New York – The cash-strapped MTA – which cites rising fuel costs as one of the reasons for the upcoming fare hike – is wasting an estimated $800,000 a year due to illegally idling vehicles, according to a new report.
Long Island Rail Road is believed to lose upwards of $500,000 annually because its vehicles routinely park with the engine running, MTA Inspector General Barry Kluger said.
On average, those vehicles sit idling a total of over two hours a day, Kluger found.
Metro-North also wastes gas and money on idling.
The upstate suburban railroad likely spent an extra $300,000 in fuel costs due to vehicles idling over five minutes, which is illegal in heavy duty diesel and gasoline powered vehicles under state law.
“Some vehicle idling may be unavoidable, but excessive idling almost literally burns money and contaminates the environment,” Kluger wrote in the report released yesterday.
His office monitored vehicles in both LIRR and MetroNorth through GPS technology.
The MTA said it was working to address the problem following Kluger’s report.
“Both the LIRR and MNR agree with the Inspector General’s recommendations to reduce unnecessary highway vehicle idling and are taking steps to implement them,” said spokesman Sam Zambuto.
For instance, the LIRR is going to create a unit to monitor idling using the same technology that Kluger used in his investigation, he said.
“MNR will build on the work of our Environmental Compliance Department’s “No Idling” campaign, and through a variety of means, will continue to educate employees,” said Zambuto.
Read more: THE NEW YORK POST