The MTA has launched an extensive investigation regarding “massive” overtime payments that saw its workers earn more than $400 million in overtime last 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.

In total, the MTA shelled out $418 million in overtime more than five times what the anticipated price hike that took effect this week is expected to generate.

In response, MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said that he is directing the presidents of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New York City Transit to do a full review of overtime procedures and regulations currently in place.

“Some overtime is to be expected at any public transit agency, in order to keep up with critical repairs and maintenance, especially at a time of extraordinary work being done around the system. But the accumulation of so many hours of overtime raises serious questions, including potential safety issues such as exhaustion,” he said. “It is important that we are doing everything we can to carry out the work of the MTA efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Foye said that there are “ strict procedures and regulations in place regarding scheduling and payment of overtime. Those procedures either must be followed or we need to implement stronger rules on day-to-day procedures.”

Each of the presidents has been directed to review the last 12 months of overtime claims and payments. Those reviews are expected to be completed within 60 days. Over the next 30 days, Foye said that the MTA will also be reviewing its verification systems at each of its facilities.

“The MTA is funded by taxpayers and is responsible for the safe transport of millions of people each day,” he said. “It is critical that we earn and maintain the public trust every day, ensuring that every dollar spent on overtime is, in fact, being spent properly is part of that mission.”

© 2019 The Daily Voice

You may also like

Faced with $10B deficit, MTA says it’s eyeing cutting overtime spending

Alfonso Castillo The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is adding urgency to the agency’s efforts to curtail overtime numbers that critics say remain alarmingly high. The MTA said at Wed Read More


Six-figure pensions are becoming the norm among retirees from New York’s largest downstate suburban police departments, according to data posted at, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More

Comptroller warns of financial distress at the MTA, and the MTA goes on a hiring spree

According to Ken Girardin, a labor analyst at the right-leaning Empire Center for Public Policy, every new police officer will cost the MTA roughly $56,000, which means the new personnel would initially cost the MTA roughly $28 million a year. Those costs should rapidly increase over time, as police salaries rapidly increase. Read More


One of the great government watchdogs in New York State is the Empire Center for Public Policy, led by EJ McMahon. The Empire Center recently came out with its annual report on overtime costs and the highest earning public servants in NYS. Read More

Genesee Community College president tops pay list in Finger Lakes

ALBANY — Genesee Community College President Dr. James Sunser was the highest-paid municipal government worker in the Finger Lakes region, according to the latest edition of “What They Make,” the Empire Center’s annual report summarizing total local government pay. Read More

Pensions New York taxpayers can’t afford

Another day, another shocking Empire Center revelation. Announcing the latest update to its SeeThroughNY database of New York public employee pensions, the watchdog flagged the city government retirees now scoring the highest pensions. Read More

These Dutchess City, Town Workers Are Among Highest Paid In Upstate NY

Citing data from the New York State and Local Retirement System based on regular, overtime pay and unused vacation time, Empire Center’s 2018 “ What They Make ” report determined which town, city, and village employees are getting paid the most. Read More

LIRR union chief blames OT on inadequate staffing levels, increased workload

“That’s one heck of an incentive,” said E.J. McMahon, research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy, the organization that publicized the MTA’s alarmingly high overtime rate in an April MTA payroll report. Read More