Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld fired 20 managers from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on Friday citing the need to “improve effectiveness and accountability.”
The fired managers include seven senior managers. The names of the departing individuals were not released.
Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, who’s been a critic of Metro’s safety record, welcomed the move.
“People have to be held accountable. The Metro general manager has been urged to do that. I hope this sends a signal across the entire Metro organization that safety and customer service must come first,” he said in a statement.
Connolly has been urging Metro to take action. “Those responsible for allowing these issues to languish should step down or be removed,” he said back in March.
On Thursday, Metro released final plans to shut down or curtail service on 15 segments of its rail service to begin much-needed repairs. The plan is known as SafeTrack. Subway repair work is set to begin in June and will continue through March 2017.
“Please stay focused on safety first and foremost, particularly as we advance the new SafeTrack plan,” Wiedefeld said in his statement Friday.
Metro has been under fire after numerous safety issues in recent years, including the death of a passenger from smoke exposure in January 2015.