Metro Lab Tests Elevators, Escalators

At a Willy Wonka-esque factory in Landover, Md. Metro officials are testing elevators and escalators on a daily basis.

The Metro system has close to 600 escalators, the most of any transit agency in North America. There are also more than 250 elevators. Metro created the Carmen E. Turner Training and Maintenance Facility  see-through to test new elevators and escalators, as well as provide emergency training for Metro crews.

"I believe our customers have seen an improvement," WMATA General Superintendent Lonnie Murray said. "In the past three years, our availability is up 10 percent."

Officials said some riders disable the escalators and elevators on purpose -- by stomping on them or pressing emergency stop buttons.

And although station escalators and elevators may not be 100 percent functioning at all times, the lab creates a training ground for crews, so they're not forced to use public escalators and elevators.

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