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MTA Inspector Gen. Report: LIRR Crews Waste Time, Money

Long Island Rail Road Station (file/Mike Xirinachs)

Long Island Rail Road Station (file/Mike Xirinachs)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A new report is highly critical of the Long Island Rail Road’s work crew productivity.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs: Riders Troubled

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Inspector General Barry Kluger reviewed several recent construction projects and found that LIRR crews reported to work late, knocked off early and that a lack of oversight was widespread.

The internal investigation looked at three different projects along 700 miles of track.

The report shows crews wasted $160,000 at one site alone. It took workers six months to replace  a set of platform stairs when an engineering consultant estimated it should have taken just two and a half months.

At another project, crews allegedly spent 13 percent of their time somewhere other than the work site. The report also revealed crews claimed time and a half-pay for working through lunch breaks even though there was no reason to.

LIRR President Helena Williams said in a statement “The findings of this report are troubling to the hardworking and dedicated employees at the LIRR. We expect our employees to put in a full day of work for a full day’s pay. Anything less is unacceptable.”

But the problem may start at the top.

The inspector general found managers failed to set guidelines for the work and did not apply project schedules and budgets.

Kluger made a number of recommendations. They included developing work performance standards and tighter supervisory controls. Managers have already met with supervisors about new procedures.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)