Audit blasts MTA for mismanaging subway disruptions

A joint city-state audit says that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY) mismanages its weekend subway diversions, which are required to complete track work, and does a poor job of keeping riders informed. The report from the New York State and New York City comptrollers looked at 29 weekend subway service disruptions between January 2009 and June 2010. Track work started late on all but one project and ended early on 21, wasting an estimated $10.5 million in unproductive work time. In addition, four contracts went over budget by a combined $26.6 million. The auditors also blasted the MTA for poor customer communication. The authority provides electronic notification of the weekend disruptions through its website, email alerts, and social media accounts, but the report found traditional communications lacking. Auditors said that signage was lacking — not enough signs on the platforms, no signs in languages other than English, and not enough signs in station elevators — and the MTA failed to take out newspaper ads for to alert riders of diversions in apparent violation of the agency’s policy. “The MTA must understand the city never sleeps and weekend service is neither ancillary nor expendable,” said New York City comptroller John C. Liu in a statement. “We expect the MTA to maintain and repair the tracks while keeping disruptions to a minimum.” Link to full story in New York Daily News.

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