Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nearly $1 Millon Spent on Take-Home Cars During Budget Crises


Back in March, I PARPed (page 2) -- or FOIAed -- Metro about take-home vehicles.

You can read about some of those here and here.

What's missing in the Examiner articles is the comprehensive view of how Metro was spending your money on these cars.

Here's a near complete list (and here) of Metro's take-home car fleet.

If you don't want to scan the entire list, here's one little takeaway that might be of interest:

Metro spent nearly $1 million on 39 2010 model cars, many costing nearly $30,000. This was during a period when the "Authority" pleaded poverty and raised fares--twice.

Three more 2010s are leased at $500 per month, said Metro.

The average yearly maintenance cost for the fleet: $545 per car, said Metro.

According to the information provided by Metro, there are also 28 officials in the Metro Transit Police Department that get take-home cars. No make, year and price information for those was provided.

In all honesty, I don't pretend to know what Metro positions really "require" take-home cars (and here and here). I'm sure some do, and some don't.

One interesting footnote to this story is how sloppy Metro's response to the information request is.

They provided a list of 89 positions (not including cops) that get take home cars, but only gave the make and price information for 86 cars. Does that mean three lucky Metro peeps are rollin' in Benzos. Who knows? What are they hiding?

I also asked for information about which of these vehicles had been in accidents in which they were at fault, acting on a tip than a higher up had totaled two Metro cars in a relative short time. Metro balked, saying it would cost me $1,396 to cover the man hours needed to provide that information because "this request would exceed 100 pages."

So they won't provide information the public has every right to know for $1,396, but they will freely spend on 2010 Ford Explorers.

Bra-vo Metro.

Another interesting footnote to the story is that the day after the Examiner story came out, Metro finally provided me with the information I'd requested 6 months ago.
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