Chicago Transit Authority overcharged feds $150M over 30 years, watchdog group saysSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 14:31
Chicago Transit Authority overcharged feds $150M over 30 years, watchdog group says
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published October 25, 2012
Give 'em an inch, and they'll take a mile.
That appears to be the case in Chicago, where for decades the Transit Authority has been misreporting the mileage for its bus routes, thereby boosting the amount of federal taxpayer subsidies by as much as $150 million -- and now, it seems, with Uncle Sam's blessing.
Taxpayer advocate Cause of Action said a practice by the nation's third-largest transit authority of counting "deadhead," or empty bus travel, when it reports mileage to the federal agency that doles out subsidies continued from 1982 to earlier this year, despite a 2007 state audit that uncovered the irregularity. Although that audit put the "impact" of the misreporting as high as $5 million a year, the Federal Transit Administration, which ordered the CTA to stop the practice earlier this year, believes the amount is much lower -- between $21 million and $24 million -- and is not planning to recoup the money.