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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: CDTA Overtime Expenses and Ridership Growing

June 30, 2016

The Capital District Transportation Authority’s (CDTA) reported overtime payments accounted for 20 percent of the authority’s total employee compensation in the 2015 fiscal year, more than twice the proportion of other upstate regional transit agencies, amid steady ridership growth in recent years, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.     

“CDTA operates a vital service for Capital Region residents, employers and educational institutions,” DiNapoli said. “After a dip in 2010, the authority’s total ridership has been increasing. While overtime costs have increased by a third since 2010, overall costs per passenger mile have been trending downward. Pursuing opportunities to boost ridership and identify cost savings will help assure that CDTA fulfills its mission effectively.”

CDTA provides regional transportation services including regular bus service, express commuter service, access transit, paratransit and shuttle services in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. In addition, CDTA owns and operates the Rensselaer and Saratoga rail stations. CDTA’s service area covers 2,300 square miles with a population of about 770,000. The authority owns 306 vehicles, 50 of which are hybrid electric buses.

CDTA is one of four upstate regional transportation authorities, ranking third in terms of total revenues and expenses.

CDTA’s salaries and wages for the year ended March 31, 2015 totaled $36.5 million or 38 percent of its total expenses, including $7.4 million of overtime pay. More than 10 percent of all CDTA employees were reported to have overtime amounts that totaled more than 50 percent of their annualized salaries, with one earning more than $50,000 in overtime, which exceeded the employee’s annualized salary.

Since 2010 CDTA ridership has risen each year for which data are available, including a 17 percent increase in 2014. CDTA reported total ridership for FY 2015 of 17.2 million, with an average of 60,000 weekday trips. During the year, bikes were transported on buses 72,000 times.

Total expenses and total revenues, per passenger mile, rose as ridership declined in 2010 and fell as passenger miles increased in the following years.             

State funding represents the largest single source of CDTA’s revenue –40 percent in FY 2015. Appropriations for CDTA in this year’s state budget total $39.3 million, an increase of $5.4 million over the previous year. Passenger fares of $17.3 million made up just less than one of every five dollars of total revenue in FY 2015.

This overview of CDTA and profiles of other public authorities are part of Comptroller DiNapoli’s continuing efforts to strengthen government accountability, improve public access to information, and provide New York’s taxpayers and policy makers, along with the users of public authority facilities and services, with data that can serve as the basis for sound planning and policies. 

Read the report Public Authorities by the Numbers: Capital District Transportation Authority, or go to:

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 50,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created by DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.