By David Schultz
A recent independent audit of the Metro system pointed to what it called a "kill the messenger" mindset within the organization. The audit said that contributed to many of Metro's recent safety lapses.
Sarles wants to change Metro's culture.
"Employees will believe in it when they see it happen," says Sarles. "And that's what we're trying to do. It's just not for today, it's forever."
Sarles says he'll create an anonymous hotline for Metro workers. They can call the hotline and let a safety officer know about a problem, without fearing retribution.
Sarles says, if workers aren't comfortable with this, they can bypass their superiors and go directly to Metro's safety office.
"And frankly, if nothing else works, you can always let me know," he says.
Metro's Board of Directors recently approved new protections for whistle-blowers to encourage the reporting of safety violations, as well as fraud, waste and mismanagement.