MTA honchos want the federal government and insurance companies to reimburse the transit agency $65 million related to last August’s Tropical Storm Irene, officials said yesterday.
Bean counters in September thought the storm was going to blow a $110 million hole in the agency’s budget, but it turns out the price tag was much less.
The claims include some $14 million in lost fares that came after the MTA shut down subway and bus service — right before and during the storm — for the first time in its history.
And there’s an additional $8 million in overtime that was spent on workers preparing for the storm, which included moving the subway and bus fleets away from areas that tend to flood.
The claims note that MTA drivers used buses to evacuate residents from areas in danger of flooding — like the Rockaways. Workers also secured equipment from high winds, and inspected all equipment before service was restored.
“MTA employees in the field worked tirelessly, both to minimize damage in preparing for the storm and to make the repairs needed to restore service as quickly as possible,” said agency chief Joe Lhota.
“Then their unsung administrative counterparts stayed on top of the myriad paperwork in order to expedite our reimbursement.
He said assembling the paperwork for the reimbursements was a “massive” task for claims managers and added that getting it done in only one year was a “testament to their dedication.”MTA officials submitted the reimbursement forms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and their 13 insurance agencies, the largest of which are AIG and Lloyd’s of London.
FEMA has approved $27.7 million so far, although that figure could slightly increase or decrease.
The remaining $37.3 million has been requested from the insurance agencies.
Officials said they expect both FEMA and the MTA’s insurers to fully reimburse the agency.
The MTA has a $25 million insurance deductible.
To get the reimbursements, the agency has to submit copies of contractors bids and finalized contracts, payrolls for both regular and overtime, and invoices for equipment in order to prove their claims are legitimate.
The division asking for the most money is Metro-North, which needs $27 million.
About $21 million of that would go to the Port Jervis line, which was utterly devastated by Irene after the Ramapo River flooded miles of track.
The other cash will go toward the Hudson Line, after several mudslides in The Bronx damaged the tracks near Riverdale.
The agency’s nine bridges and tunnels also lost about $9 million due to Irene.
That’s mostly from lost toll payments due to a massive decrease in traffic, times where tolls were temporarily suspended so residents could evacuate, and the closure of the Rockaway bridges because of severe wind conditions.
Source: NY Post