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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) by July 1 will retire all of its 1000- and 4000-series rail cars, the agency announced yesterday.WMATA originally expected to retire the older cars by 2017's end as part of its "Back2Good" plan, which is aimed at improving safety and reliability. The agency will replace the units with newer, more reliable 7000-series cars, WMATA officials said in a press release. "By retiring the last of our oldest and least reliable railcars, we will be in a much better position to deliver more reliable service for our customers," said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld. "We have already seen the positive results of this effort in the form of fewer railcar-related delays and fewer offloads."Almost two-thirds of WMATA's delays are caused by rail-car mechanical issues.The agency currently has 344 new 7000-series cars in passenger service and is receiving 20 new units a month. WMATA has purchased 748 new rail cars total. WMATA will provide a number of decommissioned 4000-series rail cars to emergency response agencies for training purposes. In addition, a pair of the agency's original 1000-series rail cars will be refurbished and preserved for historical purposes.