Metro is considering whether to install physical barriers on station platforms to keep riders off the tracks, News4 first reported.
Platform screen doors are popular in many foreign transit systems, including in Paris and throughout Asia. In our area, the doors are located on the AeroTrain system that transports travelers between terminals at Dulles International Airport.
Once a train stops at a station, the train doors align with the platform screen doors. When the two sets of doors open, passengers can get on and off trains, and people are protected from the tracks.
Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said he’s exploring the idea as a safety mechanism, so people can’t fall or jump over the edge.
“We’re also looking at other different ways, too, that we can think about controlling the door. It’s just hard. You have a big, long platform,” he said.
One Metro rider said he liked the idea and thought it would help keep people safe. Another said he was just avoiding the tracks.
The main issue in building a screen door system is cost. Early estimates put the price in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. Other transit systems, including San Francisco’s, have backed off plans for the doors because of the cost.
Metro officials said they are currently seeking funding to design a screen door system. The plans will be brought to the Metro board of directors.