WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro General Manager Richard Sarles says the transit system’s bus and rail network regularly fails to meet performance standards and reversing the decline will take years.

During an oversight hearing before the D.C. Council, Metro officials said the system has been deteriorating because aging equipment hasn’t been maintained or replaced.

Sarles warns that budget pressures threaten to further slow the transit system’s rebuilding.

Sarles also said Wednesday that, given the backlog of maintenance work, it’s unrealistic for Metro to meet some of its performance standards.

For example, Sarles indicated escalators aren’t likely to reach Metro’s target rate of availability anytime soon and said refurbishing them will be a long process.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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