Sandwiches and Sodas? Lotto Tickets and Lipstick? Metro Considers Vendors at Stations

Don't bite into that sandwich just yet... you still can't eat or drink on the trains

Metro riders might 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 is considering allowing commerical vendors in and around stations to increase its revenue.

Food and drink sales are currently allowed only in Metro parking lots on weekends and holidays, but the proposal would 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.

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But all food and drinks would have to be sealed, contained or wrapped.

Riders who spoke to News4 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.

But it's not clear how Metro would enforce the rules and some riders remember past food incidents on the system.

"We had the old story about ... an 11-year-old girl put in handcuffs for eating a French fry on the metro. So, quite a contrast. Quite a change,” rider Erik Shively said.

Metro is also 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
  • Electronics
  • 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.

Metro's board is expected to discuss the proposal on Thursday.

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