Working on the Railroad

The Story

It’s no secret that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has serious financial problems: the state just passed a law that will effectively tax drivers in lower Manhattan in order to give the MTA money to fix its outdated and dilapidated system. The problem isn’t that the MTA doesn’t have money coming in—it’s that too much of it is wasted. Revelations about overspending on the Long Island Railroad should have commuters across the metropolitan area demanding contract reform, pronto.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. All the livelong day: Some LIRR workers claimed so much overtime that they would have had to work 16 hours a day, for 365 days straight, for the books to make sense. Read more.

  2. Rain, rain: LIRR contracts stipulate that a worker can refuse to work if it’s raining–and still get paid for two hours of work. Read more.

  3. No brakes: LIRR overtime payments alone equal one-third of all farebox revenue for the railroad. Read more.

“The MTA must fundamentally change the way it does business and that includes reining in spending that has led to its dire financial situation.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Fifteen Stories Under By Nicole Gelinas (Autumn 2015)

“Why New York’s East Side Access railroad project has taken so long and cost so much.”

And in other news...

“Measles outbreaks are continuing to grow in New York City, with 43 new cases bringing the latest confirmed total to 466, according to city health authorities.”