After months of "bad publicity for Metro" -- as in, Metro vehicles or employees do terrible things, and news stories are written about them -- the transit agency has imposed "stricter hiring standards for all job applicants." The standards especially hone in on bus drivers and train operators, who are constantly talking on their phones or reading books or opening the wrong-side doors while the vehicles are moving.
Or driving buses with suspended licenses.
Or really anything that public transportation operators should not be doing.
But will these stricter standards stop people from doing stupid things on the job? The Washington Post reports on the newest requirements:
Under the old policy, a would-be bus driver was disqualified only after two felony convictions within three years or three felony convictions over 10 years before applying. Now, a single felony conviction in the previous 10 years would prevent someone from getting a front-line job, such as bus driver or train operator.
Now, two or more misdemeanor convictions for drug possession or crimes "against person, property or society" during the past 10 years will make someone ineligible. Those caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will have to wait three years to apply for work at Metro. Also excluded now are those with a criminal conviction for sexual assault or crimes of violence.
Hmm, not sure that, even with "all the incidents," any operators have beat up or sexually assaulted the passengers on their vehicles yet. But it is probably the next logical incident of "bad publicity" to befall Metro, and it never hurts to be pre-emptive.
Jim Newell writes for Wonkette and IvyGate.