The Washington Metro, known colloquially as Metro and branded Metrorail, is the heavy rail rapid transit system serving the Washington metropolitan area in the United States. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority(WMATA), which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name. Besides the District of Columbia, Metro serves several jurisdictions in the states of Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, Metro provides service to Montgomery and Prince George's counties; in Virginia, to Arlington and Fairfax counties and the independent city of Alexandria. Combined with its ridership in the independent Virginia cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, the Metro service area is largely coextensive with the inner ring of the Washington metropolitan area. The system is currently being expanded to reach Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, Virginia. It operates mostly as a subway in the District itself, while most of the suburban tracks are at surface level or elevated. Opened in 1976, the network now includes six lines, 91 stations, and 117 miles (188 km) of the route. Due to subway track depths, Metro's Wheaton station has the longest single-tier escalator in the Western Hemisphere, spanning 230 feet (70 m). Metro is the third-busiest rapid transit system in the United States in a number of passenger trips, after the New York City Subway and Chicago "L". There were 179.7 million trips on Metro in the fiscal year 2016. In June 2008, Metro set a monthly ridership record with 19,729,641 trips or 798,456 per weekday. Fares vary based on the distance traveled, the time of day, and the type of card used by the passenger. Riders enter and exit the system using a proximity card called SmarTrip. Infrastructure Stations There are 40 stations in the District of Columbia, 15 in Prince George's County, 11 in Montgomery County, 11 in Arlington County, 11 in Fairfax County, and three in the City of Alexandria. The second phase of the Silver Line will add 6 new stations—three more in Fairfax County and three in Loudoun County, Virginia—in 2019 or 2020. At 196 feet (60 m) below the surface, the Forest Glen station on the Red Line is the deepest in the system. There are no escalators; high-speed elevators take 20 seconds to travel from the street to the station platform. The Wheaton station, one stop to the north of the Forest Glen station, has the longest continuous escalator in the USA and in the Western Hemisphere, at 230 feet (70 m). The Rosslyn station is the deepest station on the Orange/Blue Line, at 117 feet (36 m) below street level. The station features the second-longest continuous escalator in the Metro system at 194 feet (59 m); an escalator ride between the street level and the mezzanine level takes nearly two minutes. The system is not centered on any single station, but Metro Center is at the intersection of the Red, Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines. The station is also the location of WMATA's main sales office. Metro has designated five other "core stations" that have high passenger volume, including: Gallery Place, transfer station for the Red, Green and Yellow Lines; L'Enfant Plaza, transfer station for the Orange, Blue, Silver, Green and Yellow Lines; Union Station, the busiest station by passenger boardings; Farragut North; and Farragut West. In order to deal with the high number of passengers in transfer stations, Metro is studying the possibility of building pedestrian connections between nearby core transfer stations. For example, a 750-foot (230 m) passage between Metro Center and Gallery Place stations would allow passengers to transfer between the Orange/Blue/Silver and Yellow/Green Lines without going one stop on the Red Line. Another tunnel between Farragut West and Farragut North stations would allow transfers between the Red and Orange/Blue/Silver lines, decreasing transfer demand at Metro Center by an estimated 11%. The Farragut pedestrian tunnel has yet to be physically implemented but was added in the virtual form effective October 28, 2011. The SmarTrip system now interprets an exit from one Farragut station and entrance to the other as part of a single trip, allowing cardholders to transfer on foot without having to pay a second full fare. Rolling stock Train of Rohr cars arriving at Cheverly Metro’s fleet consists of 1,242 rail cars, each 75 feet (22.86 m) long, with 1,132 in active revenue service as of March 2018. Though operating rules currently limit trains to 59 mph (95 km/h), they have a maximum speed of 75 mph (121 km/h), and average 33 mph (53 km/h), including stops. All cars operate as married pairs (consecutively numbered even-odd with a cab at each end of the pair except 7000-series railcars), with systems shared across the pair. Currently Active  Replacement 1000 Rohr 300 1976 2016–2017 6 for “money train” Retired (2 being refurbished and preserved) 7000-series 2000 Breda 3000 Breda 5000 CAF / AAI 6000 Alstom 7000 Kawasaki (phasing in) 8000 (not selected) 366 (expected), (expected) 2023 Font in bold signifies those cars are currently operating in revenue service. The 5000-series CAF trains are expected to be retired in 2019 because of poor quality and unreliability. Metro's rolling stock was acquired in six phases, and each version of the car is identified with a separate series number. The original order of 300 rail cars (all of which have been retired as of July 1, 2017) was manufactured by Rohr Industries, with final delivery in 1978. These cars are numbered 1000–1299 and were rehabilitated in the mid-1990s. Breda Costruzioni Ferroviarie (Breda), now Hitachi Rail Italy, manufactured the second order of 76 cars delivered in 1983 and 1984. These cars, numbered 2000–2075, were rehabilitated in the early 2000s by Alstom in Hornell, New York. A third order of 288 cars, also from Breda, were delivered between 1984 and 1988. These cars are numbered 3000–3291 and were rehabilitated by Alstom in the early 2000s. An order of 100 cars from Breda, numbered 4000–4099, were delivered between 1992 and 1994. A fifth order of 192 cars was manufactured by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain. These cars are numbered 5000–5191 and were delivered from 2001 through 2004. The sixth order of 184 cars from Alstom Transportation, are numbered 6000-6183 and were delivered between 2005 and 2007. The cars have body shells built in Barcelona, Spain with assembly completed in Hornell, New York. The 7000-series of cars, currently being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company of Kobe, Japan were delivered for on-site testing during winter 2013–2014, and first entered service April 14, 2015, on the Blue Line. The new cars are different from previous models in that while still operating as married pairs, the cab in one car was eliminated, turning it into a B car. The new design allows for increased passenger capacity, elimination of redundant equipment, greater energy efficiency, and lower maintenance costs. The National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the fatal June 22, 2009, accident led it to conclude that the 1000-series cars are unsafe and unable to protect passengers in a crash. As a result, on July 26, 2010, Metro voted to purchase 300 7000-series cars to replace the remaining 1000-series cars. An additional 128 7000-series cars were also ordered to serve the new Silver Line to Dulles Airport (64 for each phase). In May 2013, Metro placed another order for 100 7000-series cars, which will replace all of the 4000-series cars. On July 13, 2015, WMATA used their final option and purchased an additional 220 7000-series railcars for fleet expansion, bringing the total number of 7000-series railcars on order to 748. On March 8, 2018, WMATA accepted delivery of the 500th 7000-series car. Signaling and operation Main article: Washington Metro signaling and operation During normal passenger operation on revenue tracks, trains are designed to be controlled by an integrated Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Automatic Train Control (ATC) system that accelerates and brakes trains automatically without operator intervention. All trains are still manned with train operators who open and close the doors, make station announcements, and supervise their trains. The system was designed so that an operator could manually operate a train when necessary. Since June 2009, when two Red Line trains collided and killed nine people due in part to malfunctions in the ATC system, all Metro trains have been manually operated. The current state of manual operation has led to heavily degraded service, with new manual requirements such as absolute blocks, speed restrictions, and end-of-platform stopping leading to increased headways between trains, increased dwell time, and worse on-time performance. Metro originally planned to have all trains be automated again by 2017,but those plans were shelved in early 2017 in order to focus on more pressing safety and infrastructure issues. The train doors were originally designed to be opened and closed automatically and the doors would re-open if an object blocked them, much as elevator doors do. Almost immediately after the system opened in 1976 Metro realized these features were not conducive to a safe or efficient operation and they were disabled. At present, the doors may be opened automatically or manually. If a door tries to close and it meets an obstruction, the operator must re-open the door.