Metro’s Diversity Problem

The lack of racial and gender diversity at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has come under scrutiny, particularly given that the semi-public agency is one of the region’s largest employers. All but 3 percent of Metro’s more than 3,000 bus and train drivers are black. Six of the drivers are white women.

The Washington Times interviewed dozens of current and former employees, some of whom have sued the agency for discrimination. The paper found a trend of black employees being paid more and promoted more quickly than white employees.


Union President Jackie L. Jeter noted that the union isn’t in charge of hiring and said that whites, women and Hispanics must not be applying for jobs.

“If Caucasians or Hispanics want to put in for jobs, they have ample opportunity to apply — and once they become bus operators, they can go work in Southeast,” she said.

White women say those words are uttered repeatedly to those who apply for jobs and those in their first years, but that it is more of an attempt at intimidation than a reality.

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  • Anonymous

    That is an odd article. It seems to be tying together two unrelated things: 1) a lack of diversity and 2) a “don’t rock the boat” culture that jeopardizes passenger safety. (The Washington Times being what it is, I am suspicious they are deliberately attempting to link those things and imply there’s some sort of black workplace culture in effect. The commenters at the Times site are certainly going there.)

    As someone who commutes daily via subway and also rides the bus regularly, I find #2 very troubling. #1, honestly, doesn’t get me as excited — white women, in general, have been the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action, discrimination at WMATA notwithstanding.

    I do find the Union president’s quote kinda hilarious. It certainly doesn’t suggest she welcomes white or Hispanic applicants — I would think someone trying to refute allegations of discrimination would make an effort to sound less hostile.