As many as 35 MTA bus drivers a day just sat around during the holidays getting paid for nothing, because of service reductions, according to an exclusive New York Post story.
Reduced bus service did save money, but could have been more if the MTA had coordinated the planned service cuts with workers moer in advance. The MTA said they couldn't cut staff because of union rules. The union pointed out that a little advance planning would have let the MTA work this out. According to the paper the Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen said there was enough flexibility in the rules already. If they used some forethought they could have prevented this, he told the paper.
Service cuts for so-called low-ridership days are anticipated to save ont he order of $2 million in non-driver costs.
As negotiations between the transit authority and the union are going on now, one can only speculate that this may well have been as much a negotiating ploy--expected to generate bad PR for the union in certain news outlets--as a simple oversight on the part of the MTA, it would appear.