Sit your bottom here, please.
That was pretty much the call of researchers for Metro Wednesday evening at Metro Center, as they asked riders to try out potential seats for the new 7000 series rail cars.
Metro is in the design phase of the new rail cars and has been seeking input from riders on how the interior of the new cars should look.
Officials have tested five interior designs with riders, train operators, and advisory council members to get feedback on a range of options — including color schemes, flooring, and where to place handholds and other amenities.
On Wednesday researchers randomly asked riders to step behind a black curtain and sit in the new seats. Riders were asked about the seat height, the lumbar support, the color and texture of the vinyl on the proposed seats, and given a Metro card worth $5 for participating.
Bob Schmid of Ballston said he thought it was great Metro was taking the time to ask riders their opinions.
“One of them looks like you can tell it’s clean by the upholstery,” he said. “The other one looked like you couldn’t tell if it was clean or dirty.”
Metro said it plans to talk to 50 riders, a mix of men, women, various ages and race, and riders from Maryland, Virginia and the District, to get opinions.
The transit agency has decided to retire the carpeted floors and orange and brown color schemes. The cars will have interiors with blue and light gray hues to make them more soothing and relaxing, Metro officials said. Metro is also adding non-slip flooring, more interior signs, closed-circuit cameras, ample handholds and brighter lights.
Plans call for Metro to order up to 428 of the new rail cars from Kawasaki at a cost of $886 million. The cars will be assembled in Lincoln, Neb., and are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2013.
Three hundred of the new cars will replace the oldest Metro rail cars, which date to the opening of the system 35 years ago and are known as the 1000 series. The rest of the rail cars are designated for the new rail line to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.
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