Saturday, October 24, 2009

Metro Rail in Power City

When in DC, the Metro is the way to go. And why not? The Washington DC Metro is safe, clean, and efficient.

Among rapid transit systems in the US, only the New York City subway system has more ridership. With a metropolitan area population of 5.3 million, Washingtonians log a million trips each week day on metro trains, and including bus service, almost 40 percent of commuters access public transportation daily.

The rub on subways has always been 1) safety (or more to the point, perceived safety), and 2) vandalism and graffiti.

Architect Harry Weese's brilliant design transcends those issues. Concrete barrel vaults create a wide-open feel with 360 degree vision - no mysterious corners where who-knows-who can be lurking. Trains flank a central platform so walls are out of spray can range of would-be public artists.

I rode the metro almost every day when I lived in DC. In fact, the metro was so convenient, I found myself having to crank my car and let it idle from time to time to keep the battery fresh.

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