A $190-million budget gap, a crumbling infrastructure, and everyone hates you when it snows—taking over Metro after the departure of General Manager John Catoe would seem like asking for a headache. But with these problems, Metro GM is also the kind of job that can catapult a quiet bureaucrat into the pages of Governing
mag—or leave them broken, good only for a punch line on transit blogs. Whoever takes over from Interim GM Richard Sarles will be stuck helping the system recover from past neglect. In a report to the WMATA Board of Directors in March, former GM David Gunn predicted that it will take three years just to reverse the system’s decline. That probably means no massive projects, like the Silver or Purple Line, for the chief to brag about. The position is still attracting interest; who wouldn’t want to be a hero?