The New York Thruway Authority’s $2 billion budget plan for next year includes nearly $1 billion to keep building a new Tappan Zee Bridge in the lower Hudson Valley.
Executive Director Thomas Madison said that by the end of 2015, the authority and Canal Corp. will reduce operating costs more than $200 million with personnel reductions and expense controls and refinance old debt to save $100 million.
He said that will help “keep tolls as low as possible” while advancing the project.
Bridge expenses are nearly $750 million this year from new borrowing.
The fiscally conservative Empire Center says the toll revenue targets in the budget adopted Friday equate to a roughly 4 percent system-wide toll increase in 2015.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said tolls depend on the level of state subsidy.
© 2014 Associated Press
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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
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.
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.
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.