WMATA announces customer experience improvements
Developments will include slip-resistant tiles, USB charging ports and digital passenger information display screens helping to improve the passenger experience.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced several customer experience improvements that are being installed as part of the Summer 2019 Platform Improvement Project. Once completed, customers will find more than just new platforms under their feet, as WMATA is adding new features to improve safety, customer information and convenience while modernising the stations.
The improvements include slip-resistant tiles, stainless-steel platform shelters with USB charging ports, energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the station and improved speakers for clearer public announcements and emergency notifications. WMATA is also installing twice as many 55-inch Passenger Information Display (PIDs) screens on the platforms, which will display upcoming train information and service alerts simultaneously.
When stations reopen, work will continue at each of the six stations to finalise station improvements.
WMATA General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, said: “When critical repair projects disrupt customers, we want to use the shutdown time to accomplish as much work as possible. This summer we are fixing structural and safety issues, getting out on the tracks to renew our infrastructure, and renovating the stations with new customer experience improvements. We hope our customers will find not only safer stations, but more accessible and modern features, when these improvements are completed.”
The new slip-resistant tiles resemble the original tile in colour, shape and material, but have a textured surface to improve traction. The new tiles are produced using a wire-cut process that creates small grooves on each tile. The textured surface is slip-resistant in both dry and wet conditions, allowing for safer customer passage. The tiles are being installed throughout each of the six stations – including on the platforms and inside the station mezzanines.
WMATA is also installing new stainless-steel platform shelters, upgraded with USB charging ports and digital displays. The shelters will be enclosed on three sides with clear laminated glass panels and granite benches. New 55-inch digital displays will replace static maps and have the capability to display dynamic content such as service alerts, important messages and emergency information, if needed.
Old lighting will be replaced at each station with brighter, more energy-efficient LED fixtures, greatly increasing brightness. The new lights, while aesthetically similar to the original station design, use LED technology to reduce energy consumption and maintenance requirements. In addition, all existing stair handrails are being replaced with LED-illuminated handrails.