D.C. Metro: From Construction to Operation

Milestones from the public transportation system in the nation's capital.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, commonly known as Metro, was created in 1967 to bring a balanced regional transportation system to the Washington, D.C. area. Two years later, Metro started building its rail system, and began operating the first Metrorail system in 1976.

Today, Metro has grown to serve 91 stations and operate over 117 miles of track.

"Here are the first rails arriving in 1971 for Metrorail. They came in lengths of 1400 feet on a train of flatcars through the East Coach Yard north of Union Station to a temporary storage site near 9th & T Street NE."—Metro Forward on Facebook (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Metro bus being washed, 1978. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Tunnel being finalized near Forest Glen Station, 1982. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Crews work to complete the building of the tunnel near Forest Glen Station, 1982. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
"Building the emergency evacuation staircase and shaft near the now Forest Glen Station. Forest Glen is about 22 stories below ground, so building a staircase for emergencies is crucial."—Metro Forward on Facebook (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Construction of the Gallery Place-Chinatown station. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Anacostia Metro Station under construction, 1988. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
Constructing on Shaw-Howard U Station, 1996. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
The ground separating Georgia Ave.-Petworth and Columbia Heights being broken through with tunnel digging machinery, 1997. (Metro Forward/Facebook)
The Metro sits in near total darkness after a power outage on June 13, 2008 at the McPherson Square station. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A commuter uses her Metro ticket featuring a picture of Barack Obama on Jan. 15, 2009. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Riders wait for a train at the Metro Center station on April 30, 2009. ( KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue workers respond to the site of a collision of two Red Line Metrorail trains between the Fort Totten and Takoma Park stations during the evening rush hour on June 22, 2009. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
People walk down the escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro station during a snowstorm on Feb. 6, 2010. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Commuters emerge from the Capitol South Metro Station on the third day of a partial government shutdown, Oct. 3, 2013. Washington transportation officials report that ridership was down 25 percent because of the government shutdown. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Metro train is covered in snow on March 17, 2014 in Vienna. Virginia. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A Metro worker cleans the windows on a new 7000 series train car at Reagan Washington National Airport on April 13. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)