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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York MTA initiates consolidation plan, hires cost-reduction czar


Late last week, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced plans to consolidate several "redundant" functions that could save the agency more than $10 million annually and the appointment of an executive who’ll be charged with overseeing cost reductions.

Under a consolidation effort's initial phase, MTA will focus on call centers, media relations and communications material production. The agency plans to create an integrated voice recognition system to “greatly reduce” more than 100 public phone numbers and consolidate five call centers; form a centralized press office to consolidate press offices at each operating agency and reduce the number of press officers; and consolidate communications production so each operating agency isn’t producing its own materials, MTA officials said in a prepared statement.

“Consolidating these functions is a part of our effort to overhaul how the MTA does business to make sure that we are using every dollar as wisely as possible,” said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Walder. "These actions will pool resources, streamline operations and create savings.”

The MTA also named Diana Jones Ritter managing director, effective July 19, to oversee the consolidation and restructuring effort. She will manage day-to-day operations at MTA headquarters and be responsible for corporate affairs, government relations, procurement, real estate, human resources policy and pensions, capital programs, planning, sustainability and environmental compliance, and information technology.

Jones Ritter currently is commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. She previously held numerous senior positions in state government for more than 26 years, including executive deputy comptroller in the New York State Office of the State Comptroller.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/6/2010