The workforce of NYCT in different departments acknowledge bus operators as being the same as falling under one division. The riding public who rides the buses also does not have a clue about the divisional separation in the department of buses.

Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority

The employees that provides bus service in Manhattan and Bronx that is Bus drivers, mechanics, and cleaners,etc, are employees of MABSTOA.

MABSTOA was created by the state legislature that was signed on March 1, 1962 (public authorities law 1203-A ). It was created to provide bus service in Manhattan and the Bronx, and also as a non-civil service SUBSIDIARY of NYCTA. As originally enacted, the statue provided that MABSTOA was to operate the bus lines “for a temporary period ” until such lines are sold or otherwise disposed of (PAL 1203-a-2).

In 1981, legislature amended the statue to provide that MABSTOA shall continue until terminated by law (PAL1203-A-11). Everything had to be separate, the employees, hiring practices, work rules, and even the uniform. All this was a result of the private bus companies that went bankrupt: Fifth avenue coach lines, Surface Transit Inc., and later on in the 1970’s Ave B/ East Broadway bus company (M9, X90).

The legislation lasted for twenty years. So that means the state has the legal right to sell off the routes. Personally I believe it hasn’t happened because of the revenue from the fare box at the time, and political reasons.

Employees hired as TA Surface is a part of The New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS). Also Ta surface members always received 12 sick days annually, 1 year probation, 3/4 disability pension, but can’t pick X’s and Overtime is assigned by management.

MABSTOA members at one time got no sick days until the early 1970’s when they started getting 5 days, incumbents get 1/52 vacation pay, 1/3 disability pension, 6 months probation, able to pick X’s and the union assigns the overtime. In OA when were hired to this day we never received the same big blue rulebook that Ta surface gets.

Also, our work rules were not the same. In OA they’re guided by bulletins. By right the discipline is not supposed to be the same. Finally, as long as our pension funds are different OA and TA won’t be the same.

Let’s ask ourselves:

How solid is TA and OA bus consolidation? And is it legal?

How solvent is the MABSTOA pension fund?

Why was the membership hoodwinked to think that a contract can make you civil service?

***Legally should OA have a separate contract from NYCT?***


– Jermell Wilson

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