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AlixPartners, a Manhattan-based consulting firm hired by the MTA this year has released a report with recommendations for ways the organization can save money, AM New York reports. Suggestions include a reorganization plan that would see the MTA, including the Long Island Rail Road, consolidating back-office operations and merging more than 40 groups into six departments. The firm was paid $3.75 million to come up with two reports; additional suggestions for the first reorganization in 50 years include the hiring of new high-level positions to oversee changes, and updating union contracts to attract top talent.
The preliminary report released Friday calls for the agencies that operate New York City’s subways, buses and commuter rail system to focuus on a core foundation of safety, day-to-day operations and maintenance. It was also suggested that the MTA–the country’s largest transit authority with an $18 billion budget–hire a chief operating officer, a chief transformation officer and an accessibility officer to oversee the implementation of the recommended changes. An MTA spokesman said layoffs would only be a “last resort” for the reorganization plan, and the report didn’t mention whether it would result in layoffs.
According to the report, “The core strategy behind [the] MTA’s transformation is to centralize and simplify the organization with the goal that transit service and system expansion can be greatly improved at a lower total cost. To do this requires fundamentally changing the MTA’s legacy structure into an organization that is more nimble, efficient and cost-effective.”
According to the report, “hundreds of millions of dollars in potential cost-savings across support function and agencies” were identified. The report also noted that the agency needs to update union contract details and civil service requirements, stating that “rigidity of Civil Service laws limits the ability of the MTA to attract, retain, develop and manage talent in the current job market.”
The same consulting firm was hired under a separate contract to help with the implementation of biometric-enabled time clocks to help the MTA control overtime abuses and to help standardize time and attendance procedures. That effort helps address this week’s news that retired LIRR formeman Raymond A. Murphy, Jr was found to be falsifying his overtime earnings.
A vote by the MTA’s 17-member board is expected at a July 24 meeting in Manhattan. MTA chairman Pat Foye said in a statement, “Today is the beginning of a new, modern MTA — one that delivers better service, completes projects on time and on budget, and uses its resources effectively and efficiently. Make no mistake about it, this transformation will allow us to finally give our customers the system they deserve, and prepares us to execute on what is likely to be the biggest capital plan in MTA history.”
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