Chief Janno Lieber says MTA will lobby LIRR unions after Post reveals waste

MTA President Janno Lieber told state lawmakers on Monday he would push the powerful Long Island Rail Road unions to reform work rules, following a Post briefing on waste and widespread agency inefficiencies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The contracts allow engineers to earn four times as much time on a standard eight-hour shift and drivers earn double pay for working a train for a Mets game; while LIRR working practices are to put up to half a dozen ticket collectors on a single train.

Simply bringing LIRR wages and labor efficiency in line with Metro-North would save the MTA more than $200 million a year, the survey found.

“My predecessors had rail agreements, many of which date back to the early 20th century because the Long Island Rail Road has been around for so long,” Lieber said. “Sometimes you have to update yourself. And that’s what we will do. We will put these issues on the table.

The MTA plans to push LIRR unions to reform work rules.
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

MTA President and CEO Janno Lieber
MTA President Janno Lieber plans to lead the charge for the changes.
Paul Martinca

Lieber added that, in the meantime, he had appointed Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi as acting head of the LIRR to “seek opportunities to compare and contrast the efficiency” of the railroad.

The question to Lieber came from powerful state senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), who chairs the upper house finance committee and will play an important role in negotiating the state budget which includes at least 1 $.6 billion for the MTA.

Good government groups and MTA watchdogs have pressed lawmakers to demand that the MTA implement additional reforms to operations and work practices before handing over the money.

New York Post

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