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Letter: Politicians should back MTA demands

The MTA has asked President Obama to appoint

The MTA has asked President Obama to appoint another Presidential Emergency Board to help settle an impasse between the agency and labor unions. Credit: Chris Ware

With all the documented operating inefficiencies of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, how can Reps. Peter King, Tim Bishop, Steve Israel, Carolyn McCarthy, Gregory Meeks and others not address the union contracts, which are the root cause of the MTA's problems?

Instead, they back the unions and urge the MTA to back off its demand that Long Island Rail Road workers accept a "three-year freeze on wages or make big concessions" ["LIRR workers backed," News, Feb. 20].

Our politicians should put their heads back in the sand and let the MTA handle this issue without political influence. If the MTA operated as a real business, it would streamline operations, cut costs and not hit commuters with unjustifiable rate increases to cover its mismanagement and wasteful spending.

Newsday and its editorial page has written about the money wasted by the Long Island Rail Road and MTA in the East Side tunnel project, the "Watch the Gap" campaign, platform alterations, and the repair of escalators that were not maintained for years, as well as LIRR workers arriving late to work and leaving early.

If the MTA board cannot streamline operations, New York State officials should step in and conduct an independent operating audit with binding recommendations or seek an independent entity to run the MTA efficiently.

Robert Lorelli, Speonk