Friday, May 21, 2010

MTA Bought Jet Fuel To Power Buses by Luke Funk - Fox New York

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A new audit claims that New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company spent millions of dollars on jet fuel to power buses instead of cheaper, lower grade fuel that would power the vehicles.

The New York State Comptroller's office says the agencies spent an extra $39 million on fuel due to wasteful practices and improper oversight.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA Bus Company’s records showed unexplained discrepancies in fuel delivery, quality and usage.

DiNapoli said, “Buses don’t need jet fuel, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

The MTA Bus Company was created in 2004 to absorb seven private companies operating under franchises from the New York City Department of Transportation.

Diesel fuel powers 78 percent of the bus fleet. The fleet can use either the widely-available diesel fuel known as ULSD#2 or ultra low sulfur diesel #1 (jet/kerosene).

In 2003, the MTA signed a five-year contract with Sprague Energy Corporation to supply jet/kerosene despite ULSD#2 being a cheaper and equally environmentally friendly alternative by 2006.

Even after that contract ended, the MTA extended their deal with Sprague. The audit claims the contract extension cost the MTA an extra $27.5 million.

The one-year contract extension required both NYC Transit and MTA Bus to absorb a 55 cent per gallon price increase and a minimum purchase of 50 million gallons of fuel.

The MTA could have paid nearly 29 cents less per gallon under an existing statewide contract.