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New York MTA Overtime Soars as Pandemic Hiring Freeze Haunts System

  • Overtime costs this year are $176 million more than forecast
  • MTA faces a potential $2.6 billion budget gap in 2025
A conductor checks for people at a subway station in New York.

A conductor checks for people at a subway station in New York.

Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

Overtime costs on New York City’s subway system are soaring thanks to staffing shortages after the biggest transit provider in the US froze hiring during the pandemic.

Across the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s network of subways, buses and commuter rail lines, overtime expenses totaled $842.5 million this year through September, $176 million more than forecast, according to MTA data.