30 Facts About Washington Metro


In Maryland, Washington Metro provides service to Montgomery and Prince George's counties; in Virginia, to Arlington and Fairfax counties and to the independent city of Alexandria.

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The name Washington Metro was suggested by Massimo Vignelli, who designed the signage for the system as well as for the New York City Subway.

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Washington Metro construction required billions of federal dollars, originally provided by Congress under the authority of the National Capital Transportation Act of 1969.

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In May 2018, Washington Metro announced an extensive renovation of platforms at twenty stations across the system, spanning all lines except the Silver Line.

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Many Washington Metro stations were designed by Chicago architect Harry Weese, and are examples of late 20th century modern architecture.

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Since opening in 1976, the Washington Metro network has grown to include six lines, 91 stations, and 118 miles of route.

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System is not centered on any single station, but Washington Metro Center is at the intersection of the Red, Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines.

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Washington Metro has designated five other "core stations" that have high passenger volume, including: Gallery Place, transfer station for the Red, Green and Yellow Lines; L'Enfant Plaza, transfer station for the Orange, Blue, Silver, Green and Yellow Lines; Union Station, the busiest station by passenger boardings; Farragut North; and Farragut West.

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Washington Metro's rolling stock was acquired in seven phases, and each version of car is identified with a separate series number.

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In September 2018, Washington Metro issued a request for proposals from manufacturers for 256 railcars with options for a total of up to 800.

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Washington Metro originally planned to have all trains be automated again by 2017, but those plans were shelved in early 2017 in order to focus on more pressing safety and infrastructure issues.

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Almost immediately after the system opened in 1976 Washington Metro realized these features were not conducive to safe or efficient operation and they were disabled.

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Washington Metro began testing reinstating automatic train door opening in March 2019, citing delays and potential human error.

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Until 1999, Washington Metro ended service at midnight every night, and weekend service began at 8 am.

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Independence Day activities require Washington Metro to adjust service to provide extra capacity to and from the National Mall.

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Washington Metro has altered service and used some stations as entrances or exits only to help manage congestion.

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In 2010 Washington Metro began sharing its PIDS data with outside software developers, for use in creating additional real-time applications for mobile devices.

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Washington Metro accepts Baltimore's CharmCard, a similar contactless payment card system.

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Washington Metro fares vary based on the distance traveled and the time of day at entry.

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In May 2014 Washington Metro announced plans to retrofit more than 500 fare vending machines throughout the system to dispense SmarTrip cards, rather than paper fare cards, and eventually eliminate magnetic fare cards entirely.

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Washington Metro planners designed the system with passenger safety and order maintenance as primary considerations.

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Washington Metro is patrolled by its own police force, which is charged with ensuring the safety of passengers and employees.

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Washington Metro now allows the use of restrooms by passengers who gain a station manager's permission, except during periods of heightened terror alerts.

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However at the meeting Washington Metro officials called random bag inspections a "success" and claimed that few riders had complained.

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Several collisions have occurred on Washington Metro, resulting in injuries and fatalities, along with numerous derailments with few or no injuries.

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The train operator was dismissed and Washington Metro officials agreed to add rollback protection to more than 300 rail cars.

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The policy change was announced the day after a passenger of a Washington Metro train videotaped the operator texting while operating the train.

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Two days later, the entire Washington Metro system was shut down so its electric rail power grid could be inspected.

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The proposal was later rejected due to cost, but Washington Metro again started considering a similar scenario in 2011.

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In 2011 Washington Metro began studying the needs of the system through 2040.

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