Metro Managers To Ride Own Dog Food

METRO MANAGERS TO RIDE OWN DOG FOOD A new requirement for Metro senior managers: riding public transportation 40 times a month. That’s from George Greanias, the transit agency’s now-official president and CEO — who counts as one of those senior managers. “Some of the same executives will be affected by cutbacks in Metro’s use of car allowances and staff take-home cars, Greanias said. Only employees whose daily duties require using vehicles will receive these benefits; others will simply be reimbursed for Metro-related mileage on their personal cars, Greanias said.” [Houston Politics]

23 Comment

  • GOOD!

    The senior execs at METRO had $1000/month car allowances. An agency that is focused on public transit handing out taxpayer money so it’s higher ups can use a personal vehicle.

  • How about taking the bus? I don’t have to, but I use Metro regularly, see how much fun it is coming out of downtown on bagby, and watch your drivers floor it onto West dallas and watch helplessly as your loyal riders are thrown around. I swear I see 2-3 people fall every week at the same intersection, it’s likely a combination of poor bus suspensions, and the abhorrent state of the roads especially coming out of DT.

  • I wonder if George Greanias will ever consider another run for mayor. He is without a doubt one of Houston’s finer and smarter public servants, and a real mensch. Or whatever a mensch is in Greek. :)

  • I love George.

  • RIGHT ON Metro! I don’t know anything about George Greanias but this definitely makes me like him! I also had no idea what a “mensch” was…learn something new everyday, thx Miz :)

  • According to the “Joy of Yiddish”, a mensch is ‘Someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being “a real mensch” is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.’

  • Imagine public officials having to provide their own vehicles, getting the IRS rate for business miles. Welcome to the world the rest of us live in. Next, let’s make some of the staff who came up with the money losing, law violating rail car bid look for new jobs.

  • I think this is a great development! How can someone effectively manage a service they never use? What looks good on paper does not always translate to reality. 40 trips a month should provide some needed perspective for the execs and hopefully encourage better behaviour from problem drivers. Way to go George!

  • luckyily their offices are downtown and they actually have the option to ride the bus. i wonder if they’ll be able to expense the extra hour it takes to ride it though.

  • sarahc was right on when she said, “How can someone effectively manage a service they never use?” Just consider for a moment that METRO was being managed by someone who didn’t even live in Houston? No wonder there was so much carpetbagging going on during the Frank Wilson era… It is good that Mayor Parker and George Greanias are finally starting to get METRO back on the right track.

  • Define “riding public transportation 40 times a month.” As in riding the bus to the office and back 20 days a month or walking across the street from the office and taking the choo-choo train a couple of blocks north or south for lunch and back 20 days a month?

    As for getting Metro back on the right track, sounds more like they have derailed it. Developing as Matt Drudge says. A lawsuit no doubt will be filed by the Spanish company that opened an office and a factory and hired workers here to actually build the trains here, a little detail the FTA apparently didn’t catch for some reason which met the requirements, and according to a story in the West U Examiner, another trip to the polls by the voters. To approve new bonds to raise more money for the “new” Metro to waste and possibly complete the lines. If the FTA still funds the planned rail lines. Which some believe it may not.

    “Don’t blame me. I didn’t vote for her.”

  • This has more to do with the legacies of former mayors Brown and White than with the current administration than with Parker.

  • 40 trips per month would be back and forth to work from home every day. Or it could be back and forth to lunch every day.
    Some of the board members live pretty far out yonder in places like Humble and Spring, so it’ll be interesting to see which they choose.

  • Sounds like lip service/window dressing to me.

    I believe it when I see it.

  • Matt Misery do you ever have a nice thing to say. I read this often but do miss some stories, I look forward to postive remarks when its due. This seems like one of those times. Somebody is trying to do the right thing, Don’t blame the past, it is over, we can not change it. Change the future and the present. “A lawsuit no doubt will be filed by the Spanish company that opened an office and a factory and hired workers here to actually build the trains here” where is this located? This is the first i have heard of this facet of the story. Are Americans being employed to build our new trains? If so that helps with the whole Spanish Inquisition going on.
    Just me and my thoughts.

  • Jon,

    While Matt may generally be negative, he does raise a particular “insanity” of the Buy America clause that is tied to some federal money.

    The clause penalizes local U.S. workers at U.S. factories if the parent company happens to be based offshore. Sad.

  • John,
    I believe that CAF has a manufacturing plant in Elmira, NY, where they would have assembled the trains. The FTA decision really only hurt US workers, nothing more.

    BTW, I think that it’s good for officials to ride transit, they need to be in touch with the system.

  • If you told your kid that he’ll get bit if he doesn’t stop harassing the family dog, and he keeps harassing the family dog, and the family dog bites him, is it the dog’s fault that your kid got bit?

    Think about this carefully. It was METRO under the supervision of Frank Wilson that hurt US workers by violating the terms and conditions of the offer for stimulus. The FTA merely did what the FTA is tasked with doing, which is administering federal transportation programs according to the letter of the law.

  • The mayor could have taken the position that the deal did meet the requirements which several of the former board members claim it did but instead decided it violated the requirements and at this point a court will decide. And probably cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Even if the courts rule the contract met the FTA requirements and must be hoored on that basis by FTA. It’s going to get messy.

    All Metro, regardless of who the mayor is or who sits on the board, seems to have accomplished in all these years – cost the taxpayers a lot of money. It is, for lack of a better word, bankrupt at this point. And will have to raise funds again to complete the planned lines. The little details the “new” Metro board seems not to want to discuss.

    Given her latest comments about Bill White in the Chronicle she apparenlty wanted to wipe the slate clean at Metro in order to wipe the sidewalk with Bill White.

    Guess he should have endorsed her for mayor.

    Guess everyone else should take the hint.

  • in fairness, this city isn’t laid out in favor of any bus system. i had to depend on buses here for a few years.

  • Matt, I don’t dispute that METRO’s fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer and its riders has been breached. I also don’t dispute that METRO’s finances are grossly inadequate to carry out the capital improvement plan that they had desired to.

    METRO remains solvent and has the ability to scale down the level of service–dramatically if necessary–to remain solvent.

    If and when METRO becomes bankrupt, you will know it because they will have to file under Chapter 8 of the federal bankruptcy code. But for the time being, METRO is neither bankrupt nor effectively bankrupt. The reality is gloomy enough and speaks for itself, so how about you drop the acrid rhetoric?