My dad worked for the Urban Mass Transportation Authority, now the Federal Transit Administration, in the late 1970s. As a result, my family went on several tours of the new transit system. My mom recently brought me this promotional item from a tour in 1980 or 1981.

The text says,

I saw partially completed stations with:

  • Free floating mezzanines standing clear of the walls
  • Installations for edge-platform lights which will dim and brighten to signal the approach of quiet Metro trains
  • Air conditioning ducts and public address speaker openings
  • Train halls long enough to hold the Washington Monument on its side with 45 feet left over
  • Direct sight lines and open visibility with no columns to block my view
  • Huge coffered station arches to be painted with indirect light from below the platforms
  • Acoustical panels being installed to quiet the stations
  • Floating slabs resting on elastomer pads to quiet train noise and vibration from the surroundings

It took me ___ minutes to walk it. By train, the same trip will take ___ minutes.

Were you there? Any other readers have cool photos or souvenirs from this era? Send them to!

Veronica O. Davis, PE, has experience in planning transportation, urban areas, civil infrastructure, and communities.  She co-owns Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting company in DC.  She is also the co-founder of Black Women Bike DC, which strives to increase the number of Black women and girls biking for fun, health, wellness, and transportation.