An MTA bus in New York City

Photo Credit: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Report: MTA plans staff, bus cuts to reduce operating costs

August 15, 2018 - 6:52 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The MTA has some dramatic plans to cut costs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The transit agency is allegedly looking to put the brakes on plans to expand rapid bus service, reduce bus fare-evasion patrols and cut back on staff in charge of cleaning subway cars in an effort to save $562 million.

According to emails obtained by the Journal, some MTA board members are worried the agency is taking too many cost-savings measures even as it hires more than 1,000 workers under the Subway Action Plan.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is also concerned about the plans, which he claims were done in secret without his knowledge.

“These secretive plans outline unacceptable delays in service improvements for hundreds of thousands of riders who depend on select bus service every day,” Eric Phillips, a spokesperson for the mayor, told the WSJ.

Commuters who use public transportation throughout the city told 1010 WINS the plans to cut costs will only hurt them in the long-run as MTA service is already flawed.

“Service is delayed, we’ve got delayed services,” one rider said. “Fare keeps on going up, and service don’t improve.”

Though, MTA chairman Joe Lhota told the Journal that the plans to reduce costs were not cuts, but a redeployment of resources. He added that the MTA will continue to increase their staff numbers over the course of the next few years.

Amid the controversy, Republican candidate for governor Marc Molinaro called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to replace Lhota, saying that the transit system is in a “death spiral.”

“With all due respect to the governor, he’s lost all credibility on this issue,” Molinaro said during a press conference at Grand Central Terminal.

The Republican added that he would use the governor’s emergency powers more aggressively than Cuomo to help improve train service.