MTS state performance audit yields perfect score

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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A comprehensive performance audit of San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operations performed by the State of California found full compliance, with auditors “lauding MTS as positioned well for continued responsible financial management,” the agency said on June 20, 2016.

SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) administered the performance audit, which CH2M Hill prepared.

MTS’s continued receipt of State Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds under the California Public Utilities Code required a FY 2013-2015 Performance Audit. TDA funds are a significant source of funding for MTS, the San Diego region’s largest transit system. On average, MTS receives $86.6 million in TDA funds annually, equating to 68% of its operations budget. The TDA audit covered MTS operations for Fiscal Years 2013, 2014 and 2015, the period from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.

The MTS performance audit included evaluations of:

• Compliance with pertinent sections of the Public Utilities Code.

• Progress to implement prior performance audit recommendations.

• Agency goals and objectives and performance monitoring systems.

• System-wide and functional area performance trends.

Audit findings included:

• Continued installation of security cameras on buses and light rail vehicles (more than 10,000 cameras are used throughout the system) .

• Completion of 5-year $660 million Trolley Renewal project to upgrade the MTS rail network.

• Initiation of “Rapid” high-frequency, limited-stop BRT (bus rapid transit) service.

• Continued progress on the $24 million East County Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility.

• Completion of the new $30 million South Bay Maintenance and Operations Facility.

• Implementation of improvements to labor contracts.

“These accomplishments position MTS well for expanded operations and continued responsible financial management in the future,” auditors concluded, “Just a year ago, MTS received a perfect score for the third consecutive time during a sweeping audit by the Federal Transit Administration that takes place every three years. Transit agency performance audits are conducted as standards of eligibility for state and federal funding, to identify significant achievements, and highlight opportunities for improvements.”

“A perfect performance audit is a testament to great work being done up and down the ranks at MTS,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “San Diego residents should be confident that tax dollars are being well-spent now and going into the future.”

MTS operates three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway, and 95 bus routes. Every weekday, more than 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS Trolley and bus services. MTS set a new record in FY 2015 with 96.7 million riders.

A PDF of the audit can be downloaded at the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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