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Report: MBTA not even spending the capital funds it has

In today's installment of leaks from the impending T study, the Herald reports one complaint is that the authority is mostly siting on large sums of money designated for capital projects.

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The absenteeism and gross mismanagement at the MBTA needs to be addressed.

The MBTA is run by and for the management and the employees, not for the public.

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shops are like that, BPS is probably the most prevalent.

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Specifically, this absenteeism: "Employees out about 57 days a year, report says":

Unscheduled absences by employees of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority resulted in the cancellation of more than 6,400 bus trips in January and February, a panel appointed to assess T management has found.

The panel, convened by Governor Charlie Baker as the MBTA struggled to recover from a series of heavy snowstorms, found that T workers were absent 11 to 12 percent of the time in 2014, roughly twice the rate reported by transit systems in other major US cities.

Overall, T employees are out of work for an average of 57 days per year, the report found. Those numbers include vacation days, as well as categories such as jury duty, sick leave, injuries, and family medical leave.

In the report, the panel attributes what it calls “excessive absenteeism” at the T to “weak MBTA management.”

As a result, “tens of thousands of trips are canceled each year due to unplanned absences,” according to a draft portion of a report obtained by the Globe.

...

According to the report, family and medical leave absences were responsible for the majority of the dropped bus trips in January and February 2015, the height of the transit crisis. In January, those absences resulted in 692 canceled bus trips; in February, the number skyrocketed to 2,389 cancellations.

I'd really like to hear what the "don't reform the T, just give 'em more money" crowd has to say about the above.

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Nobody has argued that reform isn't necessary. The fact that money is also required does not mean that everything is just fine with how the authority is managed and operated.

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Henry,
I want to invest in a more robust MBTA. And if I had faith that the MBTA management would not only spend the additional revenue on capital projects, but also reduce operating costs (huge management salaries and overly generous union contracts) so more of the existing revenue would be used on capital projects, I'd be with you.
However, I fear there will be no reduction in operating costs unless the MBTA faces a starve-the-beast situation. Reading about the absenteeism problem demonstrates that there is a huge operational problem that management is not willing to tackle.

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Yes, we can starve the T even more - guaranteeing a work force that gives even less of a crap than now.

How would your productivity be if you went to work everyday with technology that was decades out of date and everything that went wrong at your job was blamed on you?

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Let's let them retire in their 40s with a full pension, instead of their 50s. That should fix things!

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I work in IT. That's the job description.

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Maybe if you could find a single example in all of recorded history of "starving the beast" actually causing a government program to clean up its act. In fact I think you'll find it's usually the opposite: Programs that can't afford things like oversight and decent salaries tend to create corruption and waste.

The MBTA does not have shareholders who benefit when it spends money more efficiently. Similarly, no one employee will benefit from a better funded transit system. Reform and revenue are really completely separate problems, and they need to be considered separately.

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I am concerned about the absenteeism, but family and medical leave... this has been a brutal winter for illness, at least at my workplace. Also, take into account the impact school closings have on parents. I expect that most business in January and February of this year lost a lot of manpower, due to illness and family emergencies.

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that "family and medical leave" was lumped in with absenteeism. Family and Medical Leave is federally protected time off for long-term absences from work for things like caring for elderly parents moving into nursing homes or having a baby. It's 3 months or 90 days long.

Including that in with general absenteeism really skews the data.

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How does the T's absentee rate compare with other state employees?

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I also want this reform to be based on factual data, not data manipulation.

Yesterday we had numbers comparing the revenue gained from fares at the MBTA compared to other systems, only to find that the numbers were fudged to make it seem like other systems gain more revenue from fares than the T does.

Someone on reddit said it best:

...an average of 57 days per year. This is a clear case of statistical manipulation. The average number of days missed is irrelevent. Show me the median number of days missed.

I'd wonder how many people called out of work because they couldn't get to work.

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I see a local news report from a local tv station that went on and on about this in Twitter last night.

I seem to recall a month or so ago when this report actually came out, several transit people debunked this whole thing and said that it equated out to less than 1% of all trips by the MBTA. Really, 1%?

And like the other report that came out yesterday, comparing the MBTA to another transit agency isn't correct because the variables are very different.

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The Globe reports that about 6400 bus trips were canceled in Jan/Feb. If that represents 1% then the T had 640,000 bus trips scheduled in those two months. That would give the T bus routes a capacity of about 15 million monthly passengers.

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See Mathew's post below for the math and data. There are about 300k+ bus trips a month. Most are probably not even near capicity except during peak hours.

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There are 13,109 bus trips scheduled per weekday in the current quarter. Saturday schedule is 7,830 bus trips, and Sunday schedule is 5,362 trips. (see below for source)

The month of February had 19 weekday schedules, 5 Saturday schedules, and 4 Sunday schedules (not counting weather cancellations).

That comes to 309,669 scheduled trips in the month of February.

The Herald is complaining about what, 7,417 missed trips in the month of February? That's 2.4% of schedule. And they're blaming 5,340 missed trips on absences: that's 1.7% of trips.

Hey, missed trips do suck, but this seems to be blown way out of proportion.

...

Excuse my quick and dirty SQL, operating on the GTFS published schedule,

SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT route_id, arrival_time FROM trips JOIN stop_times USING (trip_id) WHERE service_id LIKE 'BUS22015%Weekday%' AND stop_sequence = 1 GROUP BY route_id, arrival_time) AS q;
count
-------
13109

SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT route_id, arrival_time FROM trips JOIN stop_times USING (trip_id) WHERE service_id LIKE 'BUS22015%Saturday%' AND stop_sequence = 1 GROUP BY route_id, arrival_time) AS q;
count
-------
7830

SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT route_id, arrival_time FROM trips JOIN stop_times USING (trip_id) WHERE service_id LIKE 'BUS22015%Sunday%' AND stop_sequence = 1 GROUP BY route_id, arrival_time) AS q;
count
-------
5362

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Most of the dropped trips are during the peak, when the demand for drivers is at its greatest and when it is most difficult to bring more people in on overtime to cover the runs.

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that they used this Jan/Feb as the basis of comparison with other transit systems! I'm willing to believe that absenteeism is a big problem, but let's look at how it is during periods that are relatively normal. Comparing Jan/Feb to systems in cities that weren't whomped by snow is crazy and leads to predetermined conclusions.

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According to the Herald article, the absenteeism rate is from the 2014 fiscal year, which I believe ran 7/1/13 to 6/30/14.

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It would be nice if we could get accurate numbers. Including sick leave, injuries, and family medical leave in the average? So pregnant women out for months get rolled in with everyone else? Someone on long term disability too?

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I hate how the media almost never uses the median over the mean. That 57 days number is probably heavily skewed by outliers.

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It's entirely possible that something like 225 absences in a month are the result of 20 people with 1 absence, one person with 5 days, and 20 people with 10 days each. The median would be 5, but the modes would be 1 and 10.

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How do MBTA employee hours match up to that? If I'm scheduled for a 12 hour shift, is that 1.5 days or 1 day? What is the usual "time in the seat" for an operator in a given day? If a bus operator misses "1 day" is that 50 scheduled trips or 5? Does that change based on the line? Do #33 bus operators call out more or less or the same as express bus operators? Did they just combine all the hours and divide by 8 to get the days or just talk about scheduled days such that a 2-hr part-time employee who misses a day counts the same as a 12-hour shift worker?

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JCK,
I echo that support for public transit and unions (albeit not for labor unions in monopoly companies), but your comment about the aim of the agency goals can ALSO very aptly be applied to the actors involved in the process of planning and building transportation infrastructure in the Commonwealth.

In fact, I'm convinced (after much detailed analysis) that if only half of the money wasted in very poorly designed and badly managed construction of both road and rail infrastructure, over the last two decades and currently in the 'pipeline', would instead have been steered to an endowment for the operations of the MBTA, the agency would be in the black with the finest equipment and up-todate technology and superior service.

Bay Staters need to question who is benefiting most from spending on transit infrastructure. I could tell you, but I'd rather have you figure it out.

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From the looks of things it appears if the MBTA spent the maintenance money it had in line with the average national costs the backlog/shortfall would be only a quarter or less of what it is now ~1 billion. Just enough so that the convention center bond could be diverted to the MBTA to clear it.

The MBTA's toxic employee and management culture is killing the system with an unprecedented level of dysfunction.

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The MBTA maintenance program is different that of other agencies. Comparing them without context is an easy to end up with false conclusions. The MBTA current fleet is old and even though new procurements are on the way (or in the case of MBCR, in process as we speak) the maintenance costs in question are accrued keeping 40 year old GP40s and F40s on CR in running shape, keeping the 40 year #1 RL series in usable shape, and keeping the 35 yr old OL stock up to snuff. Old equipment requires big maintenance dollars, and old equipment requires compatible parts that are less and less available, which further drives up the price. That needs to be accounted for in any discussion of the MBTA maint budget.

Could it be better allocated, hell yeah. But it's also worth noting that fixing a system that is close to collapsing in on itself is more expensive than preemptive fixes. The MBTA doesn't have the luxury of devoting its maint budget solely to these preemptive fixes - we're reaping the seeds of the forward funding reform today. Management needs to be better, yes, but just solving that doesn't solve the MBTA's issues and definitely does nothing to insure the system can expand or improve in the future to smooth out the many, many inefficiencies that exist today.

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NTCTA still runs R32s from 1964, R42s from 1969, and a huge fleet of 700+ R46s from 1975-77 in their subway fleet.

Metra in Chicago has a diesel locomotive fleet with many from the late 1970s/early 1980s that have only been fully rebuilt in recent years. They also still have coaches in service from the 1950s and 1960s and a large percentage of their fleet dates to 1974-1980..

SEPTA's Broad St. subway line is made up 100% of cars built in 1982, about the same age as the MBTA's Orange Line fleet. The SEPTA Kawasaki light rail fleet dates to 1981, newer than then MBTA's Type 7s.

The MBTA is not as unique as some people think in having rail equipment older than 25 years old in service.

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And according to the 2013 NTD profiles, the MBTA's operating expenses are not at all out of line with Metra. The average MBCR accrues about $473 in operating expenses per rev hour compared to $470 for Metra, the expense per unliked pax trip is a dollar $10 to $9. The about $100 less per revenue hour operating costs for the SEPTA RR would be an indication that EMUs are cheaper to maintain, provide better service - after all SEPTA attracts more riders than both Metra and MBCR per mile.

I'm not making the argument that the MBTA is some sterling agency without reproach, it's got, let's just call them issues. But tossing around the claim that MBTA maint costs or operating costs are wildly out of line with other systems isn't correct, it's leading not informing.

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Given the back trail (Joe Sullivan-->Boston Herald) this clearly was an effort to position the report in a certain way, and get information out that would color future discussions.

That being said, if it is even partially true, it kind of vindicates CB's approach of reform before revenue. does it not?

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Would trains magically not have rust holes in them because, well, magic?

The problem is the equipment is worn out. Period.

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T employees are out of work for an average of 57 days per year?!? That would be like me going into work today and saying "See you later, I'll be back June 30th." Further, 30 percent of MBTA employees have received approval to use family leave provisions?? Is the T some kind of baby farm? No entity could sustain such absenteeism. Public unions at their best.

Doesn't this report essentially shift a lot of the blame for this winter's transportation disaster onto individual T employees as opposed to "historical winter conditions," "lack of investment," "old equipment," etc. It wasn't so much that the trains couldn't run, but the employees didn't show up. Not even the Olympics could fix that.

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Doesn't this report essentially shift a lot of the blame for this winter's transportation disaster onto individual T employees as opposed to "historical winter conditions," "lack of investment," "old equipment," etc. It wasn't so much that the trains couldn't run, but the employees didn't show up. Not even the Olympics could fix that.

Yup. Check out the comment above I posted with the bolded sentence.

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It wasn't so much that the trains couldn't run, but the employees didn't show up. that.

Did you just wake up from a three-month nap? It was reported repeatedly that the trains couldn't run under the weather conditions. The fact that there's also a problem with absenteeism doesn't cancel that out.

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If the train can't get out of the yard, what difference does it make if the driver who can't drive a broken train sits at home rather than twiddles his thumb in a train barn somewhere?

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Well, maybe they could've saved paying people $30/hr to shovel when they had employees sitting around twidling their thumbs?

Mismanagement for years is finally taking it's toll.

Gaming the system is the culture at the T. I don't understand how anyone can deny that this has no bearing on the miserable performance. Everyone knows someone from the T. I've heard all the ways they game the sick and overtime hours from my neighbor that retired in his late 50's with benefits.

This past winter a family member was one in a crowd waiting for a train that never came. While they stood in the cold she spotted a T employee sitting in a nice warm car texting on her phone. She went up to the car, banged on the window and offered to take the T employee's picture. She also suggested the employee find out what was going on with their train and if she could see if it was coming, at all. The employee obliged. Why did it take a customer to make this suggestion? The employee couldn't figure out all those increasingly angry commuters needed information?

Got that employee out of the car pretty quick.

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Gaming the system is the culture at the T. I don't understand how anyone can deny that this has no bearing on the miserable performance. Everyone knows someone from the T. I've heard all the ways they game the sick and overtime hours from my neighbor that retired in his late 50's with benefits.

Bearing? Yes. Will wholly revamping the MBTA's management structure solve the issue, abso-effing-lutely not. Not even close. The system itself needs investment, that is an unavoidable fact, no amount of savings on management is going to make the RL any less congested. No amount of management saving is going to obviate the need for signal upgrades on the RL, GL, OL, and maybe even the BL. No amount of management savings is going to free up enough money for the MBTA to acquire more space for its busses, nor will it be enough to finally complete Red-Blue, nor will it be enough to run and operate DMUs on the Fairmount and W/F. Those aren't wistful projects either, those are just the things the MBTA must do eventually to bring it's current infrastructure anywhere close to full potential. That doesn't even take into account some of the revolutionary projects life Blue-Lynn or electrification on the W/F, Fairmount, or Lowell, or the real heavy-hitters: North-South link, a Green Line connection to the transitway, or a an actual urban ring. Absenteeism is a laughably small problem (though certainly one with political clout) in comparison to very real infrastructural issues at stake here.

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Throwing more money at the T with it's current structure in place is just more of the same.

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No?

This is yet another "cause a crisis - attack middle class union jobs" game from the Koch Brothers, Inc. playbook.

Follow the money on the Pioneer Institute, which is one of their favorites and Charlie's too.

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I'm trying to figure out how this argument even works. Are you saying that if we fully funded the T that we would not actually benefit from things like newer trains and modern signaling systems? What does "more of the same" even mean?

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I'm trying to figure out how this argument even works. Are you saying that if we fully funded the T that we would not actually benefit from things like newer trains and modern signaling systems? What does "more of the same" even mean?

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"A Herald analysis of new data provided by the T yesterday also found FMLA absences drained more than $3.7 million from the T’s overtime budget last fiscal year — the largest overtime expense outside of police details, which are mainly paid through construction contracts and not the MBTA’s budget. FMLA absences already account for nearly $2.9 million in overtime expenses for the first nine months of the current fiscal year."

Essentially, workers who have run out of sick days can take off Mondays and Fridays for long weekends using FMLA. They can cash out vacation days anyway. In really hot or cold unpleasant days, FMLA is handy for avoiding work too.

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FMLA absences and leave must be evaluated by a physician, HR, and the supervising manager. It's not a sick day, and it's not a joke. It gives the chronically sick or those taking care of chronically ill family members unpaid time as requested and evaluated by multiple parties. FMLA can only be used once paid leave is exhausted.

If the FMLA your manager has says you can take up to 4 weeks on top of your paid leave to take care of your mother, and you take 4 weeks and 1 day...you better believe that manager is going to fire you, unless you are the star of your team.

Better learn your employment law. It's one of the few important protections/benefits non-union folks are allowed.

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from the report - that some checking of them are needed due to the excessive rate in the MBTA. Also sounds like MBTA workers have far more sick relatives than anybody else. Any idea why?

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Is the physician sign off required each time its used or only the first time?

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Areas in which Markkk has publicly demonstrated his ignorance (a by-no-means comprehensive list) :

☑ Transportation systems
☑ Pedestrian safety protocols
☑ Race relations
☑ Gender, sexual orientation, and economic equality
☑ Public education
☑ The criminal justice system

And now, introducing:
☑ The Family Medical Leave Act

Anything else you want to add to the list while we're here, bro?

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I don't try to discredit people simply for disagreeing with them or that that they question the dominant paradigm. Discredit their incorrect fantasies, sure. Silly usernames after being attacked for much the same, sure, I'm human too. But, here I am responding to a comment meant to distract from the actual issue, failures of the MBTA due to its own ineptness.

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Seriously, the Bruins need to hire you as a powerplay consultant. Bs need work on those deflection goals.

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Discredit their incorrect fantasies, sure.

That's what Erik is doing.

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The Baker administration is slated to release a complete report of the panel’s work later this week, but it has started to make public some of the commission’s findings, including one portion that called out the T for having “limited cost control, low labor productivity and high maintenance costs.”

If by "make public" they mean "selectively leak talking points to newspapers," maybe. But so far the public has about as much detail about T as they do about the Olympics.

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But what would be really nice (not to mention actual journalism) would be for the Herald to point out what funded mandates were not allocated or spent. The way transportation funding works is that mandates are funded and the funds for them are locked into that project. Much of the capital improvements require Federal assistance which cannot be spread through out the system and those Federal dollars are only active once MassDOT funds their potion of the project - if MassDOT doesn't, then Feds take their money back. That means lots of capital money is tied up in projects which are delayed all sorts of reason. For example the South Station expansion money can't be spent until the USPS decides to sell the mail sorting facility and decamp to the Seaport. Even if MassDOT wanted to reallocate that money - they can't. Without referencing which monies sit dormant, and for what projects those monies are destined, there's nothing of value in this report. But maybe I'm expecting too much for the Herald.

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... all range from disingenuous to dishonest.

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That info probably wasn't even leaked in the first place because it doesn't support the narrative.

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The exact amount of money at the T’s disposal “still needs to be defined,” Sullivan said. But last fiscal year alone, the T spent just $631 million, or less than half of the $1.3 billion it set aside to upgrade and modernize the system — a fact that even “surprised us,” he said.

So, you don't know how much money of the "unspent" amounts actually exists. It could have all been spent, in some cases used for a different purpose when available or necessary, but you don't know that so you're just going to claim that it "wasn't used" and that's on them not you?

In other words, let's say I put aside $130 for fixing the drain in my bathroom's sink. I spend $63 of it for some parts, but my car breaks. I can't get more parts for the sink until I fix my car, so I spend the remaining $67 on my car and am out of money for the sink. Then some panel comes along and says "you only spent $63 of the $130 you put aside for sink repairs! You could have fixed the sink with the other $67 you set aside for it, so clearly you're wasting money!!".

Is that what happened here? We don't know! Because they only analyzed half the problem and then started shooting their mouth off to the press.

“It’s no way to run a railroad,” Sullivan said. “There’s just been an inability to get the work out the door. Some of that has been due to (job) vacancies and absenteeism. ... But it begins by making it a priority.”

Vacancies can be solved by hiring...but that has the possibility of increasing operational costs (unless it's reducing overtime usage which I pointed out in yesterday's comments). Also, if you kept whipping me to do 2x the work I should be doing because you won't hire a second engineer with me, then it's going to lead to shitty morale and my desire to use any excuse possible to skip work to avoid the beatings. But they have to SLIM DOWN and be MORE RESPONSIBLE. If they went on a hiring binge, guess who would be chomping at the bit to yell at them for wasting money on new employees when the old employees aren't "doing enough"??

A Herald analysis of new data provided by the T yesterday also found FMLA absences drained more than $3.7 million from the T’s overtime budget last fiscal year — the largest overtime expense outside of police details, which are mainly paid through construction contracts and not the MBTA’s budget. FMLA absences already account for nearly $2.9 million in overtime expenses for the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

None of which is determined to be justified or unjustified use of the FMLA time off. How about you figure that out first. Otherwise, if they're paying overtime to cover for FMLA absences, then we're back to the same problem as before. HIRE MORE PEOPLE to account for whatever your given percentage of FMLA absences are.

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Getting someone hired at the T is a huge process, requiring lots of signoffs. Even if you know someone is retiring soon, you might get someone hired to replace them in 6 months if you're lucky and have enough clout. With Baker's moratorium on hiring, this is only getting worse. So projects are stalled because the person who is supposed to be doing them isn't here yet. It's like someone complaining that I haven't fixed my roof yet, but also telling me I'm not allowed to hire a roofer. Or existing knowledge goes out the door because you can't hire someone's replacement ahead of time to do a knowledge transfer.

Yes, this is all heresay, but I promise it's from a reliable source. As reliable as the leaked "trial balloon" stuff we've seen so far anyway :)

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This is true for pretty much any gov agency, including Feds. My old department still hasn't hired my replacement and I was promoted in Jan, and they don't think it's coming anytime soon. They're drowning and I'm forgetting things, which is going to make training the eventual rehire difficult. With retirements it's even worse, as you said, because all that knowledge goes out the door.

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Management issues at the MBTA play directly into Baker and Deleo's narrative about the MBTA. "if we give the T additional money they would squander it" Left unsaid is the complicity of Beacon Hill in the creation of the management morass at the T in the first place. Critically neither the Governor or Beacon Hill, want to own this, as if the T was monster not of their own making.

The governor and his allies use strategically leaked portions of a report created by a committee he appointed to further their agenda, provide cover for Deleo and the legislature to kick the can down the road thus avoiding the need to confront the MBTA's many problems some of which "might" require additional funding.

The governor and the speaker don't want to own the T problem blaming the MBTA is good politics, providing a handy rationale to slow roll things in the hopes they go away.

In the heat of the crisis Baker tried to disassociate himself from the MBTA only to be foiled by the timely resignation of Beverly Scott, pressure from the business community and rider outrage. He's running the same play again with a bit of misdirection, very slick indeed, It would be beautiful in another context.

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...covers time taken for maternity leave. Unpaid, of course-- the MBTA does not have specific paid maternity leave, but an employee can use up her/his vacation, personal, and sick days

As soon as I saw the FMLA/MMLA conflation in the herald story, the bullshit sirens went off. My current workplace does not have paid maternity/parenthood leave for most employees (maybe all, I don't know), so people take unpaid absences interspersed with maybe a few sick or vacation days a week, so the health insurance is covered and some small check is coming in.

And this was the case at my former job as well, and the one before that.

I mention that because I'm not clear on what exactly they're insinuating-- is it that FMLA absenteeism is somehow worse? Or different? To the extent that it is different, it would only be that it is mostly unpaid.

This article, at least as reported by the herald, raises more questions than it answers for me.

When I helped take care of my mom in the last years of her life, I used the FMLA maximum two years running-- mostly unpaid. Is the considered absenteeism? I was often told to -- wink, nudge-- call in if I didn't have enough time to get approved in advance for that pay period. I had the type of job that didn't require that anyone cover my shift, so long as I met my deadlines. So, were those missed days considered FMLA absenteeism?

I wonder-- what do they mean by blaming FMLA for excess costs? Are T workers not supposed to use FMLA? What exactly does this panel consider a day of ? Maybe it's a problem, maybe not. Many people look for jobs with public agencies or in civil service because they expect it to be more family friendly then private industry. Actually, let me rephrase that-- many women take jobs in public agencies or civil service because they expect it to be more family friendly than private industry, that they are less likely to be fired for being pregnant or taking a day off to be with a sick family member.

When I think of absenteeism as a problem, I think of people calling in at the last minute so that a shift can't be covered. But, then again, if someone plans in advance to be out for four months and her supervisor is not able to cover every on of her shifts during that time, is that absenteeism?
And, why are they complaining that

...the Herald reported absences were to blame for most of the 39,937 missed bus trips in 2014.

then whinging about the overtime to cover this?

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12 weeks = 60 days.

Also, my employer considers any amount of sick leave used to be an absence, so if you leave a half hour early or come in 15 minutes late due to a doctor's appointment, even though it was scheduled in advance, it's the same as calling in sick for the day. Therefore, a weekly visit for physical therapy, which a bus driver might need, equals 52 days, though it might be as little as 26 hours taken.

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As someone in the industry, it bothers me that no one has pointed out to the media how earmarked funding works.

The state (be it T or DOT or whoever) wants to build a project, and convinces legislators to appropriate funding that is earmarked specifically for this project.

However, that money is usually earmarked in one huge chunk for the entire project, even if it's a multi-year project, so obviously money is sitting unspent for a few years. Then throw in some delays and litigation, and that money could be tied up for years. It's not like the T is choosing not to spend this money, but it physically can't. Unless you want to start paying contractors in advance, rather than as the work gets done, that is.

Take for example the Green Line Extension, which has (correct me if I'm wrong) over $900 million in earmarked federal funding, which will be spent over the next few years as construction kicks into higher gear.

Add to that the smaller amounts of earmarked funding for other capital projects (new rolling stock, South Station expansion, Silver Line Gateway, etc.).

And we're not even sure where these numbers are coming from, since if it includes state earmarks as well as federal, the number should be bigger, to include $2.2 billion earmarked for South Coast Rail, $1.3 billion for the GLX, and $300 million for South Station expansion.

So I'm very skeptical of these numbers and am thoroughly convinced that no one in the media understands how capital funding works.

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but let's not confuse people will real facts ya know.....

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