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Washington DC Metro

Metrorail (commonly referred to as just Metro) is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. The system is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). In Maryland, Metro provides service to Montgomery County and Prince George's County; in Virginia, to Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria.

Since opening in 1976, the network has grown to include five lines, 86 stations, and 106.3 miles (171.1 km) of track. Metro is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the United States, in number of passenger trips, after the New York City Subway; there were 215.3 million trips, or 727,684 trips per weekday, on Metrorail in fiscal year 2008. In June 2008, Metro set a new monthly ridership record with 19,729,641 trips, or 798,456 per weekday. Fares vary based on the distance traveled and the time of day. Riders enter and exit the system using a stored-value card in the form of a paper magnetic stripe fare card or a proximity card known as "SmarTrip."

Metro stations were designed by Chicago architect Harry Weese, and are examples of late-20th century modern architecture. With their heavy use of concrete and repetitive design motifs, Metro stations also display aspects of "brutalist" design. In 2007, the design of the Metro's vaulted-ceiling stations was voted number 106 on the American Institute of Architects' list of "America's Favorite Architecture."

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