Meet the Model Metro Station of the Future to be Tested at the Bethesda Station

From a press release:

Today Metro announced a plan to test potential future station concepts at Bethesda Station.

As part of its strategic plan, Momentum, the model station will enable Metro to test several design concepts in a single station, with improved lighting, better information and improved customer convenience.

As an underground station with a center platform design, Bethesda represents the hardest type of station to illuminate, making it an ideal location for the “model station” pilot.

Some of the concepts being considered include:

High-output light fixtures to direct light to the vault ceiling.
A new, anti-slip zone located at the bottom of the entrance escalators to serve as a transition between the escalators and station tiles.
A new information wall enclosing mezzanine equipment including fare machines, ATMs, maps and digital screens.
A stainless steel and light gray interior to replace “Metro brown.”
A new, thinner kiosk with digital panels for service information and new fare gates with next-generation technology for faster entry and exit.
New, redesigned, taller pylons with wayfinding signage, real-time arrival information and additional lighting located on four wings extending from the top of each pylon.

25 Comment

  • Metro does need to get more hip. But don’t make em like NYC when you get off some trains and feel like you;’re in a mall.

  • ledroittiger

    What they need to do is introduce more smartphone integration for both Metro and Metrobus.

  • Just more fair gates would be nice. Seems ridiculous some really busy stations typically only have 3 working fare gates. Even more so when there is tons of space to put more in…..

  • who comes up with these initiatives? Who cares if the stations are dim? Been working fine now for damn near half a century. Should be spending the budget building more tunnels and more stations for our growing population. Not trying to make the ones we have brighter. Personally I cringe at the idea. As lighting gets cheaper and cheaper we need to show restraint. The dimly lit stations are soothing as they are. Who wants to walk down into some bright fluorescent station? besides the people of DC look better in low light…

    • If you follow any of the WMATA-complainer blogs or twitter accounts, you’ll see that folks bring up this issue quite often.

    • Many women find it creepy to wait in stations with darkened corners, posts, etc. It’s unnerving when you can’t see to the end of the platform because it’s so dark.

    • The idea came from Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, which represents disabled customers. Many sight-impaired customers were having problems with navigating dimly-lit Metro stations. Metro is testing out the feasibility of implementing their recommendations before rolling them out throughout the system.

    • Also, even for able-bodied customers, it can be too dark. Trying to read (ya’ know, a book that doesn’t come with its own embedded light source) in some of our stations is well-nigh impossible.

  • Metro of the future should have 911 access, instead of having to know some long 202 number if there is an emergency.

    Also more gates are needed at most of the stops, but most especially the Columbia Heights stop.

  • ::WHINE:: Nooooooooooo! If ever there was a time to move out of Bethesda, this is it. I noticed this morning that they were starting a project but didn’t know what it could be. I know that metro needs to be updated but why test it with MY station??

  • Ditch the crappy, no-traction tiles. They are pretty terrible when wet.

    • Oh absolutely. I’d rather have plain old concrete (like New York) than these tiles. The concrete is brighter, provides traction, and can be repaired and replaced easier than Metro seems to be able to maintain these tiles.

  • “Metro Brown” should be preserved, not replaced. It’s one of the most iconic elements of the system.

  • In the Metro of the future, will the escalators work and trains run on time? That would be true innovation.

  • Dear WMATA,

    Please take a rider funded expensive week long trip to Montreal to visit their subway. While they do have occasional breakdowns…the design of the stations and the flat rate single fare make the system much better than yours.


  • I would be happy if they designed escalators that worked.

  • Add dropped pendent light to dim stations, install additional fare gates, and privatize escalator repair. It won’t solve all of Metros problems, but it will fix some major issues and revitalize the system for a fraction of the cost of completely remodeling stations.

    Also consider charging a premium fare rate during tourist season to raise revenues and exempt SmartTrip card holders.

  • Add bathrooms. Seriously. Even if it’s only to the main transfer stations and end lines. With commutes and wait times as long as they are, and the number of kids that go through the system, it’s really not cool that there are no restrooms. (The private ones that you have to try talk the station master into letting you use don’t count).

  • escalators that turn themselves off when no one is on them, kind of the like the technology found at most supermarket check-outs would be nice.

    Metro execs should take a trip to Europe and see how modern contemporary public transportation is over there.

  • A second entrance/exit at Archives/Navy Memorial – having only one is too limiting – the area has doubled in traffic and when both trains arrive at the same time, the line for the escalators is the length of the platform.

    +1 on 911 access

    Also bring back the stand on the right signs on the floors by the escalators during tourist season

  • When I moved here in 1999, Metro stations were brighter. I don’t remember when they started dimming the lighting, but I do remember the first time I noticed it that I thought they were having some sort of power outage. I suspect that in many stations, they simply aren’t using all of the fluorescent fixtures.

    Another reason the stations are darker is because of the red LEDs that they now use simply aren’t as bright as the lamps used to be in the arrival indicators.

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