Friday’s board meeting of the state-subsidized Metropolitan Transportation Authority dissolved into chaos: At one point, members aggressively bickered as chairman Pat Foye begged them to “stop, stop!” But this is politically purposeful chaos. Gov. Cuomo is happy to watch his people scream at each other while he figures out what to do about his broke MTA.
Most years, the MTA doesn’t hold an August board meeting. The ostensible reason for this one was that the MTA’s crisis demands extraordinary action. Even with a half billion dollars in annual savings from a new “transformation plan” — savings that will be hard to achieve — the MTA faces a $300 million deficit in two years.
The immediate task: rein in overtime, which helps drive deficits. This year, the MTA will spend more than $900 million on OT, nearly twice the $500 million a decade ago. In June, the MTA hired a former prosecutor, Carrie Cohen, to figure out why, and she presented her findings Friday.
Cohen and her six colleagues from top firm Morrison & Foerster didn’t tell the MTA anything the MTA didn’t know. She started off by quoting another report noting that “the MTA has not effectively managed and controlled its overtime costs.” That was from nine years ago.
Photo by DWlabsInc/iStock