Dear Metro executives,

I have a very simple solution for you to cut costs instead of making us pay higher fares. Hire more people. Seriously.

A WMATA employee recently suggested to me that the metro is hemorrhaging money because it allows its employees to rack up thousands of over-time hours a month  rather than hiring new employees. I mean why shouldn’t you hire someone when you are already paying another person a time-and-a-half rate to stay on the clock?

If this is true, it’s the most asinine thing I’ve heard. The metro should hire more people and eliminate managers who allow employees to rack up overtime like a slot machine.

I understand that WMATA had a couple of major unexpected costs in recent years, what with the HUGE metro train accident and the winter storm that cost it rider fares and snow removal expenses.

In addition, the metro board never really thought out prior to implementing the SMART trip card that people would take advantage of the fact that they could get off the metro with a negative balance. I’ve had plenty of out of town guests over spend their card and then leave town.

But my biggest frustration today, in thinking about the metro and the state of Maryland raising transit fares, is that the metro clearly is improperly managed.

My conversation with that metro worker kept reappearing in my mind all day.

So again, here’s my suggestion to the metro board.

Instead of making it nearly impossible for low-income families and the unemployed to get into the city or surrounding areas, make a few hundred employees unhappy by cutting their annual income down to five digits instead of six digits, and spur the existing economy by hiring more workers to take up the hours that you are making your current employees work.

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