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Audit: MBTA Has Major Problems Collecting, Protecting Fare Box Money

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BOSTON (CBS) – A new state audit suggests the MBTA has major lapses in collecting and protecting fare box money.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

There is a $101.7 million discrepancy in money collected from buses and trolleys from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2011, according to the report, which was released Thursday morning by State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office.

The automated fare collection system recorded $225.5 million in fare box cash receipts, but the actual fare box cash receipts deposited were $123.8 million.

“This variance of more than $101.7 million demonstrates significant reliability problems in the MBTA’s collection and control of cash revenue,” Bump said in a statement.

MBTA acting General Manager Jonathan Davis said this audit does not mean money was stolen from the T.

He told told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 the problem is just a software glitch that caused the automated machines to over-report the $101.7 million in fare collections in the five-year span.

“I want to assure our customers that the system we have in place insures that any cash that they pay for riding the system makes its way to the money room and makes its way to the bank,” he said.

“While we found no evidence of lost money or theft in our audit, without a properly functioning fare collection system, the MBTA does not have complete assurance that theft is not occurring. The MBTA cannot properly safeguard revenue it may not know it has,” Bump said.”The system is susceptible to failure and that means it’s susceptible to theft.”

At the time of the audit, 12 keys to fare box cash were also missing and 1,313 keys were unnumbered and cannot be tracked.

Another audit is scheduled in six months.

WBZ-TV News Producer Ken Tucci contributed to this report.

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