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Washington DC Metro

Metrorail (commonly referred to as just Metro) is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. The system is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). In Maryland, Metro provides service to Montgomery County and Prince George's County; in Virginia, to Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria.

Since opening in 1976, the network has grown to include five lines, 86 stations, and 106.3 miles (171.1 km) of track. Metro is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the United States, in number of passenger trips, after the New York City Subway; there were 215.3 million trips, or 727,684 trips per weekday, on Metrorail in fiscal year 2008. In June 2008, Metro set a new monthly ridership record with 19,729,641 trips, or 798,456 per weekday. Fares vary based on the distance traveled and the time of day. Riders enter and exit the system using a stored-value card in the form of a paper magnetic stripe fare card or a proximity card known as "SmarTrip."

Metro stations were designed by Chicago architect Harry Weese, and are examples of late-20th century modern architecture. With their heavy use of concrete and repetitive design motifs, Metro stations also display aspects of "brutalist" design. In 2007, the design of the Metro's vaulted-ceiling stations was voted number 106 on the American Institute of Architects' list of "America's Favorite Architecture."

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DC Metro Grosvenor Park-Strathmore Station *

The DC Metrorail was concieved in 1960 but this particular station did not open until 1980. Riders are treated with close access to Grosvenor Park apartments, Parkside Park apartments (a huge complex with garden-style apartments) and Strathmore Hall...


DC Metrorail: Van Ness-UDC stop *

This is one of many underground Metro stops; the Van Ness-University of the District of Columbia stop. Metrorail is the second busiest subway system in the United States with a daily ridership topped only by New York City's subway system.


DC Metro: Bethesda, Maryland stop *

Any rider on DC's Metrorail will immediately notice the lack of graffiti, well, everywhere. Any rider on the DC Metro will immediately notice the lack of grafitti, well, everywhere. Station platforms are built away from station walls to limit vandalism ...


Washington, DC Metro Exitfare machine

This exitfare machine accepts either 1 or 5 dollars. What is an Exitfare machine? I have no idea ... ok, turns out Exitfare machines located near the "faregates" allow riders to add additional value to their farecard should their card lack sufficient...


Washington Metro: (surprisingly) empty platform

It's fairly unusual to see a DC Metro platform void of riders; particularly on a weekday and in spite of June setting several ridership records: it set the single-month ridership record of 19,729,641 total riders, the record for highest average weekday ...


DC Metro train entering station: Tenleytown

A note to would be vandals; good luck trying to "tag" the walls in Metro stations: the vast majority of them are across the tracks, out of reach, and across the "third (i.e. electrified)rail." All the best ...


Friendship Heights Metro stop outside Washington, DC

Friendship Heights is the last stop on Metro's Red Line before you enter into the District of Columbia in Montgomery County, Maryland. There are 40 stations in the District of Columbia, 14 in Prince George's County,Maryland 12 in Montgomery County...


Going Underground

Roughly 50 statute miles of the Nation's Capital Metrorail is located underground. In 2009 the total track length was 103 miles but this number will increase as the Silver Line is built with eleven new stations: eight in Fairfax County, Virginia and...


Functional art: underground in DC

Designed by renowned architect Harry Weese the DC Metro is considered to be a prime example of "Brutalist" architectural style. Weese (1915-1998), born in Evanston Illinois, studied under Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto at Massachusetts Institute of...


DC Metro stop: Van Ness-University of the District of Columbia

Van Ness-UDC is a Washington Metro station in Washington, D.C. on the Red Line near Maryland. Opened on December 5, 1981, Van Ness-UDC station serves the neighborhoods of North Cleveland Park and Forest Hills (not to be confused with Forest Hills,...


Red Line stop: Cleveland Park on the DC subway system

This DC Metrorail station lies inside the borders of Washington, DC and serves the residential Cleveland Park neighborhood in Northwestern Washington.
Its principal attraction is the National Zoo; the zoo is not only a downhill walk from this...


Van Ness-UDC platform in Washington's subway system, aka "The Metro."

The magnificent vaulted ceilings of Washington, DC's Metrorail can be seen clearly in this photo of the Van Ness-UDC stop on the Red Line. By the year 2030, Metro expects to have one million passengers per day; there are currently, approximately,...


Train arrival: Cleveland Park stop on the Red Line, DC Metro, 2009

Although there are only two lone people awaiting the arriving train, the nation's capital's high-speed mass-transit system set an all-time ridership record on January 20, 2009 for the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States: Barack...


Riding on the Metro: DC's Woodley Park - Zoo/Adams Morgan station *

Originally called simply the "Zoological Stop," this station was opened on December 5, 1981. Residents, however, successfuly argued the sign was somewhat misleading as it was also in close proximity (the closest Metro station in fact) to the...



Adams Morgan (the name was originally hyphenated) came to be in 1955 as the Supreme Court decision of Bolling v. Sharpe desegregated two schools known by the monikers Thomas P. Morgan (an all black school) and John Quincy Adams (an all white school). In...

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