Privatize the MTA

Governor candidate Warren Redlich proposed that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority be completely privatized. The move would reduce operating costs dramatically, allowing for fare reductions and improved service.

“The MTA chronically overspends and underperforms,” Redlich said. “It’s yet another example of government failure in New York State.”

Privatization would solve the problem of ridiculous salaries and benefits. Over 8000 MTA employees made over $100,000 a year in 2009, with 50 making over $200K. One conductor made $239K. The authority has also been plagued by pension scandals.

Further benefits would be realized through savings on capital projects, as the private sector would be free from expensive state requirements placed on public sector capital spending.

Private sector rail thrives in some parts of the world, such as Japan:

Redlich would auction off the various components of the MTA and put the proceeds into the state pension fund.

Recent discussions about public-private partnerships for the MTA would fail to achieve any cost savings and were, in any event, rejected by CEO Jay Walder.