MTA to hire a ‘restructuring, efficiency, cost-cutting firm’ to rethink the bureaucracy

By Dana Rubinstein 04/10/2019 05:01 AM EDT:
Apr 10, 2019

First Enron and General Motors, now the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The MTA plans to hire AlixPartners, the restructuring firm that worked for the aforementioned clients, to help devise a plan to restructure its sprawling bureaucracy.

For $3.75 million, the MTA wants AlixPartners to develop that plan by July 31, according to an April 3 memo sent by Chairman Pat Foye to the authority’s board of directors, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.

“They’re solely a restructuring, efficiency, cost-cutting firm,” Foye said in an interview.

In management consulting jargon, restructuring and efficiency-finding exercises often translate into layoffs. Foye didn’t rule out the prospect.

“Look, layoffs are a last resort, but they’re a possibility, yes,” he said Tuesday.

Though his memo doesn’t explicitly mention it, Foye said the consultants might also look at reforming the MTA’s labor contracts, which many outside critics consider wasteful.

“I think everything is on the table,” he said.

Transit advocates, meanwhile, worried that this whole process might be too rushed.

In an interview, Manhattan Institute transportation expert Nicole Gelinas noted that “it takes years” to figure out the MTA.

Nick Sifuentes, the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, agreed.

“I doubt we’re going to be in a position to have a full reorganizational plan by July,” he said. “That’s a monumental effort.”

To view online:

Updated: April 10, 2019 — 3:12 pm