Metrorail commuters in the coming decade will be able to figure out their location using dynamic digital maps, watch ads on digital screens instead of paper, and recharge their electronic devices in transit, according to Metro’s request-for-proposal for its next-generation 8000-series rail cars.
The release of the RFP, announced by Metro on Tuesday, solicits potential design and construction bids for hundreds of new cars to be delivered beginning in 2024. Metro plans to acquire at least 256 8000-series cars to allow for the retirement of the 2000- and 3000-series cars at the end of their 40-year service life. Options in the contract would allow Metro to purchase a maximum of 800 cars total.
“Today Metro is beginning the multi-year process of acquiring our next railcar fleet, which will take everything our customers love about 7000-series trains and build upon that success,” Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “I would take this opportunity to again thank our local jurisdictions—Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia—for creating a dedicated capital funding source for Metro that has made this possible.”
‘Build on the Success of Its 7000-Series Cars’
Reports recently revealed that Metro must replace faulty wiring on every 7000-series rail car in a process that could take up to a year to complete. Delivery of the 7000-series rail cars is on schedule, with the 748th and final car expected for delivery late next year.
The RFP outlines requirements for the 8000-series cars such as:
- New digital advertising screens to generate revenue and reduce labor costs associated with manually changing ads
- Support for remote public-address announcements from the Rail Operations Control Center, in addition to automated and train-operator announcements
- Dynamic digital system maps, rather than today’s paper maps
- 110v power outlets for charging electronic devices
- Additional hand holds
- Improvements to lighting, floor markings and signage for space mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act