On Sunday, Twitter user @thejennyjude spotted something odd at DC’s Fort Totten Metro station. The old black handrails had been replaced with bright colors — green, yellow, and red — that match the Metro lines at the bottom of the escalators. It’s a clever and eye-catching way to quickly show riders the way to their trains.
According to a WMATA spokesperson, the makeover is being tested only at this one station as a way to help commuters “find their way to the right platform.” The idea was suggested by staff on Metro’s elevator and escalator team. The test is “cost-neutral,” according to the spokesperson, because handrails are replaced regularly and the cost of different colors is “negligible.”
The project is already sparking plenty of opinions from locals. @Jennyjude’s tweet has gained 15,000 likes in a little more than 24 hours, and hundreds of comments:
They didn't take the signs away
They ADDED the colored handrails.
You could even say this makes it easier for people who are dyslexic or illiterate ?
In any event, multiple modalities are useful and helpful
— B Lanson (@blanson100) April 9, 2018
This is almost as stupid as the music, platform stickers and air freshener. #wmata
— Hakuna WMATA (@HakunaWMATA) April 8, 2018
Whoa, a positive sentiment about wmata on Twitter… I've seen it all! This is a great way of conveying info, though.
— Matt Drake (@mdrake___) April 8, 2018
As a former DC resident I would rather have a metro that doesn’t catch fire and cause delays every day than colored handrails but it is a nice stylistic choice of how to avoid the blue, orange, and silver lines
— Colin Casey (@CSquared317) April 9, 2018
This is one of those brilliant ideas that is so obvious in hindsight!
— Steve Wartik (@slimsteve) April 8, 2018
Yeah, this is a cool change! Nice to see Metro utilizing colors to guide their customers, especially for a Shady Grove guy like me who kept getting lost around Metro Center.
— Christopher Wade (@CWadeTheSequel) April 9, 2018