Metro Lays Off 40 Administrators
Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. said today that the transit authority has laid off 40 administrative employees so far as part of the salary cutting intended to help balance the budget for fiscal 2010, which starts in July.
Catoe said this was the initial phase of staff cuts, which will total about 300 positions, with about 100 filled. These positions are not directly related to the delivery of transit services, Catoe said.
Meanwhile, he said, ideas from riders are coming into Metro through its new Facebook page. Catoe notes that a lot of people are interested in increasing advertising in the system to generate revenue. People share his opinion that service cuts should be the last resort, he said.
Catoe also gave a preliminary report on last Thursday's very disruptive train derailments. In the first one, he said, the wheels of a vacuum truck, a piece of maintenance equipment, popped off the tracks early in the morning near Court House Station. It just wouldn't stay on the tracks after it was damaged and came back off the rails again shortly after crews tried to get it back to the yard, he said. The results affected rush hour commuters in both the morning and afternoon.
Just a few hours later, a train with no passengers aboard derailed at Mount Vernon Square as it moved on a side track. This is one of the sites identified for attention by the National Transportation Safety Board after a previous derailment. The NTSB wanted rail guards installed at such sites. Catoe said this has been done on a majority of the sites identified by the NTSB, and one will be placed at the derailment site this weekend. That work had been scheduled before the derailment.
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