Metro plans return to automatic trains
Metro plans to return to automatic train operation, which means train operators will no longer be responsible for driving, starting, stopping, or opening doors.
- Operators will still have to close train doors and respond to any emergencies.
Why it matters: The agency says returning to ATO will make riders’ lives better.
- It’ll improve safety by reducing the chance of human errors such as running red lights, overshooting platforms, and moving without permission.
- Rides will be smoother. Trains would be programmed to stop at an exact location, preventing jerky start/stop movements.
- It’ll save money by cutting down on power usage thanks to automatically timed stops and starts.
Catch up quick: Metro was designed to operate with ATO and had been using it since its start in 1976.
- But, the system was suspended after a fatal crash in 2009. An investigation found that the cause of the accident was not the ATO system, but it wasn’t reimplemented in part because of a need for infrastructure updates.
Worth noting: Most large rail systems across the country are automated.
What’s next: Metro will start testing ATO on the Red Line as early as this May if it gets approval from its regulator. The agency plans to roll out ATO system-wide by December.
More Washington D.C. stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..