Meet WMATA’s Fleet of the Future!


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA / Metro) is offering a sneak peek of its all-digital new railcars and zero-emissions buses March 20-April 3 on the National Mall near the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC.

The Fleet of the Future Expo is the first time Metro has hosted the public to see a mock-up of its newest trains on the National Mall since the first 1000-series train cars in 1968. Located at 12th Street and Madison Drive NW, the expo will be open daily from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The new, 8000-series trains feature Metro’s first open passageway design for moving between two cars, increasing safety, passenger flow, and capacity. They also feature more seating along the walls to allow more standing room for passengers and dedicated spaces for mobility devices. The trains will also have more flexible space for bikes, strollers, and luggage. There will be larger and more visible digital information screens and more energy-efficient radiant heated floors.

Eight-car trains will be made up of four sets of two-car pairs and six-car trains will be made up of three sets of two-car pairs. Hitachi Rail will assemble the trains in Hagerstown, MD, with additional options of up to 800 total cars. The goal is to replace the 2000- and 3000-series from the 1980s.

“Unveiling the Fleet of the Future marks a major step for Metro,” said Randy Clarke, Metro general manager and chief executive officer. “We took best practices from all over the world—open gangways, more space, better digital screens for real-time information, enhanced video systems to improve safety, a more sustainable aluminum shell, and eye-catching design—and put them in this train. We are proud of all the improvements we were able to pack into this new fleet and welcome everyone to come out and see the future of America’s transit system.”

Metro’s new battery-electric buses have zero tailpipe emissions and are quieter and have a smoother ride with less vibration than vehicles with an internal combustion engine. Improved customer amenities include digital passenger information screens, USB charging ports, and new fare boxes. “Two of these buses have entered service and customers have given us an overwhelmingly positive response,” said Clarke.