WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) expects to save $24.5 million in salaries and benefits next year via a combination of service reductions and increased spending on contractors, reported WTOP.

Metro is budgeted to spend $64.6 million on contractors in the fiscal year beginning in July, which is $17.2 million more than the budget for the current fiscal year, according to the report.

The agency, which hired contractors to do top-level management consulting to basic track work last year, justifies the spending saying it is is needed to support maintenance work, meet federal safety requirements, and the cost of running new facilities, reported WTOP. For the full story, click here.