Metro riders will soon be able to buy food and drinks at stations — but they still won't be allowed to eat and drink on trains.
The transit agency's board voted Thursday to allow commercial vendors in and around stations. The plan is designed to give Metro a new revenue source.
Food and drink sales currently are allowed only in Metro parking lots on weekends and holidays, but the approved plan will allow food and drink sales in parking lots on any day of the week, and on WMATA property outside of Metrorail station gates on any day of the week.
But all food and drinks would have to be sealed, contained or wrapped.
Riders who spoke with News4 earlier this month had mixed reactions to the idea.
"I actually think it's a good thing," said rider Chris Fare.
"Eh, probably not necessary," rider Jack Blackhurst said.
Metro also is open to other types of sales, including lottery tickets, ATMs, newspaper vendors and even old-school payphones.
Metro said the following are examples of possible vending opportunities:
- Health and beauty
- Electronic charging stations
- Photo booths
- Entertainment: DVD rental, games, lottery
- Package/mail pick-up and delivery lockers
The types of vendors allowed would still be subject to local jurisdictions’ regulations and to a Metro real estate permit.