Metro may take out carpets on rail cars

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said Friday that the transit agency is reviewing whether to take out the carpet in its rail cars.

The issue came up in an oversight hearing before D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, who also serves on Metro’s oversight board. Bowser’s questioning of Sarles and his staff ranged from bus safety to real estate deals, Metro hiring practices, weekend track work on the rail system, and citizens in Northeast asking for a new bus stop.

Bowser questioned how often the carpets in rail cars were shampooed and cleaned. The carpets are often stained with gum and other items but do routinely get cleaned, Sarles explained.

He said his staff has looked at whether to take up the carpet and instead put in non-skid flooring that would have a black speckled pattern.

“I’m waiting to hear from them [his staff] when they’re ready to do it,” he said.

Metro’s new 7000 rail car series, which replaces its oldest rail cars, have non-skid flooring with specks of red, white and blue.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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Mark Berman · March 15, 2013