Audit Of MBTA ‘Money Room’ Finds Waste, Inefficiency

BOSTON (CBS) — Too many workers doing too little work, and costing too much money.

That’s the gist of a new audit of the MBTA’s cash-counting operation, which found staffing levels and costs at double what they would be in the private sector.

Last week, the I-Team detailed lapses found in security at the T’s so-called “money room” in Charlestown, including missing keys, disabled cameras, and doors left open.

But a presentation made by the MBTA’s Fiscal Management and Control Board says that, in addition to those security concerns, the audit found the operation also suffers in the areas of management structure and resource use.

Inside the MBTA's money-counting operation. (MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board)

Inside the MBTA’s money-counting operation. (MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board)

The report done by outside security consultant Shellie Crandall makes frequent, unfavorable comparisons to private industry. It claims that the private sector equivalent of the MBTA’s money room would have 27 employees compared to the MBTA’s 71, and would cost around $4 million compared to the MBTA operation’s cost of $8.6 million.

The audit also reports that armored car pickups are extremely low compared to industry standards. It claims drivers make excess routes and trips, deviate from those routes, and fail to track them properly.

State Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollock said the system is so inefficient the MBTA should look at having someone else run the operation.

“We need to go to the market and see what they would charge us to run the cash room so that the MBTA doesn’t have to anymore,” Pollock told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.  “We’re certainly looking at what it could save to privatize the cash room not just in terms of operating expenses but in terms of capital.”

The operation takes in about $200 million a year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports


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