MTA Overtime Costs Soar Amid $900 Million Budget Gap, State Audit Says

By Ben Fractenberg on August 6, 2010 10:07am 

An audit revealed MTA overtime costs rose 25 percent from 2005 to 2009.
An audit revealed MTA overtime costs rose 25 percent from 2005 to 2009.
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AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — An audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority showed their overtime costs soared 26 percent between 2005 and 2009.

The audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported MTA overtime pay rose from $468 million to $590 million, when 3,200 workers received overtime pay equivalent to half their yearly salary. And more than 140 workers doubled their salary with overtime work.

"Uncontrolled overtime has been the rule rather than the exception at the MTA," DiNapoli said in a statement. "The MTA is cutting services, raising fares and tolls and laying-off employees, but it should be doing more to control expenses."

MTA Chairman Jay Walder said he was aware of the problem and is trying to curb overtime expenses.

“The comptroller's audit confirms what we reported earlier this year and reinforces the need for the aggressive actions we're taking to reduce unnecessary overtime,” said Walder in a statement. “We will do our part, but active participation from our labor unions is the only way to make the type of impact we all want.”

 The audit comes on the heels of newly planned fare hikes meant to close a $900 million MTA budget gap, including capping the number of rides with a monthly MetroCard to 90 a month.

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