BOSTON - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on April 14 fired three superintendents and took steps to fire five union-represented managers for allegedly manipulating mileage records to avoid performing regular maintenance inspections on more than 200 buses in the agency's fleet, the Boston Globe reported. 

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials allege that the mileage tampering took place at three of the nine bus maintenance garages - Arborway, Charlestown and Southampton. The agency took disciplinary action against three superintendents, one supervisor and four forepersons, the Globe reported.

The buses are supposed to undergo full inspections every 6,000 miles, in addition to regular visual inspections by the drivers. But agency officials indicated that some of the buses were going as long as 35,000 miles between inspections because of practices they believe date back to at least late 2007. 

The maintenance problem was uncovered earlier this year as part of a new quality-assurance internal investigation. Inspectors discovered that the mileage on the odometers on some buses did not match the mileage listed in the agency computer database. That prompted a more thorough investigation that revealed discrepancies in more than 200 buses of the 1,050 buses in the fleet.