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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Fiscal and Management Control Board late last week awarded a two-year, $7.7 million to Brink's Inc. to perform cash collection operations for the agency.The move is expected to save the agency at least $8 million a year, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officials said in a press release. The MBTA previously handled cash collection operations internally.The agency also will save another $1 million that would have gone toward upgrading its "money room" in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood."The MBTA's focus should be on moving people, not money, and [this] action allows us to increase the attention to our core mission of improving service for our riders," said MBTA General Manager Brian Shortsleeve.The board's vote came after an independent review team uncovered a "string of problems" with MBTA's internal cash collection efforts. The issues ranged from serious security lapses to mismatches between fare receipts and deposits. Additionally, previous state audits found that the money room was unable to account for more than $100 million in public dollars, according to MassDOT.The award with Brink's marks the first time in 16 months that the board has used the three-year waiver that releases the MBTA from the requirements that govern the privatization of services currently provided by public-sector employees.Brink's responsibilities include collecting cash and coins from fare vending machines, servicing the machines, and processing and depositing funds.
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