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And the morning wasn’t the only new and different ride today…

January 28, 2008, 10:43 PM

My morning commute certainly wasn’t the only thing new and different about my commute today. My evening commute brought me on board Rohr 1133, where Metro was presumably testing a few things. Unlike on Breda 3283, where the changes were designed for passengers, the changes on 1133 appear to be designed more for Metro’s internal use than for the passengers, though passengers certainly benefit from some of the changes as well.

First of all, on Rohr 1132 and 1133, Metro is using different interior lighting. I don’t know if it’s a change in the light bulbs, a change in the covers over the light bulbs, or a little bit of both, but the light was much whiter – significantly different from the way Rohrs normally look. I got a photo with my cell phone that hopefully demonstrates what I mean:

As you can see, the light is much whiter, showing off the true color of the unadulterated Rohr interior, which actually looks quite nice when viewed in pure white, and not with a yellowish tint.

As you can see, the light is much whiter, showing off the true color of the unadulterated Rohr interior, which actually looks quite nice when viewed in pure white, and not with a yellowish tint.

Metro also added numbers on the doors themselves to indicate the number of the door leaf. Thus on doors 3 and 4, which are the center doors on the right side when facing the cab:

Metro also added numbers on the doors themselves to indicate the number of the door leaf.

They also are trying out new rules signs, both in black and in white:

They also are trying out new rules signs, both in black and in white.

They also are trying out new rules signs, both in black and in white.

Both signs say the same thing – the only difference is the color scheme. Personally, I think the white ones look better with Metro’s color schemes.

And lastly, on the exterior, Metro is placing car numbers near the roofline of the cars at both ends. Thus we have this, seen here at Glenmont:

And lastly, on the exterior, Metro is placing car numbers near the roofline of the cars at both ends. Thus we have this, seen here at Glenmont.

I was discussing it briefly with the gentleman in the FliteStar vest that posed with the train in this photo, and he totally didn’t notice the changes. I pointed it out to him – different lighting, and an additional set of car numbers near the roof. I also pointed out the existing number that has been there for thirty years. You should have seen his face light up when he noticed the differences.

This is what the new numbers look on the "blind" end of the cars.

And then I apologize for the blurriness of this shot, but the train was in the process of leaving the station to go back to Glenmont Yard when I shot this photo. But as you see, this is what the new numbers look on the “blind” end of the cars. I’ll see if I can get a better photo if I get these cars again (i.e. we’ll see how long this pair stays on the Red Line). Plus what am I going to do – I don’t regularly take Big Mavica to work, so I’m making do with what I have, which is my cell phone’s built-in camera.

So there you go. Easier shown than described.

Web site: Another perspective on the Alstom and Breda test cars, from a non-railfan perspective. I'm the first I've seen write about the Rohr cars they're playing with.

Song: This is the third entry in a row tonight - I'm out of songs. Go hum something and then tell your friends that I mentioned it here.

Quote: By the way, I've been thinking about this, and I've noticed this as of late. The $1.35 cash bus fare (vs. $1.25 SmarTrip fare) might actually be a deal until Metro eliminates paper bus transfers next year if you ride a bus more than once a day. The "official" policy is that you can transfer to any other bus for free within a two hour window. SmarTrip does this correctly. After two hours of no bus activity according to the SmarTrip, you're charged a fare again. However, if you pay cash, the driver hands you a paper transfer, which SmarTrip riders do not get. The paper transfer is supposed to only be good for two hours as well... but Metro drivers, in practice, treat that transfer as an all-day bus pass, and so as long as the date is correct, they let you board. I've found paper transfers on the street before, grabbed them, and used them later to ride free in the evening. Likewise, I found one in the morning near my regular bus stop, and didn't pay a dime in bus fare all day. Thus as a person who regularly pays with SmarTrip, I feel like I'm getting a bit of a bum deal, since I end up paying more than a person paying cash (who's supposed to pay more than I am), since the cash customer gets the paper transfer that the drivers treat like an all-day pass, and I don't. Yes, it's about a quarter a day, but over time, it adds up. I'll be glad when Metro gets rid of the paper transfers altogether, because then there will be a bit more parity between cash and SmarTrip customers, as the de facto day pass will be eliminated, and people will be required to use SmarTrip to get the transfer price.

Categories: WMATA