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!

Tagged: history, metro, wmata

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.