Metro Could Add Retail Service to Stations

If passed, plan could become reality by fall

By late fall Metro riders could be able to get something dry-cleaned, grab a magazine or buy a take-home meal -- all in their neighborhood Metro station.

Metro officials on Wednesday unveiled a plan to have retail service added to 12 rail stations.

The stations included in the proposal are:

  • Anacostia (sidewalk)
  • Fort Totten (sidewalk and paid area of station)
  • Gallery Place-Chinatown (paid and free area of station)
  • Metro Center (paid area of station)
  • King Street (free area of mezzanine)
  • Rosslyn (free area of mezzanine)
  • Vienna/Fairfax-GMU (paid area of station and short term parking)
  • West Falls Church-VT/UVA (sidewalk)
  • Branch Avenue (sidewalk and Kiss & Ride)
  • Glenmont (sidewalk)
  • New Carrollton (sidewalk)
  • Shady Grove (sidewalk)

The stations were chosen based on ridership and space.

Metro would find a partner to operate the kiosks or permanent structures for a minimum of three years with options for the next five. They would be located in free and paid areas of stations, including mezzanines, sidewalks and Kiss & Ride lots.

What wouldn't Metro riders be able to buy? Tobacco or alcohol.

“Retail services in stations could prove to be convenient for customers and financially beneficial for Metro, which is especially important during these tough economic times,” Metro General Manager John Catoe said in a release.

Three years ago Metro asked for similar proposals from partners, but received only three, and none met their requirements.

“What we found from surveying businesses and other transit agencies is that it is much more profitable to include the sales of food and beverages,” said Nat Bottigheimer, assistant general manager of planning and joint development. “Other transit agencies that ban eating and drinking in their systems such as Atlanta, San Francisco and Chicago allow the sale of packaged food and beverages. We could do the same, and we are open to proposals.”

The idea was presented to the Rider's Advisory Council for input and officials will seek approval from the Metro Board later this month. If approved, proposals would be solicited in June, reviewed in the summer and could start in late fall.

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