Metro (WMATA)

Metro Considering Platform Screen Doors to Protect Riders

Once a train pulls into a station, train doors line up with platform screen doors. The major issue: the cost

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Metro is evaluating whether to place physical barriers on station platforms to keep riders off the tracks, News4 is first to report. 

Platform screen doors are popular in many foreign transit systems, including in Paris and all over Asia. In our area, the doors can be found in the AeroTrain system that takes travelers between terminals at Dulles International Airport.  

Once a train pulls into a station, train doors line up with platform screen doors. When both sets of doors open, riders can get on and off trains, and people are protected from the tracks. 

Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said he is exploring the idea as a safety mechanism, so people cannot fall or jump over the edge. 

”We are also looking at other different ways, too, that we might be able to think about door control. It’s just hard. You have a big, long platform,” he said.

One Metro rider said she liked the idea and thought it would help keep people safe. Another said he simply avoids the tracks.

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The major issue with building a screen door system is the cost. Early estimates put the price in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. Other transit systems, including in San Francisco, have backed off plans for the doors because of the cost. 

Metro officials said they are currently finding the funding to design a screen door system. The plans would then be taken to the Metro board of directors.

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