NYC subway system paid out $344k in overtime to a single employee last year

The MTA paid out $418m in overtime in 2018, a figure that is more than $80m more than a new fare hike will bring in to the system

Clark Mindock
New York
Saturday 18 May 2019 16:07 BST
NYC subway system pays out $344k in overtime to single employee

Federal prosecutors are investigating after it was disclosed that overtime pay for workers with the agency that runs New York City’s public transportation system ballooned to $418m last year, with a single employee receiving $344,000 (£270,000) in additional payments.

That’s according to a new study by the fiscal watchdog Empire Centre, which found that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) paid out 16 per cent more overtime in 2018 than the year before.

All told, the $418m paid out last year is some $82m more than the beleaguered system is expecting to bring in from just the latest round of price hikes, which directly charges consumers in the city more for the system many New Yorkers rely upon to get to work.

Among those employees who received overtime pay last year was Thomas Caputo, the chief measurement operator for the Long Island Railroad, who received $344,146.93 in overtime on top of a $117,499 salary. That makes his total payout $461,646 last year.

Federal prosecutors have now subpoenaed the pay records for Mr Caputo, as well as more than a dozen other Long Island Railroad and New York Transit employees, according to the New York Times.

All told, a database of employee pay showed that 20 workers earned more than the man who oversees the entire subway system, Andy Byford.

Most of the MTA’s top earners took in more than $320,000 in 2018, a year in which the system saw some its worst performance rates in the past 20 years.

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Patrick Foye, the chairman of the MTA, said that the overtime was accrued during repairs that are being done on nights and weekends to help fix the system, which is known for frequent delays and service disruptions.

“We’re committed to reducing expenses at the MTA across the board,” Mr Foye told CBS News. “We can and must do better.”

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