Metro adopts consumer product design process for new railcars
Customers and employees to participate in the design
Taking a cue from consumer product design, Metro will seek input from its riders and employees during the next 18 months as it designs its next generation of railcars, the 7000 series, to replace the vintage 1000 series cars, fulfilling Metro’s top safety priority and meeting a safety recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Starting in January 2011, Metro will use a range of research and outreach methods to gain information from customers on their preferences for amenities within the car interiors, such as wall and floor covering materials, signage displays and locations, lighting and handheld bar styles. In addition, train operators will be consulted on design elements related to the operator’s cab, while mechanical staff will be requested to provide input to ensure maintainability.
“The whole approach is customer-driven to ensure that the new cars are a reflection of what our customers want, and also to project a forward-looking transit car fitting for our nation’s capital,” said Metro General Manager Richard Sarles. “We will build on the information that we gathered previously for the train car specification, and test concepts, learn about amenity preferences and validate our work throughout the entire design process until we begin manufacturing the cars.”
To help ensure that the railcars meet the requirements of Metro’s customers and employees, an industrial transportation designer will be retained to provide design assistance and serve as the agency’s advocate with the train car manufacturer, Kawasaki.
The 7000 railcar specifications were written with input from Metro’s advisory groups, the Rider’s Advisory Committee (RAC) and Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), as well as the Metro Transit Police. Metro will continue to involve its advisory groups in addition to establishing employee working groups and conducting customer research.
News release issued at 8:48 am, November 5, 2010.