Escalator, Canopy and Elevator Projects

Metrorail customers will likely ride on one of Metro’s 617 escalators, the largest number of escalators in North America. With thousands of customers traveling on each escalator every day, consistent upkeep is required to keep them in a state of good repair. As a result, we’re making major investments to rehabilitate and completely replace the oldest and least reliable escalators across the system.   

From 2011-2019, Metro completed a multi-year $176 million investment that delivered 145 escalators, slashing the average escalator age to 11.3 years compared to 27 years before the project began. Starting in 2021, and spanning the next seven years, Metro will replace another 130 escalators across 32 stations, starting with Gallery Place. The 9th and G street entrance escalators at Gallery Place were among the first escalators to be replaced under the new contract and were completed six weeks ahead of schedule.

This video shows a portion of the escalator truss being installed from the Judiciary Square escalator replacement, completed in 2019. 

judiciary square escalator installation truss frame

Protecting Customers and Escalators from the Elements

Weather conditions impact more than customers’ commutes, they can also wreak havoc on escalator parts, requiring replacement and repair sooner than normal. To protect the life, longevity and reliability of its escalators, Metro has installed canopies over the escalators at 43 station entrances. Extending the life of escalators means less disruption for customers and an overall more reliable experience. Metro will install canopies at nine remaining entrances, working closely with the National Park Service, National Capital Planning Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts. From 2015-2020, canopies over escalators at 9 station entrances have been installed. 

Dupont Circle North, as pictured below, is a canopy project currently underway.  The structure will include more than 200 individually framed glass panels that will form an elliptical canopy 97 feet long by 82 feet wide.

Dupont Circle Canopy

Providing Access for All Metro Customers

Metro operates elevators across all its Metrorail stations, ensuring safe and dependable access to its platforms for all customers, including those with disabilities. To maintain reliable operations, Metro performs monthly and annual maintenance on its 322 elevators and rehabilitates them every 10-15 years. By the end of 2021, Metro plans to add another 30 elevators as part of the Silver Line Phase 2 construction. 

west falls church new elevator platform improvement project

Stay Informed

Keep up with upcoming projects, work at or around your station and service changes through the following ways: