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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Safety at Stations (Follow-Up)


Issued: January 6, 2019
Link to full audit report 2019-F-16
Link to 30-day response

Objective
To determine the extent of implementation of the two recommendations included in our initial report, Safety at Stations (Report 2016-S-91)

About the Program
Staten Island Railway (SIR) is a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Administratively, SIR is a separate operating unit, reporting to New York City Transit’s Department of Subways. SIR operates a single rapid transit line, which runs the length of Staten Island (about 14 miles) from St. George Terminal to the southern terminal at Tottenville. Riders can connect with New York City Transit system buses at many of SIR’s 21 stations or to the Staten Island Ferry. SIR operates 24 hours a day with service every 30 minutes, and more frequently during weekday rush hours.

From July 1, 2017 to December 3, 2019, SIR’s Maintenance of Way (MOW) Infrastructure Department (Infrastructure) records show safety-related incidents were reported on 142 dates (at least one incident). The process of responding to an incident starts when the Rail Control Center receives the call, prepares an Exception Report, and notifies MOW and/or the Engineering Department of the incident, requiring a field inspection and/or investigation of the issue. A foreman is dispatched to the site of the incident and prepares a SIR Infrastructure Department Station Inspection Form (Form). The completed Form is reviewed and, depending on the severity of the defect, Infrastructure determines the appropriate action. There are four types of defect priorities, ranging from “A” defects, which affect safety, danger, security and revenue and must be made safe or repaired upon immediate response, to “P” defects, which are non-safety project-type work requiring longer duration and planning to complete.

Our initial audit report, which was issued on June 15, 2017, found that SIR documented its inspections of facilities where safety-related incidents occurred and the actions taken to remediate conditions that might have contributed to such incidents. However, in certain instances, responses to safety-related incidents were not documented.  A lack of pertinent policies and procedures as well as staffing shortages likely contributed to lapses in documenting incidents and the related SIR responses. Also, we noted that SIR’s Customer Assistance Intercom system was not operational system-wide.

Key Finding
We found that SIR officials made progress in addressing the problems we identified in the initial audit report. Of the two audit recommendations, one was implemented and one was partially implemented.

Key Recommendation
Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any action planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236