[This post has been updated]
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles has quite the empire to run: 11,000 employees, 106 miles of track, 86 stations and more than 1 million passenger trips each day, plus scores of bus and rail facilities to maintain. To do it all he’s made some changes in his top management circle.
Sarles has created six deputy chief positions within rail to oversee areas of specialized engineering and shifted which divisions report to certain bosses. He said he meets weekly with his leadership team. The inner circle includes 15 top senior executives, including some executives who previously worked with him when he was at Amtrak and the New Jersey Transit Authority.
Does he like meetings, @postmetrogirl asked him after a Metro committee meeting on Thursday?
Sarles: When we can accomplish something I like meetings. I like results. I want to get to the bottom line and then let’s move on.
In another recent management change, Sarles made Dave Kubicek the deputy general manager of operations. In that position, Kubicek oversees the day-to-day operations of the rail system.
Postmetrogirl asked Kubicek to stand for a short question-and-answer chat on Thursday (between Metro board committee meetings). Here are some excerpts:
@postmetrogirl: Name two goals you want to accomplish in this new job.
Kubicek: Continued advancement of safety.
postmetrogirl: What does that mean in non-Metro speak, please?
Kubicek: I want to work on the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] recommendations. And make Metro safer as a whole — for employees and for customers.
postmetrogirl: What’s your other goal?
Kubicek: Capital projects.
postmetrogirl: What about them?
Kubicek: To get our system in a state of good repair and getting that up and off the ground is critical. It’s about providing new buses, new rail cars, building new facilities, rehabbing escalators and putting in new track.
postmetrogirl: How much is all of that going to cost?
Kubicek: $853 million this year. And we have a capital improvement plan that includes $5 billion over six years.
postmetrogirl: What keeps you up at night?
Kubicek: Making sure we keep individuals safe. There’s so much work being done out there. We’re moving so many individuals. Work is being done at night at shops and facilities. It’s a 24-7 environment. We never shut down. We have to think, “How do you keep things moving safely?”
postmetrogirl: One customer recently asked me if Metro was going to have better signage to alert riders at each stop?
Kubicek: On the 7000 series — the rail cars that are going on the Dulles line — we’re going to have more signs inside the cars that give the point of destination and there will be a “linear interactive map.”
postmetrogirl: What’s that?
Kubicek: It will show how the train is moving along and the upcoming stop.
postmetrogirl: That sounds cool. What are your pet peeves about Metro?
Kubicek: The bureaucracy. My job is working to get things done. We need to address things faster and more efficiently.