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3/10/2016



Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA's Wiedefeld outlines steps to improve safety, finances


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld this week laid out plans to make the agency safer, improve service reliability and get its finances in order.

To that end, WMATA has created online reports to monitor all its actions taken to meet the Federal Transit Administration's safety recommendations.

The agency also will restructure its executive unit for a more "business-like approach," introduce platform attendants at key transfer stations, and analyze revenue potential from selling its headquarters building, Wiedefeld said in a March 6 post on WMATA's site.

Funds from the sale of the headquarters would be "reprogrammed" for customer service initiatives, WMATA officials said in a press release.

In addition, WMATA will cut back-office costs and redundant positions and deliver a timely financial audit for fiscal year 2016.

Noting that the agency has underspent its capital budget for more than a decade, Wiedefeld also announced plans to cut WMATA's capital plan for next year to $950 million, versus $1.1 billion.

"For [WMATA] to fulfill its potential as an economic engine driving this region to be more globally competitive, we have to work on parallel tracks to hold down costs while establishing long-term revenue strategies that fund the level of bus and rail service that meets the needs of our communities," Wiedefeld said.



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