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To get its financial and management house in order, Metro has brought in big guns from the consulting world.

The transit agency today announced that it has hired international consultancies McKinsey & Company and Ernst & Young to perform a “top-to-bottom analysis of its business and financial operations.” The announcement confirms whispers of strategic consultants coming in to fix Metro since at least last month, but it wasn’t known which firm (or firms) Metro would contract with and for how much money.

The total cost of that contract? $2.87 million, according to Metro. The agency is expected to imminently select a new general manager, NBC4 reports, replacing current interim figurehead Jack Requa. The combination of big-picture management consultants and a fresh leader for Metro likely means the general manager will have wide berth to shake up D.C.’s public transit system—that is, if the Federal Transit Administration, which formalized plans to take over Metro’s safety oversight yesterday, doesn’t come into conflict with them.

“This management study is the result of a robust competitive process and will provide the Board and General Manager with a blue print to make Metro a better-run Authority,” said Metro Board Chairman Mortimer Downey in a statement.” By identifying opportunities for efficiency and accountability, we will have a clear road map for the Board and the new General Manager that can move us forward toward a more reliable, and more customer-responsive transit system.”

Metro also announced that it’s looking for a strategic executive advisor to help implement findings from the study, improve its finances, and restructure the agency in whatever way necessary. The advisor, expected to be chosen by the end of the year, would have to provide Metro’s board with a “comprehensive report within 90 days.”

The consultants’ review is expected to take six months, and may last longer if their contract is renewed.

Photo by Darrow Mongtomery