Monday, August 1, 2011

Audit Shows MTA Wasting Time and Money On Track Repairs

After conducting a rare joint audit, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and City Comptroller John C. Liu said Sunday that service diversions during track repairs are on the rise and over budget, and the MTA is sticking taxpayers with millions of dollars in cost overruns.

A Few Findings:

- Between 2008 and 2010, the number of weekend diversions rose from 47 to 74 and the number of diversions lasting for at least one month increased from 7 to 57.

- Transit often reroutes riders’ trains even when no work is taking place.

- When asked for the worksheets that track time spent on each diversion, Transit management could only find 29 of the 50 requested. Of those 29, work started late on 28 and stopped early on 21.

- Unproductive work time ate up anywhere from 10 to 27 percent of the time trains were diverted, wasting an estimated $10.5 million in a sample period from January 1, 2009 to July 14, 2010.

- The comptrollers looked at 12 contracts budgeted at $141.7 million.  Four of these contracts went over budget by a combined $26.6 million.

- When scheduling shuttle buses when trains were taken out of service, the MTA just guessed when trying to decide how many buses were needed and for how long.

- The MTA didn't put up anywhere near the required numbers of signs informing riders of service disruptions.

For more details and the comptrollers recommendations, see here.

Photo by MK Metz

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