Richard Sarles, who has been the Interim General Manager of Metro since the departure of John Catoe, was officially named the permanent General Manager today by Metro’s board this afternoon. He was also given the title Chief Executive Officer, signaling the board’s desire for a shift in role for Metro’s chief.
In speaking to the board after his confirmation, Sarles set a number of expectations for his tenure. Samer will have more details tomorrow in his Talkin’ Transit column, but a few highlights:
- A “secret shopper” program to evaluate Metro services. (Anyone who has ever tried getting help from a station manager is pleased about this.)
- A “virtual tunnel” to make transferring easier between Farragut West and Farragut North. I don’t have details on this, but I take this to mean that if you leave one Farragut Square station to transfer lines at the other, you’ll be charged as if it were a continuous trip, rather than being charged the base fare twice.
- A commitment to implement external recommendations regarding escalators and elevators to keep them functional.
According to official Metro Twitter account @metroopensdoors*, Sarles said, “I see what is possible in the future, which is why I am here today; I could not pass up this opportunity to stay.”
*Without warning, the @metroopensdoors account shifted from being a bot that broadcast service disruptions to live-tweeting the Metro board proceedings. After months of complaining that Metro’s only Twitter presences weren’t actually staffed by humans, this is almost news in itself. No telling yet whether there’s more to come from @metroopensdoors.