City Desk

Metro Execs Make A Lot Of Money

Who's the best paid transit manager in the country? WMATA's own General Manager Richard Sarles, who earns $350,000 a year, plus another $3,200 in monthly pension payments from his time working at New Jersey Transit. Sarles did have the good sense to turn down a performance bonus offered by the Metro board, perhaps to reduce ammunition from residents who want Metro to look internally for budget cuts rather than raising fares and taxes.

Each year, Sarles' salary could pay for 218,750 one-way Metro rides, at the $1.60 non-rush-hour base fare.

The Post reports:

The transit authority has faced sharp criticism recently from passengers as Sarles has proposed an across-the-board increase in fares for rail, bus and parking to help close a $116 million deficit in the authority’s fiscal 2013 budget. He also wants local jurisdictions to provide larger subsidies to help close the gap.

The public has weighed in at six public hearings on the proposed increases. A few riders have criticized Metro’s management for being top-heavy. At an Arlington hearing, one rider called the board and upper management “arrogant” and “tone-deaf.” Another Metro rider brought up executives’ pay at a hearing in Anacostia.

Leslie Wilcox, who rides the train daily from Congress Heights to her job at an environmental agency in Montgomery County, told Metro officials they should “look within their own organization and make cuts.” She called for Metro to “eliminate nonessential positions as in management.”

The other top Metro managers make upwards of $150,000 each, pulling down $3.1 million altogether.

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  • @SamuelMoore

    ATU should accept cuts too.

  • Typical DC BS

    @SamuelMoore: You hit a big sore spot with me regarding employees at Metro not sacrificing ANYTHING.

    I brought up the fact that Metro employees received raises throughout this recession, even though virtually EVERY public and private sector employee has had to face some sort of reduction over the past few years. Was told "they had a union contract that called for those raises". Ridiculous. Management tried to get the raises rescinded in the face of financial difficulties, but a wonderful arbitrator ruled against them.

    Time for new management that doesn't agree to raises several years in advance, and tied to no increases in performance or regardless of financial conditions.

  • Shane

    A former WMATA employee once told me that there were 4 directors in a particular department and only 1 subordinate or soldier. Talk about top heavy. They were all promoted to receive pay raises that may or may not have been warranted.

  • Juan Barnett

    Lets not forget WMATA Police Officers.

  • Eric

    I do not know which is worst metro or the dash system here in alexandria both seem to be corrupt at the top.