MTA Overtime Tops $1 Billion for First Time

| Press Releases

Overtime spending by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last year reached a record $1.2 billion, a 20 percent increase over the 2016 level, according to data posted today on, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

MTA pay totaled $6.7 billion in 2017, including $5.4 billion in regular (non-overtime) pay. Regular earnings increased by $198 million, or 4 percent, from 2016 to 2017.

Key trends revealed by the data include the following:

  • The bulk of the added MTA overtime in 2017 was collected by employees of the New York City Transit Authority—a total of about $750 million, up 26 percent from 2016.
  • The leading MTA overtime earners were employed by the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), where 174 workers collected at least $100,000 above their base pay—including nine who earned overtime of more than $200,000.
  • Topping MTA’s 2017 overtime list was LIRR foreman Raymond A. Murphy, who added $295,490 to his base pay of $103,566, bringing his total pay for the year to $405,021. The only MTA workers to earn more were two other LIRR foremen, Joseph Biondo and Joseph Ruzzo, who were paid $447,128 and $405,237 respectively, and MTA headquarters president Michael Horodniceanu, whose salary was $446,602.

The list of the 50 highest-paid MTA employees can be downloaded here. All of the MTA’s labor union contracts are now also available at for the first time. Explore over 100 contracts, which cover 29 unions and date back to 1986, here.

Overtime spending at each MTA unit is detailed below:

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.