Payroll Project: $100K pay for RTA bus drivers returns

Updated April 20, 2016

Three years after the Greater Dayton RTA’s union chief told the I-Team that the days of bus drivers pulling in six figures with overtime was “long gone,” the agency paid five drivers more than $100,000 last year.

According to a searchable database of local government payroll data assembled by the I-Team, those drivers were among 12 RTA employees in the $100K club last year.

The RTA’s top paid employee was agency CEO Mark Donaghy, whose gross pay of $218,709 was higher than the pay at any of roughly two dozen area cities, townships or counties analyzed by the I-Team so far.

Donaghy’s pay in 2009 was $184,743, making him then the highest paid among transit officials at seven peer transit systems or the larger Cleveland and Columbus systems. That was according to a Dayton Daily News investigation in which Donaghy said he was working to reduce bus driver overtime spiking pay to six figures.

The RTA declared victory in 2013, after a year in which the highest-paid driver earned $77,400.

“Those days are long gone,” RTA union president Glenn Salyer told the I-Team of bus drivers making $100,000.

The top-paid bus drivers last year each earned more than $30,000 in overtime.

The five highest-paid RTA employees last year were:

1. CEO Mark Donaghy: $218,709

2. Bus driver Herbert Long: $117,056

3. Chief Performance Officer Eugene Rhodes: $116,436

4. Chief Financial Officer Mary Stanforth: $115,251

5. Chief Capital Officer Robert Ruzinsky: $113,913

Local governments make payroll with your money. That’s why the I-Team is using Ohio public records laws to assemble and analyze payroll data for governments across our region.

Go here for a growing database of government employees who made more than $50,000 in gross compensation last year and in 2014.