mta-train-7466583One out of every seven employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was paid more than $100,000 in 2013, according to authority payroll records posted today at, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.

Thomas F. Prendergast, MTA’s chairman and CEO, was the highest-paid authority employee with total cash compensation of $359,877 in 2013. MTA’s president and the presidents of its largest operating subsidiaries round out the top five pay rankings.*

Two-thirds of the 10,482 MTA employees with total pay of at least $100,000 were not front-office executives but hourly employees, including police officers, blue-collar workers and their supervisors. They included Eduardo Vargas, a Metro-North Railroad machinist, who made 336 percent of his $61,131 base pay rate in 2013, receiving a total of $205,303. Six other LIRR and Metro-North workers were also paid more than three times their base rates, and another 452 authority employees more than doubled their base pay with overtime and other extras.


Other highlights of pay records for the 71,837 people who worked for the MTA last year:

  • MTA Police employees were paid an average of $125,912, the highest of any sub-category. Eighty-five percent of the authority’s police force — 572 out of 674 employees — made a total of $100,000 or more in 2013. These figures do not reflect a January union contract that granted MTA police officers an immediate retroactive pay raise of 7.5 percent, with further raises of more than 10 percent due over the next four years.

  • Long Island Railroad (LIRR) employees had an average total pay of $83,794, the highest among MTA operating subsidiaries. LIRR employees comprised the largest group in the authority’s top 100 pay rankings as well as on the list of MTA who at least doubled their base pay with overtime and other extras last year. The LIRR’s main union has threatened to strike in September unless the authority agrees to a six-year contract including a 17 percent pay increase recommended by a presidential mediation board.

  • The New York City Transit Authority (TA) had 5,343 employees with total pay of $100,000 or more, by far the largest such group among the operating subsidiaries. Six-figure earners comprised 11 percent of the 50,050 individuals on the TA payroll, a smaller share than LIRR (28 percent), Headquarters (27 percent), Metro-North (24 percent), or Bridge & Tunnel (14 percent), but more than the 8.4 percent of MTA Bus employees with total pay of $100,000 or more. The 2013 average Transit Authority pay of $71,272 does not reflect the impact of a new, partially retroactive six-year contract granting base pay hikes of 11 percent to members of the Transit Workers Union.

Tables showing the MTA’s 100 highest-paid employees; the top 100 workers who were paid at least 200 percent of their base pay; and both average pay and number of $100,000 earners for the MTA’s Police, Headquarters and operating subsidiaries are available here

* Total pay for MTA headquarters staff and for some bus drivers reflects an additional pay period in 2013. 

Media Contact: Ken Girardin, (518) 434-3100

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