- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2006


After nearly a decade at the helm of Metro, Richard A. White ended his run yesterday as the system’s longest-serving general manager.

Mr. White and the Metro Board last month came to what T. Dana Kauffman, board chairman at the time, said was neither a firing nor a resignation but an “agreement.”

Dan Tangherlini, who last week left his job as head of the D.C. Department of Transportation, is to be sworn in as interim general manager of Metro during a board meeting today.

Metro officials said he has been out talking with workers and riding not only the trains and buses, but also the MetroAccess service for the disabled, which has been the focus of criticism by its users.

Mr. White spoke yesterday with transit system employees at Metro’s downtown headquarters, where he spent more than nine years.

He told them that his proudest moments included marking the subway’s 25th anniversary in 2001 and the 30th anniversary of Metrobus two years later.

Asked what he plans to do, Mr. White, 53, said he would take time off and likely find a new job in the spring.

Money is not an issue. Under terms of his contract, which runs to June 2009, Mr. White is receiving a cash settlement of about $238,000 plus an annual lifetime pension of about $116,000.

He will be available to Metro as a consultant for several more weeks.

Mr. White also had a letter distributed to Metro employees in which he said the agency has “had our share of challenges.”

“I am proud of how we have continued to provide one of the highest qualities of service of any transit system in America, even as we suffered from both ‘aging pains’ and ‘growing pains,’” Mr. White wrote.

Annual bus and rail ridership grew 37 percent during Mr. White’s tenure, as did complaints.

Trains broke down with increasing frequency and delays became the norm. Broken escalators and elevators at stations were commonplace.

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