Dynamic and forward-looking exterior and interior design for a new fleet of railcars for Washington DC. This is the first completely new fleet since the original cars when Metrorail began operating in 1976 and the new cars have started passenger service on April 14, 2015. The design reflects extensive input from customers, rider advocates, safety experts, operators, maintenance personnel and engineers to ensure that the needs and preferences of the various constituents are met.
The interior features thin and sleek padded seats which provide good back support while giving more leg room. The general seats are arranged in a transversal layout, while the priority seats by the doors are arranged longitudinally, achieving a good balance of sitting/standing room as well as smooth passenger flow. The seat color scheme is a calming subtle blue in three shades, with the darkest shade identifying the priority seats. Matching dark-blue zones on the floor delineate wheel chair areas. The dark non-slip flooring contrasted by the light-colored walls and ceiling creates a spacious feel in the rather low-ceiling car. The cantilevered seats allow easy cleaning of the floor. To protect passengers seated near the doors, safety screens are provided. The transparent screens feature the Metro logo with a new radiant graphic, the theme of the new car. Various dynamic customer information displays make way-finding easy and generate a sense of rider confidence. Energy-efficient LED lighting is used throughout the cars.
The stainless steel exterior features a reflective Metro logo surrounded by the radiant “halo” which appears to animate when light hits it from different angles, symbolizing the dynamic character of the new car. The front has a black FRP mask, giving the train a recognizable clean face.