MTA mulls massive transportation job cuts

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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MTA mulls massive transportation job cuts

Postby LIRailfan79 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:27 pm

this probably doesn't help anyones chances of becoming a conductor! ... -headlines

MTA mulls massive transportation job cuts
Bridge, tunnel positions largely spared


October 12, 2004

The MTA is proposing to cut thousands of jobs on subways, the Long Island Rail Road and buses while eliminating only a single position at its bridges and tunnels, according to agency budget documents.

More than 2,100 NYC Transit positions are recommended for elimination, translating into increased waits for buses and subway trains staffed with only the operators and token booths closed around the city, according to the proposals.

On the Long Island Rail Road, more than 360 of 6,556 positions are proposed to be cut next year. The cuts come across all departments, and commuters can expect reduced levels of car and station cleaning due to the budget proposals.

By contrast, only a single secretary position is to be scrapped at MTA Bridges & Tunnels, which operates nine toll crossings in the city. There are no immediate plans for delayed painting or maintenance or limited toll collections.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials do not expect to see a decrease next year in the number of vehicles that cross its seven bridges and two tunnels every day.

But they do anticipate that more than 11 million subway and bus riders will be lost if cuts to NYC Transit are approved by the 23-member MTA board, which is expected to vote in December. More than 2 billion people rode subways, buses and paratransit vehicles, for disabled riders, last year.

The LIRR carries an average of 274,000 customers each weekday on 730 daily trains.

A spokesman for the MTA, Tom Kelly, said the difference in cuts for subway riders reflects the fact that Bridges and Tunnels has seen its number of employees steadily dwindle as E-ZPass has replaced toll collectors starting in 1993.

"They've reduced their headcount dramatically," he said.

But according to MTA figures, those cuts were gradual -- 210 positions over an 11-year period. The current cuts are likely to take place soon after they are approved -- as early as Jan. 1.

Kelly said that Bridges and Tunnels' status as the MTA's sole money maker did not factor into officials' recommendations.

The MTA's systems -- the subway, buses, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and the Staten Island Railway -- all operate at a net loss due to the high cost of running mass transit. They are in turn subsidized by bridge and tunnel tolls.

The cuts -- expected by attrition, not layoffs -- are seen as a way to combat a $436 million deficit that is the result of growing debt service and pension costs amid decreased state and city assistance.

The board will also probably vote in December on whether to approve fare hikes on weekly and monthly MetroCards and express bus service, as well as a $1 administrative fee on monthly E-ZPass bills.

The board will also consider raising LIRR commuter fares and trimming discounts for riders that could result in fare hikes ranging from 5 to 22 percent depending on the type of ticket purchased and the distance traveled on the railroad. One-way peak fares will rise an average of 5 percent.


Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:10 am

I would bet that the MTA could make a 40 per cent cut in the MTA
bureaucrats in both Jamaica and Manhattan and LIRR service would not be
affected one bit.
The savings could be amazing.
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Postby mark777 » Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:55 am

Why don't they eliminate all those redundant Manager positions on the LIRR? IT's no secret that the RR has always been very top heavy. It's commonplace on the LIRR to have a supervisor supervising a supervisor who is supervising another supervisor and on and on....... and the best part, they probably make a six-figure salary! Wonder where the priority is??
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Postby JoeLIRR » Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:04 pm

Noel got a point. Get rid of the bureaucrats.

also. i think that the MTA has way to much political power then they should.


Cut service, raise pricse. Ill laugh when the highway death/accident rates go sky high because of the stupidy to the TA and teh State.

Maby teh MTA should be next to Kerry for president, they might be good at that as they are w/ raising fares. :wink:

just some of my hard feeling

Postby Nasadowsk » Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:10 pm

I'd like to see the MTA actually be held publically acountable for their actions.

Then again, they've hit the point where they've managed to do the 'impossible', which is turn a mass transit system in the US into a mess that's as expensive, corrupt, and contractor attracting as road construction.

Look at it this way - there's no corruption at the local dogcatcher's office cause it's a position that holds no power....

But still, the MTA needs a good swift kick in the rear. Seriously.
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Postby CLiner2005 » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:06 am

The power of the pen (or keyboard) gets results; however, it takes much effort. Commuter organizations, homeowners associations, realtor brokerages, just plain ordinary TAXPAYERS. Anyone who is affected by the operation of the LIRR should be up-in-arms about this situation. Those who should be recipients of snail mail, email, phone calls are Gov. Pataki, Senators Shumer and Clinton, your congressional representatives and local government leaders and the LIRR/MTA; but is must be a mass effort, not just a few individuals. All of the above mentioned offices have e-mail addresses - and heaven knows, we are an e-mailing society. So spread the word, demand less managers, not less service. Eventually, Long Island is going to choke if MORE service is not planned and implemented and it will take talent to make this come about. The old adage about the "squeaky wheel" works. Start writing folks - big time.

Fully realizing that I haven't lived on L.I. for many years, I do know that what I am suggesting has worked for me in many parts of this country over the years. When the politicians and bureaucrats become deluged with mail they will react - and you have to keep the pressure up. Just a long distance suggestion and some thoughts. Good hunting.
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Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:25 pm

The "crux" of the problem as I see it is that the MTA has just too many
managers who either don't manage or poorly manage.
At the same time that we are talking about a third main line track project
and new yards, we are also talking about major cuts in service and in
trackage as well.
None of the above makes any sense to me.
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Postby Johnny B » Thu Oct 14, 2004 12:07 pm

I don't know a helluva lot about politics, but I'd guess that MTA dropped this little tidbit to the press to posture itself for additional state and federal funding. The press is generally liberal, and liberals generally support mass transit. If you're going to whine, you might as well do it right!
Johnny B

I'm really confused

Postby de402 » Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:58 pm

The press is generally liberal, and liberals generally support mass transit.

That the h%^ll planet are you on? You must be a passionate conservative... whatever that is. I mean please, think about this clearly.


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Postby Johnny B » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:18 am

Hee Hee! I kinda figured I'd ruffle a few feathers with that remark... Yes, I am a conservative, but my statement was probably based loosely on the fact that Bill Clinton seemed to have more support for Amtrak than does the current administration. Sorry, Eric-- no offense intended. :wink:
Johnny B

Postby Liquidcamphor » Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:19 am

The Capital projects are continuing because the Capital budget, which is separate from the Operations budget, is not in deficit.

They have had to resort to diverting funds from Capital to supplement Operations and that is not something that can go on forever.

They are talking about cutting jobs through attrition. From employees standpoint, theres nothing to complain about. It's the commuters who are going to bear the brunt of the MTA's woes. Very few managers on the LIRR make a "six figure" salary. Most make less than the unionized workforces.

A big problem on the LIRR seems to be that Capital goals sometimes tend to be separate from Operations. An example is the diesel fleet. One reason Capital purchased the AC traction engines to cut down on having periodic replacement of brushes in the DC traction engines. But they replaced changing brushes with having to replace 2 to 3 invertors a month which cost upwards of 100k each. If they replaced brushes and refurbished commutators on every DC traction engine they had, it never cost 200 to 300k a month. The extra costs associated with the AC traction engines will never be justified on the LIRR because the AC traction engines didn't cut down the amount of units on their roster or trains, like the freight railroads. To be able to run a train with 2 engines instead of 5 or 6 would save a railroad considerable money over the long term. A passenger road like the LIRR would never benefit from that because their average train always had one engine and still has one engine.

Just my opinion.
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transportation cuts

Postby point88 » Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:56 am

The LIRR is also bringing up the closing of the Oyster Bay , West Hempstead Branches and east of Ronkonkoma in 2006. How serious is the LIRR about that? Is it something the LIRR wants to really do and they are going to blame it on not having funds to support those braches? It seems to me that they want to close them and use the money thing as an excuse.

Re: transportation cuts

Postby bluebelly » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:03 pm

point88 wrote:The LIRR is also bringing up the closing of the Oyster Bay , West Hempstead Branches and east of Ronkonkoma in 2006. How serious is the LIRR about that? Is it something the LIRR wants to really do and they are going to blame it on not having funds to support those braches? It seems to me that they want to close them and use the money thing as an excuse.

It's the MTA , not the RR.

Postby JoeLIRR » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:05 pm

Iv had it with this isue.

let me solve the problem, Close the entire LIRR for 1 week n see all the holey hell that is created, (serously, one would beable to walk to manhatten faster then the highways handle)

During the week of absence send out a mailer to EVERY house on LI and business in LI n NYC asking for a commuter/employers dicession. Youl

see how long no service will last period.

the LIRR basically lost stations and wrongfully entire ROWS in the past and techniclly are really needing them now but know one in the hire up has the brass set to admit it.

the morrel of my senerio, is to teach the political forces and the plain * head a reall rough lession, that there plan is a failier, and that when the to be abandon ROWs are lost thell YES. be GONE for EVER. its well seen already, and absultly will happen again.

i know i will have OBJECTIONS to this but my morrel is basically correct.

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