Metro Stations Could Get DVDs, But Not Food

by Mark Wellborn

Last year, the WMATA entertained bids from companies that were interested in opening up kiosks inside Metro stations. It appears that the proposals were fairly DVD heavy.


Greater Greater Washington reported today that the proposals included DVD rental kiosks, a kiosk for Old Town Trolley Tours, a newsstand that would serve food, and “one that would have combined a variety of retail including Smithsonian Museum stores, cleaners, and more DVDs.”

From Greater Greater Washington:

The three retail proposals that passed muster are Blockbuster, for DVD rental kiosks at Gallery Place, Metro Center and Pentagon City, Movie Solution, for DVD rental kiosks at Farragut North, Farragut West, Foggy Bottom, L’Enfant Plaza, Metro Center Union Station, Bethesda, New Carrollton, Shady Grove and Rosslyn, and Old Town Trolley Tours, for ticket sales and information booths at both entrances of Smithsonian.

The food idea was tossed because food is not allowed in Metro stations, and frankly, if you have seen the size and prevalence of the rats in the New York City subway (where food is allowed), it was a wise decision.

If the WMATA board approves the businesses listed above, it could bring in just over $1 million in projected revenue in the next 8 years, according to GGW.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/metro_stations_could_get_dvds_but_not_food/2190


  1. whoa_now said at 10:50 am on Tuesday June 22, 2010:

    I hate that it’s blockbuster, but this really is a no brainer. I think wmata should charge out the ass for this right. 1 million over 8 years does not sound like enough. Put it up for bidding. Redbox/Netflix/Blockbuster…someone should be able to come up with more.

    Also it looks like Blockbuster is throwing it’s weight around. The Redbox in my local grocery store was replaced with a blockbuster one..and because of my longtime boycott of all things blockbuster from some long ago forgotten transgression..I am now out of a video kiosk.

  1. lt said at 11:07 am on Tuesday June 22, 2010:

    If they are bringing in $1 million from this does that mean they will stop increasing metro rates every 4 months with no end in site? One can only hope…

  1. Chris said at 11:10 am on Tuesday June 22, 2010:

    Why DVDs?  Was this the most popular business idea?  I never see people watching video on the Metro and do you really want more people just standing around in areas that are already overcorwded.  And great, just what we need.  More kids hanging around and being complete a-holes with metro police and employees doing nothing about it.

    No thanks!

  1. PleasantPlainer said at 11:41 am on Tuesday June 22, 2010:

    Maybe Metro should just take a cut of the DVD rental sales, rather than a fee? That way, they would be more inclined to locate the boxes in the best locations, etc. I agree - Blockbuster sux! But why not just allow/create opportunities for more advertising in the system?! I see so many wasted spaces in the monotone stations that are screaming for color and communicate something of value to me as I ride/wait! And no, I don’t mean more adverts about the new joint task force weapons system whatever that will make the kill and get you home in time for dinner with the family. More of that, I don’t need!

  1. whoa_now said at 11:42 am on Tuesday June 22, 2010:


    This is sarcastic right? The dvds are for metro commuters. Pick up a movie on the way home from the work, return the movie on the way into work. Its not suggesting that you rent and watch on your 35 min commute. Not sure about your crowding problems…that doesn’t bother me, but usually they are crowds on “public transit”

  1. al said at 11:44 am on Saturday October 29, 2011:

    Whats the problem with having restaurants overlooking a metro station but still independent of it.
    Food can be eaten only in the restaurant and not allowed to in the metro?

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