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Metro general manager Ted Lutz: 1978 ca. | by Washington Area Spark
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Metro general manager Ted Lutz: 1978 ca.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or Metro) General Manger Theodore “Ted” Lutz is shown in a photograph April 1979.


Lutz led the agency through technical bankruptcy when the agency didn’t have enough money to pay interest due on bonds.


He developed a reputation as a straight shooter and earned the confidence of political leaders both locally and in Congress.


Lutz weathered two wildcat strikes in 1978. After the second strike, he insisted on discipline for strike leaders, rejecting the amnesty that been given in previous illegal strikes.


Always a user of public transportation, Lutz began spending more time in the workplaces in dialogue with rank-and-file union members after the 1978 strikes.


He began strengthen minority hiring at the agency, bringing in black men to head two important posts and hiring a woman for another.


Lutz fought off a year-long effort by the board of directors to privatize the bus system, insisting he could run it for less cost than private operators and meet higher standards.


He was hired as the second general manager at Metro in November 1976 with Jackson Graham, the construction engineer the first.


He was 33 when he took the job and by his own admission burned out after two-and-one-half years and quit in May 1979.


For a blog post on the turmoil in the D.C. transit union from 1974-80, see


For more information and related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image was published in the Local 689 News. It was donated by Craig Simpson


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Taken in April 1979