You know how you hear those stories about how some government agency or other paid $2.5 million for a hammer or paid for employee cosmetic surgery as part of its’ wellness plan? Well that doesn’t happen here. Our former accountant made me cut cookies in half for public meetings so we could buy less of them and there was a dot matrix printer in the office as recently as a few years ago. We are updating and joining the 21st century, but not at a prohibitive cost.
That’s not the story in New York though where a section of subway is being called “the most expensive mile of subway track on earthy” after a project accountant found a big discrepancy. According to the New York Times, that Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker discovered that there were 900 workers on a project to dig caverns to to build new platforms- but there were only 700 positions needed. That means 200 extra workers were getting paid about $1,000 eacy PER DAY to do nothing! Those employees were laid off but not before being paid billions of dollars that could have gone to fix existing subway tunnels, tracks, trains and signals.
Now, the Times is looking at why projects like that average about seven times what projects in other locations cost and is finding that transportation projects in New York are prohibitively expensive because a small group of labor unions, construction companies and consulting firms are making large profits by inflating bids and public officials are too buried in red tape to do anything about it. The article is a very long one but a great read, so click the link in blue above to get the whole story.