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Metro council looks at governance

By Michael D. Bolden

The Metro Riders' Advisory Council will discuss a draft report on Metro governance Wednesday night during a special public meeting at the transit authority's headquarters.

The council recently reviewed the structure of Metro and is making recommendations on how it believes the structure should be changed.The process included seven public meetings throughout the summer and fall and discussions with current and former board members.

Some of the recommendations include:
-- The board of directors should include elected officials.
-- The board should clearly define standards for its members, including that they should ride bus and rail regularly; maintain regular attendance at board and committee meetings; and any public officials should be involved in budgeting processes that affect transit funding.
-- The board should focus on high-level policy, spending more time discussing land use, fares, budgeting and service, and set high goals for safety, operations and customer service.
-- The board should act as a regional body and the chairmanship should not rotate but be elected by members each year.
-- The general manager should have the title of chief executive officer and be the public face of Metro.
-- There should be a clear process for public input on Board decision-making.

The Riders' Advisory Council consists of 21 members from throughout the region. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to

A separate task force, formed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Greater Washington Board of Trade, is set Wednesday to release its own report on Metro governance. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is also conducting its own assessment.

The Riders' Advisory Council meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW., Washington, D.C.

Draft for public comment (PDF)

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 17, 2010; 7:19 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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