WASHINGTON - The Union Station Metro stop is brighter these days thanks to a new paint job. The facelift is about more than aesthetics though. According to Metro officials, it is about safety and making the station more secure.
But will the paint job on Union Station's vaulted ceilings make commuters at Metro’s busiest station feel safer?
“I think it gives a feeling of safety and security, but if you are here alone at night, it doesn’t matter if the walls are pink or purple, you are still not as safe as I would like to feel,” said Metro rider Carolyn Grillo.
“I don't know about keeping it safer, but it makes it look like it should look – clean at all times,” said commuter Mark Mims.
Brighter lighting inside Metro stations is reportedly a frequent complaint for customers and improving lighting ranks among Metro customers' top priorities.
Even so, people on social media are questioning the project and its impact on Union Station's architectural design. One of the first to criticize the project was Matt Johnson, whose tweets quickly went viral.
The cash-strapped transit system said the paint job will cost between $75,000 and $100,000 and will take several more weeks to complete.
“There are probably better things to spend the money on Metro, but I don't think it's bad,” said rider Gabe Sterling.
Metro said Union Station is currently the only station undergoing the paint job and it has no plans to do painting at other stations. However, there are stations that have had paint jobs done more than a decade ago and that include Farragut North and Stadium Armory.