WMATA to begin certifying operators for Auto Doors on five rail lines

April 15, 2024
The feature eliminates the delay of operators manually opening train doors and has been in use on the Red Line since December 2023.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has partnered with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) to better train operators to use its new Auto Doors function. Customers will begin to see doors opening faster on some Blue, Orange, Silver, Green and Yellow Line trains. The certifications will be rolled out during the next few weeks. 

The Auto Doors feature enables doors to open automatically when the train stops at the platform. WMATA notes the feature is not only safer and more reliable, but it also eliminates the delay of operators manually opening the doors. 

After operators are certified, the WMSC will review the certifications and decide whether to grant concurrence on using the feature across the entire Metrorail system. 

This is the second stage of rollout for the system. WMATA began Auto Door use on the Red Line last December and has had a hugh success rate with the new feature. 

Currently, operators are required to open and close train doors manually. They’re instructed to stick their head out the window, take a few seconds to verify they are opening the doors on the correct side of the train and then press a button to open the doors. The process can take up to 15 seconds and happens more than 20,000 times a day across the system. 

With Auto Doors, signals at the platform tell the train which side to open automatically when it arrives at each station platform. Operators will still put their head out of the window to make sure everyone has exited or boarded safely before manually closing the doors.