WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Metro will be testing new signs this week in an effort to make navigating the system easier. That means adding letters and numbers for accessibility.
L’Enfant Plaza station will be the first to get the new signs.
Navigating Metro’s six color-coded lines may be easy for commuters who use it every day but not for all Metro riders.
“Sometimes I get out on like [are] these the stops and I’m like, ‘I know which way to go, but then I’m like, all right, am I going out this way? Am I going out this way? Then if I get out the wrong exit, then I’m like 5 minutes down the street,'” rider Erick Larkin said.
Metro is taking a page out of the playbook of other transit systems around the world. Changes include adding numbers to existing colored lines to help those who are colorblind and adding letters to exits, so it’s easier to navigate.
“I think anything that makes it more accessible is going to be good and that’s the most important thing,” said rider Hannah Osborne. “It sounds a little more confusing than just the colors, but for accessibility, it would be worth it.”
Instead of a sign saying the train is going to “Greenbelt,” for example, it’ll say it’s “Southbound” instead.
At L’Enfant, an entrance sign will be changed to show the 7th Street Maryland Avenue exit is in the direction of the Air and Space Museum and VRE trains.
“I think that would be excellent because it’ll give us more–people will have time to get on different trains. We won’t be so crowded because of people going in different directions,” Artabia Price-Bey said.
Though it’ll be a help for locals, it’s especially beneficial for out-of-towners.
“That would be super helpful, because right now, to get to our building, we have to know the waving astronaut versus the plane astronaut and so it’s extremely difficult here at Le’Enfant,” said Brian Garnant.
New real-time designs showing stations ahead are coming this fall and additional entrance displays will be installed this month.
The Metro board meets on Thursday to go over these potential changes. L’Enfant Plaza station will get new signs in a few days.
On-site and online surveys will be conducted to get rider feedback.