Metro is eyeing the Bethesda station for a pilot program for future Metro design upgrades, Ginanne Italiano, CEO of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, said Friday.
The pilot program has been dubbed the "Metro Station of the Future," Italiano said. Metro government relations officer Charles Scott made the announcement at a Friday morning meeting of the chamber's Metro Improvement Task Force, Italiano said.
The announcement marks a victory for Bethesda leaders, who have pushed for years for improvements at the Metro station.
"To us, it's huge," Italiano said.
A Metro spokesman confirmed the announcement, but couldn't provide further details.
"We can confirm that we are looking at Bethesda as a station to test future concepts," Metro spokesman Philip Stewart said in an e-mail to Patch. "The plan is still under development so we are unable to offer additional details at this time. We expect to have more information later in the year."
The project may include changes to the design of turnstiles and the station manager kiosk, and upgrades to the station's color scheme, signage and lighting system, Italiano said.
The work would likely begin when the Italiano said. With pending escalator and station Bethesda makes sense as a choice for the pilot program, Italiano said.
Bethesda leaders have advocated for better lighting, new ceiling tiles, cleaning, and upgraded signage at the station through the chamber's task force, which is led by Jane Fairweather, a Bethesda Realtor.
“All of the issues we’ve been trying to address for the last several years would come to fruition with the new pilot program,” Italiano said.