Rapid transit system in the Washington, D.C., area / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Washington Metro, often abbreviated as the Metro and formally the Metrorail, is a rapid transit system serving the Washington metropolitan area of the United States. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which also operates the Metrobus service under the Metro name. Opened in 1976, the network now includes six lines, 97 stations, and 129 miles (208 km) of route.
|Locale||Washington metropolitan area|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||6|
|Number of stations||97 (1 more under construction)|
|Daily ridership||316,100 (weekdays, Q3 2022)|
|Annual ridership||57,002,300 (2021)|
|Chief executive||Randy Clarke|
|Headquarters||600 5th Street, NW|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Began operation||March 27, 1976|
|Operator(s)||Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)|
|Character||At-grade, elevated, and underground|
|Number of vehicles||1,318 railcars|
|Train length||6 or 8 cars|
|Headway||Pre-pandemic: 4–8 mins peak; 12–20 mins off-peak|
December 2022: 8–15 minutes
|System length||129 mi (208 km)|
|No. of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄4 in (1,429 mm)|
|Minimum radius of curvature||225 ft (68.6 m)|
|Electrification||Third rail, 750 V DC|
|Average speed||33 mph (53 km/h)|
|Top speed||75 mph (121 km/h)|
Metro serves Washington, D.C., as well as several jurisdictions in the states of Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, Metro provides service to Montgomery and Prince George's counties; in Virginia, to Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties and to the independent city of Alexandria. The system's most recent expansion, serving Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, opened on November 15, 2022. It operates mostly as a deep-level subway in more densely populated parts of the D.C. metropolitan area (including most of the District itself), while most of the suburban tracks are at surface level or elevated. The longest single-tier escalator in the Western Hemisphere, spanning 230 feet (70 m), is located at Metro's deep-level Wheaton station.
In 2021, the system had a ridership of 57,002,300, or about 316,100 per weekday as of the third quarter of 2022, making it the third-busiest rapid transit system in the United States, in number of passenger trips, after the New York City Subway and Chicago "L", and the fifth-busiest in North America. In June 2008, Metro set a monthly ridership record with 19,729,641 trips, or 798,456 per weekday. Fares vary based on the distance traveled, the time of day, and the type of card used by the passenger. Riders enter and exit the system using a proximity card called SmarTrip.