MTA chief orders review of massive overtime costs

The days of the MTA's sky-high salaries and excessive overtime costs may be coming to an end.  MTA Chairman Patrick Foye is calling for a sweeping investigation into overtime claims at the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New York City Transit. And he wants the state to then give it all another pass to make sure nothing is missed.

"The MTA is funded by taxpayers and is responsible for the safe transport of millions of people each day. It is critical that we earn and maintain the public trust, every day," Foye said in a statement. "Ensuring that every dollar spent on overtime is in fact being spent properly is part of that mission."

This issue came to light last week when the MTA's top earner was revealed to be the LIRR's chief measurement officer, who took home more than $460,000 in one year; $340,000 of that was from overtime.

The rising public is already skeptical of the MTA, its agencies, and how they do business.

At a time when the delays on the LIRR are at a 19-year high and costs are ballooning, the rider is told, "Pay more for the status quo."

Mark Epstein of the LIRR commuter council said the increase in fares is frustrating and that the MTA has to find other ways to pay for expenses instead of "on the backs of riders."

The system is massive and requires around-the-clock care, which is provided by union labor.

In a statement, Local 808, the union representing Metro-North workers, defended overtime pay.

"One of the reasons that these people earn so much overtime on Metro-North is that they are the ones who are the heroes of the railroad," Christophe Silvera of Local 808 said in the statement. "They are the ones who answer the calls when other workers choose to sit it out."

The union representing LIRR workers did not respond to a request for comment.

The TWU, which represents NYC Transit workers, declined to comment.

The MTA system just implemented fare hikes last month.  The next round is expected in 2021.