New York's transit 'bloat' woes
With transit hikes set to roll out this week, New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is facing increased media and public scrutiny on its spending habits. Today the New York Daily News released a special investigation profling what they call "the bloat" of the MTA: seemingly duplicate or overlapping positions and spending.
The bloat starts at the very top, where several agency presidents receive thousands of dollars in housing allowances even though they're in easy commuting distance from their jobs.
It continues in the duplicative assignment of the same tasks to different workers in the seven agencies, such as Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, that are under the umbrella of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
MTA officials point out that many of the separate agencies operating under their oversight were originally separate private companies. To make them all one agency would require changing laws, something they say they tried but failed to do in 2004.
According to the News, even the MTA knows this is all a problem. "Over the long term, we believe that the MTA could see significant savings by centralizing many human resources and financial functions," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan. "To that end, we have begun to analyze the costs and benefits of a business services center." They've even hired someone to look at this problem, for $120,000 a year. But he won't have a report until next year. Which is clearly the biggest waste of money, considering the I Team just did it for free! Forget McKinsey, we know who is getting all our consulting business from now on.