WMATA Making Changes to Reduce Slips, Improve Visibility

Slip-resistant flooring in all railcars and better lighting inside the mezzanines of underground stations in the transit system of the nation’s capital are in the works.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the capital city's big transit system known as Metro, announced Nov. 21 that it is in the process of replacing carpet in its railcars with slip-resistant, resilient flooring. "The move is in response to customer feedback during the design of Metro's new 7000-series cars, which will soon begin rolling off an assembly line in Lincoln, Nebraska. Riders told Metro that they strongly preferred flooring to carpet for cleanliness reasons," according to the agency's announcement.

Also announced Nov. 21 is the planned installation of improved lighting in the mezzanines of all WMATA underground stations. "The new lighting will provide for better visibility and in turn, improve safety, security, and the overall customer experience for riders as that make their way through the Metrorail system," said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. "Through our Metro Forward rebuilding program, we are committed to improving the customer experience and lighting efficiency upgrades will continue to be rolled out as part of that process."

The slip-resistant flooring is more durable and easier to clean. It reflects some interior and exterior light, making the cars' interior brighter. All railcars in the fleet will get the new flooring during the next two years, according to WMATA.

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