Washington, D.C.’s Metro general manager on Monday announced that he and the Metro’s chief operating officer would be resigning immediately, just one day after the city transit system said that close to half of its rail operators had not been recertified.
Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld, who was set to step down next month, accelerated his resignation “to provide a more timely transition to Interim General Manager Andy Off,” he said in a statement.
“I believe conveying all authority of the General Manager’s office to Mr. Off better positions him to address the challenges that came to light this week, while preparing for the transition to the next CEO,” he said. “Stepping aside a few weeks ahead of schedule is in the best interest of the agency and its workforce, whom I have been deeply proud to lead over the last six years.”
Wiedefeld said that Metro COO Joe Leader was also stepping down immediately.
The development came one day after Metro announced that close to half of its 500 rail operators were noncompliant for failing to take the supervising testing and classroom instruction necessary to be recertified. Metro is removing 72 rail operators.
As a consequence of fewer rail operators, Metro said that the Green and Yellow lines would have longer wait times, with trains circulating every 20 minutes instead of 15.
“The Board finds this unacceptable and extremely disappointing. We support Metro management’s decision to immediately remove from service operators who became out of compliance more than a year ago as a first step,” Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg said in a statement. “The Board directed Metro management to provide a full accounting of how and why this occurred and develop a plan to ensure it is remedied as fast as possible.”