Q: All summer, riders vented to Metro about having to sweat it out in hot cars. But now that we’ve gotten a taste of cooler weather, we noticed more people complaining about cars being too cold.
“Red line 7317 is Blasting FREEZING cold air! My hair is blowing in the breeze! Come ON! This is ridiculous!! Fix this!!” tweeted @annericciuti.
So we wondered: Does Metro get as many complaints about cars being too cold as too hot?
Apparently, it’s far easier to keep cars warm than cool. In 2017 Metro received 679 reports of hot cars but just 59 reports of cold cars, said Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly.
“Keep in mind that in the summer, like your car, the sun continues to heat up the railcar from the outside when aboveground. In addition, the cold air escapes and excessively hot air comes in every time the doors open making it feel warmer and causing the HVAC system to work much harder to keep the railcars cool. The railcar doors represent about a quarter of the side of the car, so imagine opening 25 percent of the surface area of your house every couple of minutes,” she said.
The newest 7000-series rail cars are helping, she said. According to a recent Metro report, the number of HVAC problems dropped from 243 in June of 2006 of 97 this past June.
“In the winter, the sun outside actually warms the railcars, putting less stress on the heating system. Most people are already wearing coats or jackets and tend to immediately feel warmer in winter when they step out of the cold into an enclosed rail car,” Ly said.
Got a question? Send it to email@example.com or @theDCrider.
Read more DC Rider: