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Here are the answers to whichWMATA week 19

On Monday, I posted 5 images of stations in other transit systems in a twist on the weekly whichWMATA challenge. Here are the answers.

We got 55 guesses this week. 27 of you correctly guessed each of the 5 transit systems shown here. 8 of you got all of the systems and all 5 of the stations. Great work, Austin, Roger F, David, Joe M, Mike B, Peter K, Matt D, and Paul Kirk-Davidoff.


Image 1: BART.

The first image is a picture of BART's 12th Street/Oakland City Center station. BART is the regional rail system in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is very much a sister system to WMATA. This station in downtown Oakland is distinctive with its red tile. Another clue is the "platform 3" label on the digital sign. 12th Street has 3 tubes because it's where several lines converge. 49 of you got BART right. 12 of you, appropriately, guessed 12th Street.

Several of you guessed 19th Street - Oakland, which has an almost identical layout. But the tile there is a dark blue color, which differentiates it from 12th Street (with red tile).


Image 2: Montreal Metro.

The second image shows art above the tracks at Montreal's Berri-UQAM station. Montreal's Metro has distinctive blue carriages with a white stripe, and that helped most of you narrow this one down. 36 correctly guessed Montreal. 19 got Berri-UQAM right.


Image 3: DART.

The third image shows a DART train at Victory station near downtown Dallas. Victory is the station near the basketball arena here and also serves as a transfer point to the TRE commuter train to Fort Worth. The landmark Reunion Tower is visible at center right. 45 knew this was DART. 15 got Victory station right.


Image 4: San Diego Trolley.

The fourth image shows a San Diego Trolley LRV leaving San Diego State University station. San Diego is home to the first modern light rail system in the United States, and the bright red cars are an icon of the city. The station at San Diego State is the only underground station in the system. 36 of you got San Diego. 15 correctly guessed San Diego State University station.


Image 5: Charlotte CATS.

The final image shows the Third Street/Convention Center station in Uptown Charlotte. This stop has beautiful red and green art that doubles as the station's canopy. 31 guessed Charlotte. 17 knew it was Third Street.

Next Monday, we'll have 5 more photos for you to identify. Thanks for playing!

Transit


WhichWMATA week 19: On vacation

This week, whichWMATA is on vacation, which means it's time for a real challenge. Can you guess the transit systems these photos are from? Earn a bonus point by also correctly guessing the station where the photo was taken.


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5

We'll hide the comments so that the early birds don't spoil the fun for the rest of you.

The answers will appear on Wednesday. Good luck!

Transit


Here are the answers to whichWMATA week 18

On Monday, we posted our eighteenth photo challenge to see how well you know Metro. Three of our readers took photos of different stations. Here are the answers. How well did you do?

We got 30 guesses on this post. Seven of you got all five. Great work, iaom, Patrick, Russell, Phil, Justin...., Peter K, and Adam H.


Image 1. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.

The first image is a picture of art at the Archives station. This installation is called "Ocean Piece" and is located in the entrance to the station. 24 of you got this one right.


Image 2. Photo by Sand Box John.

The second image shows Prince George's Plaza. This station's unique design is very distinctive, and 24 of you knew this one.


Image 3. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.

The third image shows a train standing on the platform at New Carrollton, viewed from the adjacent Amtrak platform. Clues include the yellow edge-of-platform strip on the Amtrak platform, and the parking garage, visible at far left. 21 of you guessed this one correctly.


Image 4. Photo by Ben Schumin.

This picture shows the entrance to Capitol South station. The clues here include the lack of a canopy above the escalators, the rowhouses visible in the distance, and the parking lot in the foreground. 13 of you got this one.


Image 5. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.

The final image shows a strip map at Gallery Place. WMATA tends to test out new signage at Gallery Place, and this is the only place on the Red Line where the strip map includes arrows showing the direction of travel. 10 got this one right.

Thanks to Ben Schumin, DC Transit Nerd, and Sand Box John for submitting photos! Thanks to all of you for playing.

Next Monday, we'll have 5 more photos for you to identify.

Transit


Do you know the station? It's whichWMATA week 18

This week, it's time for a little something different on whichWMATA: Your entries. We picked the best five images from reader submissions. Can you guess the five stations these images depict?


Image 1. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.


Image 2. Photo by Sand Box John.


Image 3. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.


Image 4. Photo by Ben Schumin.


Image 5. Photo by DC Transit Nerd.

In the future, we'll have more reader submissions, so while you're riding Metro keep your eyes (and cameraphones) peeled for unique stations and architectural features.

We'll hide the comments so that the early birds don't spoil the fun for the rest of you.

The answers will appear on Wednesday. Good luck!

Transit


Metro locks out an entire College Park neighborhood

Metro's aggressive rebuilding program sometimes means riders must use bus shuttles to travel to and from closed stations. But when Metro closes Greenbelt station, the work blocks access to the shuttles from an entire neighborhood.


Left: Walking path from Hollywood to Greenbelt on normal days. Right: When the station is closed. Maps by the author.

Greenbelt Metro station sits on the boundary between the cities of Greenbelt and College Park. On the Greenbelt side there's a bus loop and a massive parking lot. But few people live within a reasonable walk. On the College Park side is Hollywood, a neighborhood of single-family homes straddling Rhode Island Avenue. A pedestrian tunnel beneath the tracks links the two.

Right now, Metro is building a test track for new railcars between College Park and Greenbelt. This means construction most weekends, and sometimes Metro closes Greenbelt station for the work. So far in 2014, Greenbelt has been closed on 3 weekends. It will likely close again before the year is out.

As usual when Metro closes stations for weekend work, they provide bus shuttles to the nearest Green Line station that's open.

But there's a problem: When Metro closes Greenbelt station due to work, they lock the station gates. The pedestrian tunnel linking Hollywood is behind these gates. So when the station is closed, the tunnel closes too.

This means people who live in Hollywood can't even walk through the station to get to the shuttle buses substituting for trains. They also can't access regular buses going to places like New Carrollton, the University of Maryland, or Wheaton.

When Greenbelt station is closed, what's usually an easy 4 minute walk through the station becomes a daunting and impractical 1 hour 9 minute walk of 3.5 miles.

College Park station is different

College Park station, the next one down the Green Line, has a similar design, except for one crucial difference: the pedestrian tunnel under the tracks at College Park emerges outside the station gates, and so then tunnel can remain open even when the station is closed.

Greenbelt's tunnel isn't so lucky.


Tunnel at College Park. Photo by the author.

Can Greenbelt change?

Is there any way for WMATA to make sure riders who live in Hollywood still have reasonable access to buses, even when the station is closed? Ideally the agency could leave the station gates open at Greenbelt, and just block off the faregates with a barricade.

That might mean Metro has to have one more staff person at the station on work days, but locking out most of the people who live within walking distance of the station isn't a good option.

Transit


Ask GGW: Why no Silver Line lights?

Reader (and contributor) Bradley Heard wants to know why Silver Line trains don't have silver lights in their destination signs like other lines do. Why is that?


Sign on a 6000 series car. Photo by Ben Schumin.

Brad asks:

I noticed the Silver Line Metro trains don't have the silver light preceding the text of the line. Any idea when/if those are coming?
The short answer is that they don't have silver lights because they're not capable of showing that color. When the current cars were manufactured or rehabilitated, there were only 5 colored lines, and those are the colors the signs can show.

Right now, trains say "silver" on the front, though without the colored stripes. On the sides, they say either "Wiehle Reston" or "Largo," again without the colored stripe.

However, the 7000 series cars are indeed capable of displaying a color for silver. Those cars have white LEDs that will be used to show the color silver.


Sign on a 7000 series car. Photo by Ben Schumin.

But the 7000s won't go into service until this fall (and it will be a slow trickle over the next several years). The older cars, however, will also operate on the Silver Line, and many of them will be around for a while.

WMATA staff is currently looking into the possibility of retrofitting the older cars' signs, but they haven't yet decided whether or not that's going to happen.

The 1000s and 4000s will be retired in the next few years, so they probably won't have retrofitted or new signs. But the 2000s, 3000s, 5000s, and 6000s will be carrying passengers for many years to come, and it might be helpful for those trains to be able to show the silver color on signs. Whenever WMATA decides, we'll be sure to let you know.

Transit


Here are the answers to whichWMATA week 17

On Monday, we posted our seventeenth photo challenge to see how well you know Metro. I took photos of five Metro stations. Here are the answers. How well did you do?

We got 15 guesses on this post. 3 people got all 5 correct. Congrats to Peter K, Mr. Johnson, and Ken Conaway. Great job!


Image 1: West Falls Church.

The first image shows a train standing on the center track at West Falls Church. Only 2 stations have three tracks like this. The other one, National Airport, has a mezzanine below the tracks, so it's not possible to get an image from this vantage point. 13 of you knew this one.


Image 2: Gallery Place.

This image is a picture of the stacked escalators at Gallery Place. This station is unique in this regard because of the mezzanine right under the cross-vault. The escalators from the lower (Green/Yellow) level and the escalators from the Verizon Center mezzanine meet on the middle (Red) level. 14 of you knew this one.


Image 3: Rosslyn.

The third image shows the new elevator-only entrance to Rosslyn station. It's unique in the system. An additional clue is the building reflected in the glass. 11 got this one right.


Image 4: Grosvenor.

The fourth image was a little harder. It shows the canopy at Grosvenor station. This station is very similar to the peaked roof style of stations that is very common in above-ground stations built from the 1980s onward. But the canopy at Grosvenor has a much larger "peak". So while it's similar to many other stations, it's also very distinctive. 5 guessed this one correctly.


Image 5: Friendship Heights.

The final image is a picture of the elevator at the northern entrance to Friendship Heights. The elevator is built into the facade of the Chevy Chase Pavillion on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue. The Metro "M" is set into an awning similar to all the other storefronts along the building face. 6 got this one.

Congratulations to the winners!

Next Monday, we'll have 5 more photos for you to identify. Thanks for playing!

Transit


If the new Metro map used thin lines and a more contemporary design, this is what it might look like

Designer Cameron Booth won our 2011 contest to redesign the Metro map. Now, he's revised that design to show the Silver Line opened and reflect station name changes since then.


Map reposted with permission from Cameron Booth.

Metro didn't adopt Booth's design, but jury members (which included WMATA's Barbara Richardson as well as people from outside the agency) did like the way he replaced the old "boxy Volvo" parking symbols with a P (though Metro's new map uses a different P icon). And Booth put 90-degree turns on the southern Green Line, which the real map now sports as well.

You can view a large version on Flickr here.

Transit


Think you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 17

It's time for the seventeenth installment of our weekly "whichWMATA" series! Below are photos of 5 stations in the Washington Metro system. Can you identify each from its picture?


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5

We'll hide the comments so the early birds don't spoil the fun for the rest of you.

The answers will appear on Wednesday. Good luck!

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