The New York City metro system is a massive, bloated bureaucracy that pays people who don’t work for the agency and lacks the ability to track down its employees, according to its interim president.
Interim NYC Transit president Sarah Feinberg tried to create comprehensive organizational chart to track the organization’s 70,000 employees and help cut spending, she told the New York Daily News. Despite being the department’s leader since March, nobody has provided her with a breakdown of metro employees.
“There are people who do not work here who we are paying,” Feinberg said, according to the Daily News. “It’s crazy … I absolutely believe there are a lot of people wandering around and no one knows who they report to.”
Feinberg added: “I’ve been here four months, before that I was on the [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] board for a year. We’ve been talking about ‘transformation’ and consolidation the entire time.” (RELATED: NYU Professor Allegedly The Leader Of Transit Protests That Cost $100K In Damages)
In the short term, Feinberg has put a hold on out-of-state travel expenses and vowed to halt employee use of metro vehicles for personal use, the Daily News reported. She also expects to cut back on the multitude of “consultants” who have been hired by the department.
“The first thing you do is cut internally, you cut the consultants, cut the shit you didn’t even know you were spending money on,” she said, according to the Daily News.
Another problem the metro system faces is that officials have managed to exploit a loophole in a 2018 hiring freeze, the Daily News reported. New hires are brought aboard with managers claiming they are necessary to continue operations and to maintain safety.
“You can give someone an operational title like conductor, but what you really have them do is data entry or be someone’s driver,” Feinberg told the Daily News. (RELATED: NYC Subways To Fix Biggest Problem: Tiles That Sort Of Look Like The Confederate Flag)
The department can’t even contact many of its employees since there is no phone or email address on file for them, according to the Daily News. Issuing an official email address for employees would cost an additional $3 million every year.
The metro system saw a dramatic fall in ridership because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority requested a $4 billion bailout in March, the New York Times reported. The city shut down the subway’s overnight operations in May for the first time in 115 years so that workers could clean the system’s trains, according to The Times.
As coronavirus spread rapidly across the world in March, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. The U.S. has experienced a recent surge in daily cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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