Report calls into question LIRR's plans to hire hundreds of workers during financial hardship

The MTA is taking heat for plans to hire hundreds of workers despite the financial crisis that the agency is mired in.
The report released by the Citizens Budget Commission calls into question the MTA's financial plan and why the agency plans to fill over 700 operational jobs while in a dire financial situation due to the pandemic and a drop in ridership.
Fare increases and service cuts have been among the proposed measures the MTA is looking to plug a budget deficit that is projected to climb over $10 billion.
MTA officials joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday for his coronavirus briefing in New Hyde Park.
"The report, that's a forecast. That doesn't mean we're hiring those people, that means it's a projection based on the anticipation of ridership continuing to grow into 2021," says LIRR President Phil Eng.
Eng says the LIRR is in a hiring freeze and that they are doing everything they can to manage the budget they have, while hoping for federal aid.
"If there is no federal aid, they're going to have to take a very sharp pencil to their books and they're going to have to find savings wherever they can," says Cuomo.
Eng added that since the height of the pandemic, there has been a slow but steady increase in ridership, with about 24% of its regular weekday riders back as of last week.