“some of the door components were found to be at a low level of acceptable tolerance” also “First-ever digital touchscreen displays in 8 Metrorail stations”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood


“This past weekend, Metro’s railcar maintenance and engineering staff completed inspections of door operations and components on all 100 4000-series cars. The inspections revealed no evidence of a systemic or emergent safety hazard. However, some of the door components were found to be at a low level of acceptable tolerance in terms of meeting Metro standards, and mechanics will need to make adjustments to the door equipment to keep all components in good working order. This work will help enhance safety, ensure the reliability of door operations and reduce offloads.

The door maintenance work will require more time with the cars than is available during overnight hours and includes adjusting tension on the doors, switches, and checking all screw mechanisms, as well as a more robust inspection of all components.

Over the next month, Metro will gradually return 4000-series cars to passenger service as the maintenance work is completed. This means that mostly 6-car trains will continue to operate in the coming days but will gradually be expanded as more 4000-series cars return to service.

Metro greatly appreciates our riders’ patience and understanding as this necessary work is undertaken to ensure safe and reliable train operations.”


Thanks to a reader for sending:

“Metro Center now has a touch screen information display, pretty cool. 13 & G exit”

Yesterday Metro issued a press release about them:

“Today, Metro along with OUTFRONT Media launched a digital advertising pilot program with the debut of large, interactive touchscreens at 8 Metrorail stations.

A first for Metro, the 72” digital flat-panel screens will be wall mounted and feature an interactive HD display. The divided screen will show eight-second advertisements and provide real-time customer information, including train arrival/departure times, station maps and area maps with dynamic navigational guides.

“We are thrilled to be working with WMATA to install these displays,” said Jeremy Male, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OUTFRONT Media. “Digital displays enhance the customers’ journey through way-finding and real-time information, and provide enhanced revenue opportunity for WMATA. Relevant and changeable ad messaging based on criteria such as time of day, weather, and other sales triggers is extremely appealing to advertisers.”

Digital advertising displays are being piloted at the following locations:

Gallery Place
7th & F Verizon Center Entrance
7th & H Chinatown Entrance
Metro Center
11th & G Entrance
13th & G Entrance
Farragut North
Connecticut Ave. & K St. Entrance
Farragut West
18th St. & I St. Entrance
Foggy Bottom


Federal Triangle

Capitol South

“We are excited to pilot these new touchscreen displays which provide real-time passenger information in a rider-friendly design, while expanding advertising opportunities throughout the Metrorail system,” said Assistant General Manager for Customer Service, Communications and Marketing Lynn Bowersox. “WMATA advertising generates about $20 million annually in revenues that support bus and rail transportation and help keep fares affordable for riders.”

Interactive Map
The map is interactive and will display information about a station when the user interacts with the station’s location on the map.

On the lower left, customers can select Metro map or Area map to display a full screen map
On the Left of the screen, up-to-date train and line arrival/departure times are displayed
By touching one of the color-coded buttons on the lower middle left of the screen, customers can select a line, to see all stations that connect to that line

Station Information
Along the bottom of the screen, station-specific information is available, including:

Accessibility features
Bus connections
Parking and car sharing availability
Bike rack and bike locker availability

During the 3-6 month pilot, advertising opportunities are available for commercial ads only. Issue-oriented ads remain temporarily suspended throughout the Metrorail and bus system until the end of the year.

Advertisers for the digital displays already include:

Brandywine Valley
Graduate School USA
Providence Hospital

15 Comment

  • justinbc

    “Wow, touch screens!”, said Nineteen Ninety Eight.

  • accendo

    LOL, Metro.

  • Oh, do they mean like the time the doors flew open while the train was traveling and everybody on the train just stared at it like “Hmm, that’s not good…”?

  • west_egg

    They would have been hard-pressed to find a more out-of-the-way place to put an informational display than the spot they chose for the 13th & G installation. Who’s going to stand their and look at an advertisement while they wait for train arrival information to pop up–especially when there’s a PIDS right next to it?
    Cue the “touchscreens when the doors don’t work/tracks are on fire/etc?!?” hand-wringing from people who don’t understand how budgets work/that the communications department doesn’t maintain the infrastructure. Nevertheless, the optics are admittedly not the best here.

    • Maybe when the PIDs is endlessly scrolling through all of the elevator outages?

      I honestly wish Metro had separate displays for displaying news/info and one for train times.

      • Absolutely agree. That ish makes me so mad when it’s a heavy day of elevator outages (which is every day).

      • +1000. So sick of this, especially for the entrance PIDs when I need to figure out if I need to hustle to the platform or not. At the same time, the info for a specific station outage is on the screen so infrequently that it’s not even that useful for those who really need elevators.

      • Or when it spends two frames listing the url for the damn WMATA website.

    • Haven’t seen the screens myself, but from the sounds of it the “divided screens” will have the ad playing on one side and the train/station information on another. Sounds pretty nice to me, especially when you consider, as Ben pointed out, how useless the LED screens can be when they are telling you about everything besides arrival times.

    • Sure, the communications department doesn’t maintain the infrastructure, but it seems like something is wrong if Metro is fixing things that aren’t broken and NOT fixing things that are (Iiterally) broken.
      Like when Metro added the fancy flat-panel TVs to the manager’s kiosk with information about delays, etc. The London Underground — which is a MUCH better system than Metro — uses whiteboards to convey the same information. How much did those flat-panel TVs (and the technology to program them) cost?
      And Metro’s new system for communicating bus times at selected bus stops is wack. It’s infuriating that the electronic displays give you the time for (say) every 70 and 79 bus FOR THE NEXT HOUR. The equivalent display in London gives you something like the next six buses — maybe one more beyond that, if the next bus for a particular route is beyond those six.

  • Does this mean that operators will stop yelling at riders when the doors malfunction?
    Also, can we please get frequent, reliable service and tracks that don’t start on fire BEFORE we start installing more things that will break?

  • All the 6 car rush trains are getting really old. Had to hold my briefcase over my head last night it was that packed. This can’t come soon enough. I feel like escalators are doing worse lately, too.
    As to the displays, whatever. Given how awful cell phone data service still is in many stations, I think a much better advertising opportunity would to be to get some sponsored Wi-Fi service in the larger stations. If every tourist/visitor could be presented with this kind of info (maps, connections, etc.) right on their smartphone, you’ll get a lot more engagement.

  • Touchscreens?!? Wow! it’s like 1998 up in there! Here’s an idea:

    Instead of putting one 72″ touchscreen at two of the entrances to Metro Center which can be used by one person at a time, how about a really good mobile app to be used on the touchscreen every passenger already has in his/her pocket. If you’d combine that with phone reception from the major carriers inside the metro stations, you might actually have something useful. It would be a huge help to let people get to the info they need without having to look at endless amounts of useless info – for example, when i’m stuck looking at the scrolling list of 25 broken elevators when all I need to know is when the next train might come. BTW, I’m guessing the people who need the elevators might also like the ability to quickly see if the elevator they need is working without hoping they catch it on the endless scroll.

    What is one touchscreen going to do to during peak times (rush hour, Cherry Blossom, Inaugeration, etc.)? Also, what good is the touch screen if WMATA might actually figure out how to get useful info to people once they’re IN the station?? On the flip side, it should provide something nice for tourists to look at while gettng mugged outside the turnstile.

    • “a really good mobile app to be used on the touchscreen every passenger already has in his/her pocket.”
      Ahem… ALMOST every passenger.

  • Oooh, touchscreens! Ring-a-ding-ding!

    If WMATA wants to “enhance customers’ journey,” they could do that by installing the long-awaited cell coverage systems in the tunnels. Two-way info. Safety. What customers actually need.

Comments are closed.