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Metro set to finish 7000 Series safety fixes for blind riders

The latest temporary safety improvement is new high-visibility orange and white reflective tape that Metro expects to have on all rubber barriers between 7000 Series cars within a few weeks. (WTOP/Max Smith)

Safety fixes for Metro’s new trains to protect blind riders are expected to be finished on time this week, which also means announcements are about to get clearer for many riders.

Metro began announcing “this is a 7000 Series train” last year when new trains pulled up to platforms to warn riders who have difficulty seeing to be extra cautious. At least two people stepped off platforms and fell straight onto the tracks after mistaking the gap between cars for an open door.

The Federal Transit Administration mandated Metro add chains between every car rather than between every-other car on the new trains, and eventually agreed to a delayed May 31 deadline for the fixes.

Metro expects to meet that deadline at the end of this week, and all of the remaining cars to be delivered to Metro will come with the chains already in place.

Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee hopes to be more involved in planning for similar between-car barriers on the next round of new Metro railcars.

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