reconsider its "no e-mail" policy. I hope you will take this request in the positive spirit in which it is given... to help you further improve an excellent product.



Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

Vice Chairman & WebMaster

CT Rail Commuter Council




cc: Harry Harris, CDOT (by e-mail)

Gene Colonese, MN RR (by e-mail)

Tom Tendy, MN RR (by e-mail)