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Overhauling How the MTA Does Business

96th St Station

Faced with a nearly $800 million budget shortfall in 2010 due to state budget cuts and deteriorating tax revenues, the MTA is taking aggressive action to drive out costs and operate more efficiently. This week, the agency completed a top-to-bottom review of its 2010 operating budget, removing more than 50 percent of all projects, saving more than $40 million without impacting service.

"Our focus is on continuing to attack our cost structure to find reductions across our agencies and in everything we do," Chairman Walder said. "This is about bringing discipline to our finances and budgeting processes that is consistent with what businesses across the state have been doing."

The MTA is still facing a nearly $400 million budget deficit, despite approving a series of painful service changes that will go into effect this summer. Chairman Walder has acknowledged that addressing this additional hole will be difficult, but the MTA continues to make progress each month. Targeted areas include: controlling overtime, renegotiating vendor contracts, consolidating redundant functions and modernizing inventory processes.

The $40 million in savings represent half of all the projects funded in the MTA's 2010 operating budget. In all, 280 projects were meticulously analyzed. Projects that were not absolutely necessary this year were removed from the budget. Projects that remain are either necessary to maintain quality or quantity of service, help save the agency money, or are required by law.

Chairman Walder added: "In the past the MTA has looked to shave small percentages off of projects. We took a different approach this year, entirely removing projects that weren't absolutely necessary. We are now committed to operating the way that businesses across the State do in tough times, making every dollar count."

Eliminated or deferred projects include IT upgrades, facility renovations, vehicle replacements and shop equipment.