Metrorail Accessibility Features


  • All Metrorail stations and rail cars are accessible.   
  • Accessible priority parking spaces near the rail station entrance are reserved for vehicles displaying DMV/MVA handicapped permits or license plates.   
  • Outside of rail stations, there are directional signs to the station's accessible entrance. There are also signs that identify the accessible elevator entrance.   
  • The information pylon outside of each Metro station includes information in Braille and raised alphabet.   
  • Most escalators in rail stations have bright contrasting paint at the edge of each step to assist people with low vision.   
  • Each rail station has an accessible fare vending machine with lower panels. Easy-to-use instructions are included in Braille and raised alphabet; there is also a button to press for audio instructions.   
  • Each Metrorail station entrance has an extra-wide, accessible faregate for customers who use wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices. The SmarTrip® target is located on both sides of the faregate and on the top right for easier access.   
  • All faregates have audible information indicating they are open. Rest the SmarTrip Card on the target for 1.5 Seconds and a positive tone will let you know the gates are open.   
  • The Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) signs are located on each platform and mezzanine of every rail station. These displays can:    
    • let customers know when the next trains are scheduled to arrive,
    • alert customers to service delays,
    • provide information about elevator outages, and       
    • identify how to make free shuttle arrangements when elevators are out of service.   
  • Emergency intercoms are located on pylons marked with a white strip or the word HELP on the rail platforms. Intercom instructions are in both raised alphabet and Braille.
  • All stations feature bumpy tiles to alert customers who are blind or have low vision that they are nearing the edge of the platform.
  • Flashing lights at the edge of the platforms alert customers that a train is approaching.


  • Metro operates elevators at all of its rail stations.   
  • The ELstat (Elevator Status) system alerts customers in advance about known elevator outages. You can sign up to be notified of elevator service disruptions by email, text message, pager or personal digital assistant. You can also call 202-962-1212 (TTY 202-638-3780) to learn about elevator outages. To arrange for free shuttle service in the event of an elevator outage, call 202-962-1825 (TTY 202-638-3780).   
  • Elevator accessibility and security features include:        
    • emergency intercoms to communicate with the station manager,
    • chimes and announcements that identify the elevator direction and level of each stop, and
    • security cameras in all street level elevators.
  • In rail stations, directional signs to elevators are located on the platform information pylons and on wall mounted station name signs. They include the International Symbol of Accessibility and an arrow in the direction of the elevator.

Rail Cars  

  • Gap reducers have been installed on all rail cars. They reduce the gap between the platform and the rail car by an additional 1½ inches, making it easier for a wheelchair user or a person with a mobility device to enter  and exit the train safely.   
  • Barriers between rail cars alert customers who are blind or have low vision of the space between the rail cars so they do not  mistake this space for the door to the inside of the rail car.   
  • Priority seating for people with disabilities and senior citizens is located in all rail cars adjacent to the center doors.   
  • Emergency intercoms are located at both ends of each rail car. Intercom information is in both raised alphabet and Braille,  and a call button is accessible for wheelchair users.