ezpass.jpg"Uncompensated" MTA board members are not the only ones benefiting from a policy of free E-ZPasses. As the board found it necessary to pass toll and fare hikes to regular commuters, it made sure that not only were they insulated from the cost of traveling around NYC, but their wives were as well. One member even gave his girlfriend an all-inclusive Metro-North rail pass. The value of these perks is in the thousands of dollars annually for each individual.

The Daily News reports that a dozen individuals, including the spouses of current and former board members, were the recipients of EZ Passes, Metro-North passes, LIRR passes, or some combination of the three. There was no mention of any of the board members and their spouses or friends getting unlimited MetroCards; which makes sense, because why on earth would an MTA board member want he or anyone he cared about taking the subway or a bus?

Initially, the MTA board strongly defended its position that members deserved and needed free passes, as it was part of their jobs for which they were otherwise uncompensated. More recently, the MTA has backtracked on that position, apparently because it's clear that free passes are being distributed to people who have never had any connection to the agency other than via marriage or socially.

The issue came to light this week after state attorney general Andrew Cuomo criticized the MTA for issuing lifetime free passes to board members.