How The MTA Was Yet Again Their Own Worst Enemy

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

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