I don't deny that Metro needs more revenue to fund operating expenses and that at least some of those funds need to come from Metro's passengers. But those fare increases would be easier to stomach if they went hand in hand with the removal of chief executive Richard A. White and his management team.

This team has run Metro into the ground. It seems incapable of fixing the long-term problems with escalators and elevators. It spends millions on track heaters but can't make Metro trains run in the snow -- or even in heavy rain. Cars short-circuit when snow blows into their exposed electronics, and the board doesn't have the sense to make sure that the electronics of new cars are protected from the weather.

Management also seems to have no concept of how to prioritize spending. How much did Metro spend to replace all the signs in the Gallery Place station, even though the old signs were fine? How many millions will its managers waste on installing gold-plated canopies over external escalators, when functional ones could be bought at half the price? Metro doesn't even know for sure if weather is the real problem with those escalators. After all, the underground escalators seem at least as failure-prone as the exposed ones.

Most recently, Metro has given the ultimate demonstration of how out of touch with reality it is. Because of its failure to impose procedures that every other cash-accepting business considers routine, it says it no longer can accept cash at Metro parking lots. Does Mr. White have no concept that many users are not regular commuters? His policy is ludicrous.

It's time to sack Metro's management team and hire people who have demonstrated they have some capability to do the job.