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MTA gets tough with contractors to save cash

The MTA gloves have come off.

The cash-strapped agency is expected to save millions this year by getting its biggest suppliers to agree to cheaper contracts, officials said Tuesday. Some contractors who didn’t go along with the plan were warned they would get less business from the agency.

“There was a significant amount of pressure,” said Chief Operating Officer Charles Monheim.

Paratransit providers, along with suppliers of bus tires, tech work and subway rails, agreed to slice $18 million off their contracts this year, and a total of $70 million by 2014, Monheim said. The move will not impact transit service and the MTA did not agree to concessions, he said.

The MTA is struggling to close a budget hole of $800 million, even after cutting overhead and transit service. Officials are increasingly putting pressure on transit unions to make concessions, but the TWU hasn’t budged on any givebacks, a spokesman said.

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