September 25, 2009

Why are bureaucrats so dumb?

By: Sonny Bunch

I don’t mean to be overly general; I’m sure there are many bureaucrats with above-average intelligence. It just seems that none of these smart people actually work for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. From DCist:

WMATA isn’t inclined to play nice with Google, apparently because the agency thinks its schedule data might be worth something. No, they’re not sure if they can get any money for it, but they’d like to find out: Metro has been talking about bidding out a half million-dollar contract for a consultant who can tell them whether they might be able to monetize their schedule data.

The short answer to their $500,000 problem? They can’t monetize the schedules. Period. For more info, check out Greater Greater Washington. Remember, WMATA oversees a metro system that is essentially falling down around the citizens of Washington: delays are rampant, the trains are poorly operated, and the occasional massive collision happens. But hey, what’s another half-mil of rider/taxpayer money that they can dole out to consultants* to tell them something a blogger and Google is willing to tell them for free?

*By the way, has anyone written the definitive takedown of “consultants”? Everytime I see my buddies from college who went into consultancy I shake my head. It’s quite the racket…

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