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December blizzard cost MTA $30 million


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The December blizzard that buried the city in 20 inches of snow socked the MTA with a whopping $30 million bill for overtime and lost revenues, agency officials said yesterday.

The MTA lost an estimated $16 million in revenues from the Dec. 26-27 snowstorm and spent another $14 million in overtime, according to transit officials. By comparison, a pair of February storms last year that dumped first 10 inches inches of snow and then nearly two feet of the wintry flakes cost the MTA a total of $25.3 million. Some $8.3 million of that was spent on overtime.

City Council Transportation Chair James Vacca criticized the MTA for dragging its feet last month.

“If they had acted sooner with more intensity of response, their overtime would have been less and more people would have been able to get on and use mass transit,” Vacca said after yesterday’s MTA committee hearings.

MTA chairman Jay Walder recently conceded that the agency was “too slow in reacting.” An MTA spokesman yesterday declined further comment.

It’s unclear how the storm costs will impact the MTA’s budget, Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran told reporters.

“We lost the revenues — that will hurt — but we had some positive things … some of the taxes came in stronger than we thought,” he said of the agency’s income last year.

The MTA board will be given a storm analysis Wednesday.


In other MTA news yesterday:

• Transit officials said that eight signal maintenance workers caught with photocopied subway signal bar codes that can be used to falsify signal inspection records will face disciplinary charges.

• MTA boardmember Charles Moerdler railed against transit leaders over stats that showed subway lines in the Bronx had the worst on-time performance and appearance records in the city.


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