Rochester, New York — February 27, 2015. The final audit by the Office of the New York State Comptroller criticizing the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transit Authority’s (RGRTA) bonus system was released by the Authority today. The audit notes that while net profits and ridership fell, executives incorrectly continued to receive lucrative bonuses. Over the past three years, roughly $1.8 million of bonuses have been handed out, sometimes with little justification.
“Despite giving out huge bonuses to top executives, net profits fell, ridership decreased, and worse yet, fares increased for bus riders whose routes go through the transit center. Furthermore, roughly a third of the bonuses to upper management were above $15,000, with some as large as $35,000,” Legislator Cindy Kaleh (D-Rochester) said. “While many people start the New Year with resolutions to do better and make positive change, RGRTA is starting off 2015 with more of the same: lining the pockets of executives at the expense of taxpayers and riders. Every year they seem to act more like the Water Authority.”
Legislator Paul Haney (D-Rochester) also pointed out that the Comptroller’s work has never been challenged. “We hear ad nauseum that these audits are political. However, not only has this Comptroller been critical of entities run by Democrats along with those run by Republicans, no one has ever professionally challenged the Comptroller’s Office. In fact, as RGRTA even admits, they use these audits to correct their practices.”
RGRTA receives considerable public funding as part of its $84 million operating budget. This year, it expects to receive just over $44 million in government subsidies including $3.5 million from the County of Monroe. It is also projecting to generate nearly $30 million in customer fares this year.