MTA Contiues To Throw Money Away

In the span of 5 days, New York Daily News Transit reporter Pete Donohue wrote 2 articles highlighting how the MTA has thrown money away due to poor operational practices. The first story showcased how bus drivers were compensated for nearly 19,000 hours of overtime which was not needed. Here is a brief sample of Pete’s report:

Bus drivers racked up nearly 19,000 hours of annual overtime transit managers now say was flat-out unnecessary.

Managers can reduce overtime by that much with “better monitoring” of shifts and a “more advanced reporting system,” the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s preliminary 2009 spending plan says.

The MTA’s bus and subway division, NYC Transit, also can trim the ranks of an obscure contingent of drivers called shifters, who don’t drive routes but move buses within depots, according to the plan, which proposes cutting 21 of about 340 shifter positions.

Combined, the two actions will save $2.1 million next year, according to documents and officials.

Click here to view the full report.

The next story highlighted how the MTA spent almost $1 million dollars since 2000 to pay token booth workers who worked overnight shifts at two stations in Harlem which no overnight service existed. Here is a sample of that report:

Token booth clerks collected about $1 million since 2000 for working overnight shifts at two Harlem stations – where no trains run during those hours.

Between midnight and dawn, seven days a week, clerks have been stationed in their cubicles at the 145th St. and 148th St. stations even though the No. 3 train didn’t run during those hours.

NYC Transit announced Thursday that the service will resume at those stops Sunday, 13 years after it was halted for low ridership.

A spokesman for NYC Transit yesterday said clerks have been on duty as a deterrent against vandalism, and to unlock turnstiles if an emergency ever required a train be rerouted to one of the depots.

Click here to view the full report.

For the record I do acknowledge that the money wasted with these actions is only a drop in the bucket of the overall amount of money the MTA owes. However it is good to see attention being called to such actions that result in an unnecessary waste of funds. If you take a second & think about it, you would realize why this is just the initial signs of an agency that is completely run wrong.

When you factor in the amount of money it seems to be next to nothing. Now just take that amount & continue to add to it with all the other money wasted due to poor oversight & one could see how the amount gets more significant by the second. This is the MTA we are talking about, so we all know there are a laundry list of other examples of financial mismanagement.

When your everyday commuter reads stories such as these, how do you not expect them to be outraged at any sort of a fare hike? Why should any of us pay more money to help fund an agency that for years has shown no care to proper financial management? The answer is we clearly should not have to fork over more money. Answering the question is quite easy, the hard part is finding legitimate ways to avoid a fare hike that is truly not justified.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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