An MTA manager claims an inflatable doll that’s been riding shotgun in his Kia Telluride is there “for the company” — and not to skirt HOV restrictions, as his coworkers suspect.
Giulio Divirgilio, a general superintendent at the MTA Buses department, pulled into his Brooklyn office building early Wednesday morning with the blown-up dummy plopped in the front seat like “Otto Pilot” in the 1980 comedy “Airplane!”
Confronted by The Post outside the East New York building, Divirgilio denied he had the inflatable suit-sporting businessman in tow to illegally cruise in lanes reserved for high-occupancy vehicles.
“I don’t use it for the HOV,” the $122,000-per-year government official insisted. “I use it for the company.”
Pressed whether the dummy’s express purpose was in fact to cheat the HOV, Divirgilio replied: “Have I ever lied to you?”
The answer is likely yes, according to his coworkers.
“It was weird when we saw that thing [in his car] in the morning. Why would anyone have that there except to do HOV stuff?” said one Buses employee who requested anonymity.
One union official said, “It’s unbecoming of a manager. We laugh, but what else is he doing in secret that we don’t know about?”
The MTA said they are investigating the plastic pal.
Divirgilio is a former NYPD cop who has been at MTA for over a decade, sources said.
Inflatable dolls and other dummies are a common trick for scofflaws who want to skirt HOV rules. A doll resembling Divirgilio’s called “Carpool Kenny” is available online for $15.79 — though the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that cops have tried to crack down on the widespread scheme.
Two such people were caught with mannequins in their cars in New York in 2019, one in Brooklyn and another on Long Island. The two men were both pulled over by cops who suspected funny business after spotting the phony passengers through the windshield.
Both men allegedly attempted to disguise their mannequin in a baseball cap and hoodie.
Divirgilio has two parking violations so far this year, according to city records, from January and March, both for driving without a front plate. The front plate was not there on Wednesday.