Sander Wants Blue-Ribbon Panel On MTA Cost Overruns

Wednesday morning’s article in The New York Times on how high bids are imperiling the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s massive expansion program goosed everybody at today’s monthly meeting of the agency, which happened to be the first full board meeting for Eliot “Lee” Sander, Governor Spitzer’s new MTA chief executive.

Mr. Sander said he was putting together a blue-ribbon panel that would convene in two or three weeks.

“We are going to hopefully come up with measures that will increase competition for the number of bidders on these contracts, deal with other issues that relate to the cost of construction, risk mitigation and other technical areas,” he said.

MTA’s top priority, Mr. Sander said, will be basic maintenance, followed by normal equipment replacement and mega-projects like the Second Avenue subway and East Side Access.

- Matthew Schuerman