Nicholas J. Roll, an intense man who has the reputation around Metro headquarters of being a hard-line administrator, was given direct control yesterday of Metro's entire train and bus operation.
At the same time, the Metro board appointed Carmen E. Turner as Metro's assistant general manager for administration. Turner is the deputy director of civil rights in the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) and will be the first woman and the first black person to hold such high administrative rank at Metro.
The two appointments, recommended to the board by general manager Theodore Lutz, complete Lutz' reorganization of the Metro staff along clear lines of responsibility.
Roll, as assistant general manager for transit services, will have the particulary difficult job of solving some of Metro's most vexing problems.
In addition to making sure the buses and subways run on time, he will be responsible for improving Metro's inadequate information service for the public and will try to find the solution to the surly bus driver and Metro station attendant problem, which Lutz admits privately is one of his toughest.
Turner, who was called on by former Transportation Secretary William T. Coleman Jr. to head his affirmative action program after Coleman ousted the two top civil rights officers in the transportation department, will be in charge of Metro's personnel, purchasing, data processing and administrative services.
Both appointees are known quantities for Lutz. Roll, a lawyer who officially heads Metro's real estate acquisition office, has been on special assignment to Lutz for months as the chief trouble-shocter in both bus and rail operations.
Turner and Lutz worked closely in Coleman's Department of Transportion after she was brought up from UMTA during the civil rights problem. Lutz at that was Coleman's chief budget officer. Turner said yesterday she expects to join Metro on Nov. 21. She will be paid an annual salary of $47,659.
Roll's salary will jump from about $48,00 to $50,342. He will supervise an operations and maintenance staff that is notable for its lack of young people in middle management, particularly out the bus side.
That factor was a key point made by ATE Management and Service Co. Inc., when it bid as a private contractor to take over operation of Metro bus. ATE, a Cincinnati firm that runs 82 bus companies nationwide, had put together a management team for Metro that was lush with young blood.
Lutz recommended that management remain in-house. Roll, long regarded as the probable chief for either the contract manager of the present team, was a vigorous inside supporter of the existing staff.
Lutz has conceded, however, that the lack of youth in transit management concerns him and has proposed an intern program in his new budget as an attempt to deal with it. The problem is nationwide in scope and reflects the years of decline public transit went through while private bus companies get old and tired before they were gradually acquired by the municipalities they served.
A November, 1976, study of Metro's top-paid personnel showed that of those making $16,000 a year or more, 16 per cent were women or blacks or other minorities. There are 311 people in that salary range (not counting senior bus drivers) and of that number 30, or 9.9 per cent were blacks: 25, or 3 per cent, were white women and another 25 were other minorities. Lutz has wanted to increase those percentages.
Lutz now has four key operating officials reporting directly to him. He had earlier named William Boleyn as assistant general manager for finance and Roy T. Dodge as assistant general manager for design and construction.
The establishment of clear lines of authority was a mandate to Lutz when he was hired just a year ago. His predecessor, Jackson Graham, had 26 people in and out of the office and Graham held all the strings.
On July 4, 1976, when Metrobuses failed to operate as promised and thousands of bicentennial celebrators were left stranded on the Mall after the fireworks. Metro board members looked for somebody to fire and could not fix the blame. If it happens now, they have Nick Roll.