Metro North Mandates Sleep Testing for Train Engineers

A little more than a year after the Bronx train derailment that killed four people and injured more than 60, all engineers at NY-based transit company Metro North will be getting tested for sleep apnea. The engineer at the helm of last year’s fatal crash had “severe sleep apnea,” and it has been confirmed that company officials are taking action to avoid a similar disaster.


According to an article by Theresa Juva-Brown, Metro-North will pay $200,000 to Persante Health Care Inc, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in sleep disorders. “All 410 Metro-North engineers and some 20 engineers in training will have to answer a survey and undergo a physical at Metro-North’s medical facility,” writes Juva-Brown. “Based on those test results, engineers will be referred to Persante for additional screening, which includes at-home sleep tests. The devices are mailed back to specialists and engineers undergo more testing if necessary.”


The program may eventually be expanded to Long Island Railroad and New York City Transit, officials said, and eyes throughout the country will likely be focused on New York. The Persante contract will be presented to the full Metropolitan Transportation Authority board for a vote on Wednesday.


Forty-five percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once in the past seven days, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s inaugural Sleep Health Index™. The Sleep Health Index™ is a new annual general population poll that tracks Americans’ sleep behaviors and trends.  The Index uncovers valuable insights into Americans’ sleep beliefs, habits, knowledge and disorders and demonstrates areas for sleep health improvement.

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