Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Transportation Home  |  Discussions  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |      Twitter |    Facebook   |  phone Alerts

A DVD and a Metro ride

3:15 p.m. Update: Metro's board of directors approved the license agreement. The kiosks may begin appearing this fall.

11 a.m. Update: A panel of Metro's tyson.gifboard of directors on Thursday approved licenses that would allow retailers to place DVD rental machines and trolley tour ticket booths at 13 Metro stations -- a first for Metro.

If approved by the full board later Thursday, the licenses would allow NCR/Blockbuster to put DVD rental machines at Gallery Place, Metro Center, and Pentagon City.

Movie Solution would place DVD rental machines at ten stations: Farragut North, Farragut West, Foggy Bottom, L'Enfant Plaza, Metro Center, Union Station, Bethesda, New Carrollton, Shady Grove, and Rosslyn.

Old Town Trolley Tours would place two ticket sales and information booths at both entrances of Smithsonian Station.

The machines and booths would be put in place between this fall and the beginning of next year, said Nat Bottigheimer, Metro's director of planning and joint development.

The licenses are projected to produce nearly $1 million in revenue over the next eight years.

"This is the first time Metro has had a direct contract with a retail vendor in stations," said Steven E. Goldin, director of real estate at Metro's department of planning and joint development.

Board members expressed interest in expanding the retail presence in Metro stations, and Goldin said that Metro would explore creating a master license to allow one vendor to manage the retail activity by smaller businesses.

"We want to do what Chicago Transit Authority and other authorities have done, which is to have a single vendor who can subcontract," Goldin said.

Metro has made it clear it does not want food in the stations, which Goldin said is "a significant limitation" for retailers, who must also install electrical connections. At the same time, Metro does not want retail traffic to become an obstruction for commuters.
"The irony is as a vendor you want traffic ... It's a delicate balance," he said.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

10:24 a.m. Update: The panel, the Joint Development and Real Estate Committee, approved the retail licenses; the issue will go before the full board later today.

Original post: A panel of Metro's board of directors is expected on Thursday to approve licenses that would allow retailers to place DVD rental machines and trolley tour ticket booths at 13 Metro stations. approved, the licenses would allow NCR/Blockbuster to put DVD rental machines at Gallery Place, Metro Center, and Pentagon City.

Movie Solution would place DVD rental machines at 10 stations: Farragut North, Farragut West, Foggy Bottom, L'Enfant Plaza, Metro Center, Union Station, Bethesda, New Carrollton, Shady Grove, and Rosslyn.

Old Town Trolley Tours would place two ticket sales and information booths at both entrances of Smithsonian station.

The licenses are projected to produce nearly $1 million in revenue over the next eight years.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

By Michael Bolden  | June 24, 2010; 9:59 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New welcome center in Del. on 95
Next: Traveling in the heat? Send us reports.

Comments

This is probably a good idea since Metro is so incredibly inefficient at getting people from point A to point B, that people are looking for something to do on their 1+ hour commutes to travel 5-10 miles.

Posted by: Russtinator | June 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I should hope they are going to place the machines carefully so that these already-choked stations won't end up with a bunch of speed bumps as people wait in line to use them.

Posted by: forget@menot.com | June 24, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Boo that it's not RedBox. I've never even heard of Movie Solution before.

Also, is there even space for a ticket booth in the Smithsonian stop? That stop is already severly overcrowded.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | June 24, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I am kinda surprised that they rejected the bid from RedBox. Hmm, maybe someone in Metro had connections to the people trying to start up Movie Solution.

One can always hope that they'll have a better selection of movies than RedBox... Maybe rotate in a few classics instead of letting the new releases become as stale as RedBox does. Blu-Ray rentals from a machine would be nice to see some day, too.

I'm looking forward to see the machines in-station, but I have a feeling Movie Solution will let me down a little.

Posted by: HydroxCookies | June 24, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Inside or outside of the fare gates?

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This is awesome! I would love to rent a DVD while I'm waiting for my ride to pick me up. What about a rental machine at West Falls Church?

Posted by: ashdaleuf | June 24, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now... the "I'm too busy sitting here talking with fellow metro employees to help you" station manager will now be watching movies.

Posted by: 123cartoon | June 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we go through this a couple of years ago? No one wanted it, nor food stands, then. Why try again?

Posted by: jckdoors | June 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

it would be cool if each location had films specific to washington dc.
the one near georgetown could have the exorcist, or all the kings men etc. smithsonian metro could have night at the museum. the one near 14th st could have "nailin palin".

Posted by: MarilynManson | June 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the movie kiosks and wish they'd have food kiosks. Dunkin Donuts is prolific in Boston, and their Metro ISN'T filthy...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | June 24, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

This is just more one way that the Metro board is trashing the Metro stations. I understand that Metro has needed to added wiring, etc., for overhead signs, phone service; however, these things have been installed w/no sensitivity to the Metro's special architecture. It's too bad that so many people have moved here who have no idea how good Metro looked in its first years or how proud people were of the system.

When the system first opened, Metro even distributed ownership booklets explaining how it was everybody's system, that we should take pride in it, and treat it respectfully.

Unfortunately, that's all gone. A very substantial number of Metro employees, management included, don't seem to care how the stations look anymore. The customers mostly treat the stations as though they were a county dump.

Metro tried to build covers over the escalators that were wholly inconsistent w/the system's architectural design. Fortunately, the DC body charged w/regulating the appearance of monuments, etc., stepped in and forced Metro to build architecturally appropriate covers.

And this improvement is for what a few hundred thousand dollars. Whoopee doopee! As though that amount is going to make any difference in the operating costs.

Posted by: RockvilleBear | June 24, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Metro's special architecture?

Geometric sewer?

Posted by: fireball72 | June 24, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company