The MTA's accountability and time management issues differ with each branch. At New York City Transit, there are questions about whether all employees work their full shifts. Because of the size of those operations, that's where more taxpayer and rider dollars are. At the LIRR, which is governed by the Federal Railway Labor Act, a lack of modern record keeping allows overtime abuses. A report by the Empire Center watchdog organization showed some stunning examples.
Notably, the OT surge was highest at the Long Island Rail Road, up 30 percent last year and more than double the 2013 level, the Empire Center reports. And The Post has highlighted some hard-to-swallow extreme LIRR cases, with one guy working the equivalent of 16 hours a day for the whole year.
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.
The number of LIRR employees who made more than $250,000 increased by nearly 50 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to payroll data found on the Empire Center for Public Policy's transparency website, SeeThroughNY.net.
New Yorkers were shocked by the recent revelation by the Empire Center for Public Policy that Long Island Rail Road Chief Measurement Operator Thomas Caputo received more than $344,000 in overtime payments last year, bringing his total salary to more than $460,000. Equally alarming is that this outlandish number will become the basis upon which his pension payment is calculated, which is expected to exceed $162,000 a year.
Wise moves. Following a recent Empire Center report, The Post has spotlighted outrageous MTA overtime abuse, particularly at the LIRR, where one worker pulled in nearly a half-million bucks in 2018, thanks to 3,864 OT hours. Logging 4,157 extra hours, another boosted his pay nearly sixfold.
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.
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.