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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA: Retail shops in stations could generate additional revenue


Later this month, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will seek board approval to obtain a license to operate retail shops in stations.

The authority proposes to operate at least one retail operation at a minimum of 12 stations for a three-year term, with five one-year contract renewal options. WMATA also would consider proposals from individual businesses.

The retail business would generate additional revenue for the agency, WMATA said. The agency sought retail proposals from businesses three years ago, but at the time, WMATA restricted the sale of tobacco, food or beverages. The authority received only three proposals, none of which matched its requirements. Agency officials since have determined it’s more profitable to include food and beverage sales in retail operations. The sale of tobacco and alcohol still would be prohibited.

If the board approves the plan, WMATA would begin soliciting proposals in June. The retail program could begin in late fall.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/8/2009