Metro car before (L) and after (R) installation of the new flooring. (Photo credit: WMATA)

Metro car before (L) and after (R) installation of the new flooring. (Photo credit: WMATA)

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — What’s pink and orange and dingy all over?

The carpeting on D.C. Metro cars, of course.

The material will soon be replaced with a type of flooring that’s easier to clean, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Thursday.

Though it’s a long-awaited change, the move away from carpet will truly be the end of an era.

With the exception of about a dozen newer Metro cars that have already been outfitted with the new flooring, all cars have been carpeted since Metro carried its first passengers in 1976.

The transit authority expects to have “slip-resistant resilient flooring” installed on all its older 5000- and 6000-series cars within two years.

Customer feedback during the design of Metro’s new 7000-series cars indicated that customers “strongly preferred flooring to carpet for cleanliness reasons,” according to a WMATA release.

The 7000 series cars will soon begin rolling off the assembly line in Lincoln, Nebraska. Those cars will be incorporated into Metro’s fleet by mid to late 2014.

Not only will the gray flooring material not absorb dirt and liquid as easily as carpet does, but it will be more durable and have a longer lifespan. WMATA says it also reflects light to create “a brighter, more open feel inside the car.”

In a statement from 2008, Metro said the carpet inside each Metro car is vacuumed an average of once a week, shampooed every two months and fully replaced, at a cost of $5,200, every five years.


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