Beware Metro Managers: Change is Coming

Mikulski blasts Metro leaders

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    D.C.-area Metro riders have been calling for a change in Metro management, and now it may actually happen -- as early as Friday.

    Metro Board Chairman Jim Graham told the Washington Post that General Manager John Catoe was finalizing details, which likely means Catoe will remain as head of the organization. 

    Graham's revelation came after Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski blasted the transit system's leadership Thursday at a Capitol Hill hearing.

    The Baltimore Democrat said her observation is that Metro management thinks meeting about a problem means solving that
    problem. (Amen to that, Senator!)  From the Post:

    Mikulski testified that Metro has been paying "lip service" to lapses in safety oversight and accountability. She said she was "really hot about this" and called on the Metro board to take "appropriate and immediate action."

    "They need a more vigorous and aggressive form of management at Metro," said Mikulski, stabbing a finger in the air during testimony before a Senate transportation subcommittee, which called the hearing to consider the Obama administration's proposal to overhaul safety regulation of the nation's subway and light-rail systems.

    In written testimony, Mikulski said she had no confidence in Metro. The senator also noted during the hearing that 11 people have died on Metro in the last year and changes need to be made.

    Mikulski, who has been a Metro supporter in the past, did not go so far as to say Catoe should be given the boot. 

    "The board needs to establish benchmarks of performance and hold the management team responsible," she said. "I'm not the personnel director, but the board is charged with the operation, reliability and safety of Metro."  

    After Thursday's hearing Catoe said he would not debate Mikulski, but said he feels she is bringing up the frustration everyone shares about the system. 

    While Catoe has been sharing his frustrations with the rest of the area, now it finally looks like someone wants to do something about it.