Ninety-seven percent of the bus and train operators at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are black, with only six white women out of more than 3,000 drivers, according to Metro documents — a lack of diversity at one of the region's largest employers that has led to an acknowledgment of failure in affirmative-action documents and spawned a series of lawsuits.
Crash at the DC METRO in 2009: 97 percent of bus and train operators are Black in the WMATA
It is a culture in which a white male engineer near completion of a Ph.D. was passed over for a management position in favor of a black man who was barely literate, multiple staffers said.
"The average rider wouldn't believe the things that go on. There are so many easy things we could do to make the system better," a station manager said. "But they'd never put me in charge because they know I'd make sure others actually did their jobs. They don't want change. It's go along to get along."
White and Hispanic employees who allege discrimination have found a deaf ear at Metro's civil rights office, whose 17 employees are black. Until at least 1999, that office tracked complaints via a handwritten ledger on a series of taped-together sheets of paper, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. The system "made determining statistics impossible," said a civil rights employee from the time.
Of a dozen senior supervisors overseeing the rail division in 2007, 10 were black and two were white, and five black supervisors, all with less than a year of tenure in the position, were paid more than both whites, who had more seniority — one with 20 years — personnel records obtained by The Times show.
The group making more money includes senior supervisors such as Orlando Terrell King, who has been charged with reckless endangerment and fraudulently attempting to obtain a driver's license, according to Maryland state records. Mr. King, who is paid $62,536, was promoted by Metro to oversee those who drive trains carrying thousands of passengers daily.
Also rising rapidly to senior supervisor was Robbie O. McGee, who spent eight years in federal prison for felony distribution of PCP while on probation for another crime. He received five pay increases at Metro in two years.
Public transportation could work, but The Washington Times has poignantly articulated why it doesn't. The WMATA amounts to a job program for otherwise unemployable Black people, helping to create a faux Black middle class in the process. Auster, in his usual matter-of-fact analysis, cuts to the heart of the problem with this Black scenario in Washington D.C.:
But I'm being silly. Of course conservatives are not about to start speaking the truth about race. Conservatives will see the above-described problems in the Washington Metro system as due to affirmative action and race preferences, not to the character of black people. Get rid of the "soft bigotry of low expectations," and blacks will do just as well as us!
But As I've said many times, the ultimate problem is not race preferences; the ultimate problem is characteristics of blacks. If you had a city that was overwhelmingly black, as D.C. is, then your municipal employees, your transit officials, your police officers etc. are going to be overwhelmingly black. And because blacks operate at a vastly lower level of intelligence and probity than whites, such a city will sink into African-style incompetence and corruption, even in the complete absence of black racial preferences. But conservatives NEVER see or acknowledge this basic truth. Being liberals at their core, they only see the problem as procedural (caused by bad policies such as affirmative action), not as substantive (caused by the nature of black people).
Where, oh where could a city be found to validate Auster thesis of a city that is overwhelmingly Black (D.C. is not anymore, with Black people being forced out to Prince George's County and Baltimore) and that has a government full of municipal employees, transit officials, police officers, and other personnel paid via public funds which also is on the verge of total collapse?
Yes, you guessed it. Detroit.
We already know that more than 100 bus drivers in the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) refused to work because "they were scared for their lives" after numerous attacks on the Black drivers by young Black people. Instead of driving their routes, they stayed in the Rosa Parks Transit Center (not to be confused with the Rosa Park Hempstead Transit Center in Long Island) without one employee realizing the irony of the situation.
The city is 89 percent Black, boasting a political structure that is entirely - and proudly, if not defiantly - Black. So, how well does the Detroit Department of Transportation's (DDOT) bus service perform? Not too difficult to surmise that, just like the city government, DDOT is perhaps the worst public transportation system in the nation:
After less than a week on the job, Detroit Department of Transportation CEO Ron Freeland painted a grim portrait of Detroit's bus service at a Monday City Council meeting.
DDOT's on-time performance is 65 percent, compared to the industry standard of 85 percent. Buses miss service on 33 percent of their stops every day. Freeland said the department's monthly parts repair bills far exceed national standards and that poor maintenance has forced the department to take on about 70 more buses than it needs.
The report-back comes after Mayor Dave Bing announced last week that Freeland would head DDOT, joining the private management team hired to run the bus department as the city looks to save money on its operating costs.
Detroit in January contracted bus operations the firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has subcontracted to a firm called Envisurage.
With the new management come drastic service cuts for DDOT riders. The department announced it will end 1 a.m to 4 a.m bus service and eliminate some routes beginning Saturday. More than 100 bus drivers and mechanics will be laid off.
A transportation system that is completely run by Black people, because Detroit is a city that is 100 percent a reflection of Actual Black Run America (ABRA); with both on the verge of collapsing:
But bus riders and drivers in Detroit say they don't know if the beleaguered system can stand any more pain. At a downtown Detroit bus stop, Toni Coleman feels frustrated. The bus is late again, and now she will be late to work, too.
"Now I'm having to get off work almost an hour earlier because I can't get on a bus at 5 o'clock," Coleman says. "The buses are too crowded, and they don't stop. Hours' worth of pay because of the changes in the bus system."
Coleman is one of more than 100,000 Detroiters who depend on buses for daily travel. There have been fewer travel options of late, after the city cut overnight bus service and eliminated several routes. Unlike many major metropolitan areas, Detroit has a second, separate bus line that serves roughly 40,000 suburbanites and drops them off in the city during the morning and evening rush hours.A glimpse of what life in a dying city looks like, a civilization incapable of taking care of itself were it not for the tax-payers of the state of Michigan subsidizing the Black metropolis of Detroit, and the federal grant and aid the city receives as if it were some pitiful third world nation.
But what is life like in a city whose heart is still beating, albeit courtesy of the primarily white tax-payer, whose transit system primarily moves Black people through the metropolis? MARTA's riders are 78 percent Black, and it should be a shock to anyone that the monetarily failing public transportation system in Atlanta is nothing but a jobs program for Black people (78 percent of the employees are Black in a city that is roughly half-white) as well as DC's Metro:
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) board met on Monday and selected an executive search firm that will recruit MARTA's next general manager. This past December, MARTA's general manager Rick Simonetta resigned to become CEO of a Pennsylvania video technology firm. After passing over two well qualified African American MARTA vice presidents (Nat Ford, Executive Vice President for Operations & Development and Gloria Gaines, Vice President for Planning & Analysis, the MARTA board selected Jack Stephens as its interim general manager. Stephens was vice president of customer development. In its 29-year history, MARTA has had five general managers. All of them have been white and male.
The Clayton County MARTA board representative headed the search committee. The committee report was called into question after it was brought out that a black-owned executive search firm had obtained the most votes in the committee, but after a recount it was later announced as having the second highest votes. Although split, the full MARTA board voted for a non-minority firm to run the search for a new general manager. "We don't trust MARTA's search committee process. Why is it that a Clayton County board member chaired the search committee? Why wasn't a Fulton or DeKalb MARTA board member, whose residents have been paying the one-cent MARTA tax for the past 25 years, selected to chair the committee, " stated Sherrill Marcus, an organizer with the Metropolitan Atlanta Transportation Equity Coalition (MATEC), a coalition of seventeen grassroots community organizations.
MATEC members have opposed the MARTA fare hike that will take effect this January 1, 2001. They also emphasized that MARTA is a big business with an annual operating budget of over $300 million. Since 1979, MARTA has collected over $90.1 billion from the one-cent sales tax. The MARTA tax is collected only in the Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
"We strongly feel that it's time that we had a black general manager at MARTA," said DeKalb NAACP director John Evans. Evans is a former MARTA board member. African Americans currently make up 75 percent of MARTA's riders. African Americans also comprise 78 percent of MARTA's 5,325 employees. "There are able African American transit managers around the country who could run MARTA," stated Robert D. Bullard, director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center. Bullard stressed the fact the current Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation is African American. The former administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, Gordon Linton, is also African American. African Americans head four of the country's 30 largest transit systems. African Americans hold the top transit positions at the Boston-MBTA (Robert H. Prince, Jr.), Baltimore MTA (Ronald L. Freeland), Detroit DOT (Sandra Bomar Parker), and Houston Metro (Shirley A. DeLibero).
Why has MARTA never had a black general manager? There appears to be a "glass ceiling" at MARTA for African Americans. There is also strong evidence that all of the racial hurdles for African Americans at MARTA-from the selection of the current interim general manger to the selection of the executive search firm for the permanent general manager- have not been overcome. MARTA prides itself as an Equal Opportunity Employer. This principle needs to apply for all positions at MARTA, including the general manager position.
In a sane nation, the citizenry would be able to ride public transportation in a cheap, clean, and safe manner. As an alternative to costly commutes via car (in opportunity costs, gasoline, and time away from ones family), having effective public transportation is the best way to gauge the true strength and vitality of a community.
Looking at the state of public transportation in Black-Run America (BRA) - and in ABRA Detroit - it's obvious we aren't much of a nation at all. We are a nation dedicated to uplifting Black people in every vocation - and avocation - at the expense of the health of the overall nation. To admit Black failure - and culpability in augmenting that failure - would undermine the whole system.
The Washington Times, by publishing this expose of sheer Blackness in the METRO system in Washington D.C. has shown the way to defeating BRA: the pen is mightier than the sword.