New Waterbury line advocate takes the driver’s seat

Jul 29th, 2014 | By | Category: General

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today commended Metro North Railroad for the appointment of a new Waterbury Branch Line advocate, a person who will be responsible for improving service on the line. Mike Donnarumma was named District Superintendent on the New Haven Line, with a particular attention paid to the Waterbury Branch Line. Donnarumma, who lives in Cheshire, worked at the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) before joining Metro-North in 2007.

“Commuters on the Waterbury line have expressed their frustration, and for good reason. The state of this line is quite frankly unacceptable. If we want to give residents a better alternative to driving, then we need to ensure that they get the service they expect when they ride the train,” Malloy said. “As a former CTDOT employee, Mike Donnarumma has the experience to improve customer service, and identify and implement improvements to all areas of this branch to ensure a better level of customer satisfaction that Waterbury Branch riders deserve.”

Donnarumma today joined Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti and CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker at a meeting with Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary to discuss the New Haven Line’s Waterbury Branch.

“My goal is to provide the best service possible to the Waterbury Branch and to be a go between to the customers and the railroad,” said Donnarumma.

“This is a great news for Waterbury Branch riders, I know that Mike will be an outstanding and effective advocate for continuing improvements in service on this line,” said Mayor O’Leary. “I have known Mike for many years and have the highest respect for his abilities as well as his passion for this City and region. I am very grateful to Gov. Malloy, Commissioner Redeker and MTA President Giulietti for their support on this vital issue for our region.”

Major improvements to the Waterbury Branch are already in the works, including a new signal system and “Positive train Control.” In the last four years, the state has spent almost $11 million in branch-specific upgrades of track, bridges and culverts to restore the line to a state-of-good repair.

The 27-mile-long Waterbury Branch has stations in Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby/Shelton. Average weekday ridership is about 460.

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