ADOT layoffs could mean longer lines at MVD offices

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The budget deficit has already forced hundreds of layoffs at state agencies. More than 100 more workers at the Arizona Department of Transportation will be out of work. That could mean a bumpy road for you in the form of long lines and short tempers at MVD offices -- because all of the people laid off this week were MVD customer service representatives.

“We tried to warn state lawmakers that if you’re going to divert transportation funding to work on the overall state budget crisis, there has to be an impact at some point,” ADOT spokesperson Doug Nintzell told 3TV.

ADOT is singing a refrain that’s probably being heard in a lot of state offices these days. Cutbacks caused by the state’s financial crisis are now cutting nearly to the bone.

In the case of ADOT, the latest casualties are more than 100 customer representatives at the state’s MVD offices.

“We’re at the stage where the layoffs total 90 this week. We think it’s going to be a total of about 115 when all is said and done by the end of the year,” Nintzell said. “But there’s no doubt that when you lose this many customer services representatives that the wait times are going to go up.”

“There’s always been a long line,” said MVD customer Michael Brown. “So with them cutting staff, yeah, waiting an extra hour is going to take time out of my day.”

This is just the most recent budget balancing ding aimed at ADOT. Already 13 of the state’s 18 highway rest stops have been closed, with more cuts blooming on the horizon.

“Ultimately, you’re hurting the customers,” Nintzell added, “but you’re hurting the state’s transportation system, and it’s such an important part of our economy that I just think you’re going in the wrong direction.”

ADOT says the average wait at an MVD office today is about 25 minutes; with these layoffs that wait time is expected to rise.