WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Washington Examiner reports Metro is paying more than $51 million to consultants.

The newspaper obtained the data through a public records request, and says Metro has consulting contracts with 18 different companies worth a total of $51.9 million, which represents about 2% of the agency’s 2012 fiscal budget.

The consultants are analyzing escalators, fare cards and crafting requests for other outside contracts to help keep the transit system running.

Additionally, Metro needs assistance on how to improve safety and reliability, provide additional enhancements such as extra rush hour rail services and how to improve bus corridor services.

Aside from paying such a hefty chunk of change for top-rate advice, the rail company also seeks assistance from the court of public opinion. Metro will host public meetings to encourage participation and dialogue regarding its budget and fare proposal. The meetings will be held from February 27 to March 7, at six different locations.

At any one of these meetings the public may provide formal testimony regarding their past experiences on Metro in a public hearing, or contribute their ideas in a separate portion of the meetings which are more of an open platform.

The National Transportation Safety Board will act on the 2013 budget in June and any fare changes they might adopt would take effect in July of this year.


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