bpr20120927_1_.mp3

The MBTA failed to account for $101 million over the past 5 years, according to a state audit released Sept 27. State auditor Suzanne Bump spoke with Boston Public Radio about the findings.

"Technology is clearly failing the T," Bump said. "We're reliant upon manual counting that was supposed to be eliminated with this new technology ... and despite their good efforts to put in security, they have failed to accomplish that."

She said that the Charlie Card fare collections on buses and trolleys failed to count money accurately. Between 2006 and 2011, the variance between what was counted by the machines, and what was counted manually added up to $101 million. The audit also found that cash boxes weren't judiciously tracked after removal from buses and trains, and a total of 12 keys to the cash boxes were broken or missing. (MORE:  $101 Million Discrepancy Discovered in MBTA Fare Collection Records)

Bump said the flawed technology and missing keys to the fare collection boxes leaves the MBTA susceptible to theft. The MBTA has moved to address the situation, which the state auditor's office has been monitoring for years, she said. 

"I think everyone would have hoped that by now, in 2012, the problems would be remedied, but the reality is that they haven't," she said. "There have been failures of this system for a period of years at the cost of tens of millions of dollars." 

READ:

Boston Reacts to MBTA Fare Hikes and Service Cuts (WGBH/Storify).