The Washington Post

Metro chief Sarles’s contract extended through 2016

Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles on Oct. 14, 2011. (Marvin Joseph – WASHINGTON POST)

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles, who took over a transit system still recovering from the June 2009 Red Line crash, plans to stay on the job until at least 2016.

At a meeting of Metro’s board on Thursday, the directors approved extending Sarles’s contract by two years, through January 2016.

When the extension goes into effect in January, his annual salary will rise to $366,000 from $350,000.

After the meeting, Sarles said that he wanted to extend his contract because he enjoys the job. The agency is improving, but there’s still more work to be done, he said.

Sarles joined Metro as interim general manager in 2010, and the interim tag was removed the following year.

For riders, perhaps the most notable part of his tenure has been the extensive rebuilding effort, which regularly shuts down stations and stretches of lines. This has coincided with recent declines in rail and bus ridership.

Under Sarles, the agency also launched Rush Plus, a major shift in rush hour service, and has reported progress on resolving safety recommendations the National Transportation Safety Board issued after the Red Line crash.

The extension provides Metro with some consistency in its leadership following two high-profile departures. David Kubicek, deputy general manager for operations, and Michael A. Taborn, head of Metro Transit Police, both announced in recent months that they would leave the agency.

Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

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