News & Politics

A Sneak Peek at DC’s Metro Commute of the Future

Next-gen Metro cars will let you charge your phone and see your exact location.

Rendering of Metro courtesy of WMATA

After nearly 40 years on the track, Metro’s 2000- and 3000-series trains are finally gliding toward retirement. To replace them, WMATA is purchasing a fleet of shiny new 8000-series railcars. Details are still in the works, but here’s some of what you can expect.

Screens Will ListUpcoming Stops

Digital displays will also provide easy-to-read service updates (no more relying on garbled audio) and other important rider info.

You’ll Be Less Likely to Get Sick

A welcome feature for post-pandemic life: WMATA is experimenting with air-filtration systems that will help oust viruses.

Maps Are Going Digital

Instead of a paper map, cars will have screens that update in real time, showing exactly where you are on the route—and how far away other trains are that you might need to transfer to.

They’re Coming in 2024

WMATA recently announced it has award-ed a $2.2-billion contract to Hitachi Rail, which will deliver an initial order of 256 new cars, with an option to buy as many as 800. Rather than shipping them from Italy, the company will build a DC-area facility to manufacture them.

You’ll Be Way More Plugged In

No more dead iPhones! Trains will now be equipped with free-to-use outlets so you can charge electronics in transit.

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Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.