The LIRR racked up $225 million in OT last year, according to the Empire Center — consuming nearly a third of the $740 million in fares Long Island commuters pay. Put another way, without this burden, the average commuter riding from Huntington to Penn Station every day could pay $253, not $363.
As The Post has documented over the past week, overtime spending surged by more than $100 million to $1.3 billion across the entire MTA last year — and went especially off-the-rails at the LIRR, where one worker claimed $344,147 in overtime, according to data from the Empire Center.
Last year, 4,729 of the LIRR’s 7,945 employees took home pay packets of more than $100,000 — as overtime pay at the commuter rail service skyrocketed, according to the Empire Center.
Its highest earner, now-retired chief measurement operator Thomas Caputo, made $461,646 in 2018 — including a whopping $344,147 in overtime pay.
Heightened concerns about the railroad’s overtime spending followed an MTA payroll report issued last week by the nonprofit Empire Center for Public Policy that revealed the authority’s top earner in 2018 — LIRR chief measurement officer Thomas Caputo — took home $344,147 in overtime, on top of his $117,499 salary.
The New York Post reported Thursday that MTA Chairman Patrick Foye has ordered a "crackdown" at the authority to address overtime abuses. Data released earlier this week by the Empire Center, a fiscal watchdog, found that the MTA's employee overtime payments climbed nearly 16% last year. The data showed one Long Island Rail Road employee, the recently retired chief measurement operator Thomas Caputo, made $344,147 in overtime plus his annual salary, bringing his total compensation to $461,646. The overtime spending came during a year in which the LIRR had its worse on-time performance percentage in nearly two decades at 90.4%.
Despite a year fraught with delayed, canceled and stalled trains, as well as the seventh fare hike in less than a decade, a new study released by Empire Center found that MTA’s overtime rose by nearly 16 percent last year.
New figures from the Empire Center show overtime at the MTA spiked more than $100 million in 2018, to $1.3 billion. The Long Island Rail Road proved the biggest gravy train, ladling out $224 million in OT, up nearly $50 million from the prior year’s $175 million.
The agency’s payroll grew by a whopping $418 million in 2018, according to a report published Tuesday by the watchdog group Empire Center for Public Policy. Their findings are compiled into a searchable database, which shows exactly how much each of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 80,000 employees raked in last year.