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MTA freeze on hiring as crisis grows


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MTA freeze on hiring as crisis grows

BY Pete Donohue



Thursday, April 23rd 2009, 4:00 AM


The MTA slammed the brakes on all hiring and nonessential spending as its budget gap balloons and Albany fails to come to the rescue.


Under an order Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Elliot Sander issued Tuesday, vacant positions can't be filled even if okayed in the budget adopted in December.


The budget trims about 3,000 positions and slashes subway, bus and commuter train service.


The MTA's projected 2009 deficit of $1.2 billion has grown by hundreds of millions of dollars this year as tax revenues plummet.


Gov. Paterson and the Legislature haven't agreed on a bailout for the MTA, which also plans to raise fares up to 30% in late May.


"We must continue to operate under the assumption that we will need to solve our financial problems entirely on our own," Sander wrote to agency heads.


The Daily News, meanwhile, has learned that state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) has failed to appoint arepresentative to a powerful state board with MTA oversight authority. The replacement is for Republican Sen. John Flanagan onthe Capital Program Review Board, a slot that went to Democrats after they took control of theSenate in November.


The panel must unanimously approve the MTA's five-year capital program and amendments before the authority can move forward with individual projects by signing contracts and spending money.


A Smith spokesman said he's been focusing on the bailout.


The MTA has waited for Smith to appoint a replacement "as a courtesy" before submitting an amended plan, an MTA spokesman said.


Projects now facing delays include the renovation of the Mott Ave. station in Smith's district.




I thought this was already in effect???

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