Subway delays eat away at working hours

- If you are late to work due to subway problems, you can go online and report it. That is where New York City's Independent Budget Office got information about how many work hours are lost to transit troubles.

The transit system is in the middle of a crisis, with everything from derailments to breakdowns to power outages. The problems have not only caused a number of delays and cancellations but also lost work hours.

The Daily News asked the IBO to analyze the transit delays' effect on city workers. Deputy Director George Sweeting examined the city's payroll management system to see when a city worker files for an excused absence because of a delay. Out of 350,000 city employees, about 250,000 blamed their lateness on the MTA. So far in 2017, city employees missed 17,143 hours of work.

Sweeting said that is a relatively small number when you compare that to 1.75 million total work hours in just one day. But 17,143 lost work hours is an increase of about 35 percent since 2014.

Nick Sifuentes of the transit advocacy group Riders Alliance said taxpayers are footing the bill for city workers stuck underground and that many other people in the private sector must be going through the same thing – so transit delays have a big economic impact.

The MTA sent Fox 5 a statement: "Any increase in delays experienced on the subway show the critical need to support and fund the MTA's subway action plan and why City Hall and Mayor de Blasio should step up and fund their half of the plan."

The mayor responded that the loss of work hours proves that the state needs to back his tax plan to improve subways.

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