Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The Authorities Budget Office has released an audit on the NFTA. It has listed recommendations that could produce savings and revenues of $3.3 million.
Read the audit HERE.
The ABO has suggested the NFTA rely more on local law enforcement agencies for its police functions. The audit cited the most common violation is failure to pay a fare. The NFTA's five ticket inspectors have written up 2,500 fines while police wrote only 1,240 fines, whcih also included speeding and parking violations. But NFTA Executive Director Kimberley Minkel says that assessment is unfair. "Fare evasion represents seven percent of all crimes in our system," explains Minkel. "One thing I'll mention, the audit did not consider the changes we've made to our police departments within the past year." She says that included reducing the size of the police force, but it was done in a way to keep the force effective.
Another part of the audit dealt with the NFTA's main transportation properties, the downtown bus station, the Niagara Falls Transportation Center and the Portage Road Transit Center. The findings revealed the operating costs exceeded revenues. Minkel concedes that point. "That's been something we've identified in the blueprint for the future last year. We do have requests for proposals where we're looking for different concessions for our downtown center to increase revenues," says Minkel.
The ABO also looked at the re-hiring of retirees on a part-time basis. The report says they were r-hired without job descriptions. Minkel says that's also something else the authority will improve on. "We agree we can do a better job on descriptions to make sure there is not a redundancy. We do save money and the office recognizes that, but we are working to make things more clear," explains Minkel.