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Posted at 9:56 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Examiner: Metro to grow finance, IT staff

By Luke Rosiak

Metro wants to add 263 positions to its roughly 11,000-person staff in 2012, despite a budget shortfall of $72 million, the Examiner reported today.

Some of Metro's budget woes have come from increased overtime costs due to a shortage of bus and train drivers, but the positions added would instead include 100 information technology positions and 37 financial services workers. Seven of those financial service workers could include customer support.

The safety department--a priority of newly-named CEO Richard Sarles--would grow by only one position, and transit cops, which are undertaking a new bag-inspection program, could receive 10 new positions.

A Metro spokesperson said the increased IT staffers are in part due to a reduction in outside contractors. The agency has also won accolades for beefing up its formerly-meager outward-facing data operations, allowing people to pull up next-train and next-bus info on their cell phones.

Some of the positions could go away after the Dulles Rail and cell phone reception work is completed, according to the Examiner.

None of the details in the proposed budget are finalized, and at this point, Metro is counting on asking jurisdictions for extra funding to close it.

By Luke Rosiak  | February 2, 2011; 9:56 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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10 new bag checkers and 100 new technology specialists??? You got to be kidding me. This is where our record fee hikes are going? How about some escalator/elevator repairmen? That's what we really need.

Posted by: Poleman | February 2, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

New "CEO", same old Metro. Still making mind-numbingly stupid decisions that defy all logic and common sense for anyone other than Metro themselves.

Guess you can throw out all of Sarles' rhetoric now that he's got the permanent CEO job, it was all a smokescreen to get him hired on a permanent basis.

You've got major infrastructure and safety issues, who gives a crap about being able to pull up train information your cellphone? Why don't you focus on getting the message signs in Rosslyn to stop saying that a train is boarding three minutes after it already left the station?

And those random bag checks which don't accomplish anything? They're staying too. Despite all the negative response from their "customers", despite all the information provided by security experts indicating that they are a waste of time, Metro is keeping them.

So, back to business as usual; New CEO, same old Metro.

Metro = Suck

Posted by: mika_england | February 2, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

When you spread the wealth around, everyone benefits.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 2, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Metro fired just about all of its IT staff three years ago to replace them with contractors. At the time the IT budget was running in the red when the new CTO hired 6 IT executives at salaries of $110K+. To balance the IT budget they laid off most of the Metro IT staff replacing them with contractors. Now they are reversing themselves. Why?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 2, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The new IT staff positions should allow management to regain some control and stability in their operations. Moving these functions in-house will also reduce costs. Metro has been getting fleeced by their IT contractors - some cases which have been noted in WAPO in the past. These moves by metro are steps in the right direction if they are to improve their organization and service to customers.

Posted by: free-donny | February 2, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

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