The metro system in Arbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has been described as “smart” by Wikipedia because it relies on solar energy. Yet in spite of its built-in stability, the democratic, multiparty, financially autonomous region is struggling to keep its system running.
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It’s time to get a new chief executive.
For four years, the Metro Service Company, the government entity that manages the system, has been plagued by powerful rivalries, inertia, broken management, corruption and war-zone mismanagement. Members of the region’s security services siphon money from the station’s coffers, according to multiple senior sources, to fund their personal bank accounts. The carrier that handles ticket payments fixes buses and subway cars so often that they damage the metalwork. Officers in charge of security are responsible for looting the metro at night. Lines are sometimes so long that passengers are left in darkness by their own hand. An artfully designed rendering on a wall inside the station, purportedly commissioned by the head of the company, seems to predict what is happening. “Everyone calls the truth to be the lie,” the caption reads.