Amidst of all the LIRR drama along with talks of hypothetical cuts was the story of the MTA getting price gouged on bus fuel as part of a new contract extension with its long running supplier Sprague Energy Corporation. Now word as come out that some officials saw this price gouge coming a mile away & warned their fellow officials to change course or else. As usual with the MTA, instead of adhering to this great advice, they chose to stay the course & show why they continue to be their own worst enemy. The New York Times’ William Neuman has more in this report:
Five years ago, as they were signing a contract for a cleaner-burning bus fuel, some officials with New York City Transit foresaw the day when similar low-sulfur fuels might become more common and less expensive.
That fuel was custom-made, and over the last two years, fuel suppliers warned transit officials that it might become difficult to get and urged them to consider a cheaper alternative.
But the transit agency never switched.
So last month, it found itself caught off guard when there were no bidders for a new fuel contract. As a result, it rushed through a stopgap agreement with its previous supplier at a much higher price.
The tale of how officials signed a contract that increases the fuel costs for their bus fleet by what could be tens of millions of dollars over the next year, at a time of budgetary crisis, helps show how well-intentioned efforts can go awry and end up affecting riders.
The custom-made fuel costs about 20 cents a gallon more than the more common ultra-low sulfur diesel that suppliers recommended. The fuel also requires special handling that in the new contract adds about 45 cents a gallon to delivery charges. On 50 million gallons of fuel to be delivered over the next 12 months, the extra costs represent an additional expense of more than $30 million.
Click here for the complete report.
Leave it to the MTA to be the one holding the gun to its own head time after time…
xoxo Transit Blogger