One of Metro’s top officials in the track department is leaving the agency after three years, according to a memo sent to agency staff on Wednesday, February 14. The memo states that Michael Davis, General Superintendent of Track and Structures, is departing the agency “to pursue other opportunities.”
Davis’ LinkedIn profile says he came to Metro in January of 2015 from Protran, a railway industry technology provider. He spent a majority of his career at the Maryland Transit Administration, moving up from trackman to supervisor to superintendent, and was eventually promoted up to Senior Deputy Administrator & COO of MTA by the time he left in 2013.
New: Mike Davis, Metro’s general superintendent of track and structures, is leaving the agency effective Feb. 23. #wmata— Faiz Siddiqui (@faizsays) February 16, 2018
Leroy Jones, assistant director of plant maintenance, will serve as interim gen. superintendent of tracks and structures. Search underway for permanent replacement, per internal memo #wmata— Faiz Siddiqui (@faizsays) February 16, 2018
Davis’ time at Metro has seen significant changes to the track and structures department at the agency. A third of the department’s track inspectors were fired in January of 2017 on allegations of falsified inspection records stemming from an investigation after the East Falls Church derailment in July of 2016. Contractors were brought in to supplement the track inspection crews and to help provide additional training to Metro’s workers.
The track department came into the news again in July 2017 when WAMU reported the department had used up 70 percent of its non-capital overtime budget in the first three months of the fiscal year. WAMU obtained emails from Davis instructing his subordinates that all non-capital overtime would have to be approved by the department head.
The past three years have seen changes to improve the department as well, stemmed in part due to the Federal Transit Administration taking over safety oversight of Metro. The track maintenance and inspection manual which inspectors use has been overhauled and a brand new version is nearing completion. The department also gave inspectors more power to deem tracks unsafe and pull them from service, a departure from earlier procedures.
The General Superintendent position will temporarily be filled by Leroy Jones, Assistant Director of Plant Maintenance (the group that maintains Metro’s stations and physical infrastructure) while an “open and competitive hiring process” is undertaken.