Costly Accounting Error Impacts San Francisco Commuters

Things are not well in the Golden Gate city, and commuters will bear the brunt. A reported accounting error of $14.4 million by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) could enable riders to take aging buses for three years and delay projects in and around the Bay Area.

The Commission's mistake in alloting sales tax revenues to the San Francisco Municipal Railway and AC Transit has caused expenditures of $7.2 million more than originally planned. MTC discovered the mistake three weeks ago and blamed it on accountants who the MTC said failed to check estimates of sales tax revenues against actual payments made to the Railway and AC.

This mistake, repeated over the last two years, was undetected because AC and the Railway were slow in making withdrawals, which kept the account balances higher than they should have been.

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