NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There were new and disturbing reports out Friday night detailing years of deception at the MTA.
The reports claim inspection records were doctored or even made up, possibly sacrificing riders’ safety to meet deadlines.
A steep increase in required signal inspections became so overwhelming for MTA supervisors and staffers that they faked the reports – thousands of them.
That’s the stunning finding of a report by the MTA inspector general, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
Straphangers were understandably outraged to hear about the shortcuts on safety.
“That’s not right,” Greenwich Village resident Kaitlin Dullahan said. “That’s cheating and putting our safety at risk, and that’s not okay.”
“You pay good money, expect it to be safe – that’s messed up,” said Williamsburg resident Tony DiPietro.
The report said the falsified inspections stretched back years. Equipment that was supposed to be inspected every 30 days was not being checked until days, or even weeks, later.
The checks were ramped up after the rear-end collision in the Washington, D.C. transportation system in June 2009 that killed nine people.
In New York City, the L line has trains that are operated robotically, like the ones in Washington, with fewer fail-safes than other lines to prevent crashes.
“It’s kind scary to think that there is not someone is checking,” Williamsburg resident Brett Terry said.
The MTA released the following statement Friday night: “We have changed the leadership of the signals division. We also took swift action to ensure that none of these deficiencies undermined the signal system’s safe operation or its underlying components.”
Transit sources confirmed to CBS 2 that MTA Signal Department Supervisor Tracy Bowdwin was demoted in the fallout, and other managers are being questioned.
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