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Metro to unveil 4 new rail cars

GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA9) -- Metro is expected to unveil four brand new rail cars on Monday.

The 7000 series cars will be used for testing on the Metrorail system.  The data will then be sent back to the factory. If everything checks out, full scale production on new Metro cars will begin.

WMATA says a new configuration will allow 40 more passengers to ride on the eight car train. They are also expected to have automated public address systems that will be easier for passengers to understand. You will also notice new dynamic LCD route maps and video screens to track locations and street names.

Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Ben Cardin are expected to attend the unveiling at the Greenbelt Metro station.

1 green line station to close for weekend work

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro will close one station on the green line for weekend work and passengers will wait longer for trains on the blue, orange and red lines this weekend.

Metro says on Saturday and Sunday it will close the green line's Greenbelt station. Free shuttle busses will be available to take riders to and from the station. Metro says riders using the bus service should add 15 minutes to their travel times.

In addition, on the blue, orange and red lines, trains will operate every 20 minutes beginning on Friday at 10 p.m. and continuing through the weekend. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. there will be additional red line trains between Grosvenor and Silver Spring, leading to trains every 10 minutes.

AAA: Metro riders will come out ahead despite proposed fare increase

WASHNGTON (WUSA9) -- Metro General Manager Richard Sarles will present a proposed increase in Metro fares on Thursday morning at a meeting. Now AAA Mid-Atlantic says that when it comes to comparing the costs of taking Metro or driving "Despite the planned hike, some commuters will still come out ahead by continuing to ride Metro..."

AAA made the statement in a press release issued Thursday.  Metro's budget proposal calls for an increase to Metro bus fares by 15 cents, Metrorail by 10 cents and parking fees by 25 cents. The standard bus fee would be $1.75 whether using a SmarTrip card or paying by cash. Rail fees would increase by three percent on average with a maximum increase of 15 percent, according to WMATA.

Metro is getting a makeover

WASHINGTON (WUSA9)-- Metro is about to get a makeover.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is making moves to replace existing carpet with newer "slip-resistant resilient flooring" that will last longer than carpet, according to a news release.  

The change in flooring comes after Metro got feedback from customers who said they "strongly preferred"  flooring to carpet, citing cleanliness. And it's true. The dirt and spills that seep into the carpet each day will bounce right off of the new resilient flooring.  Maintenance crews will also be able to clean the new floors more easily than the carpet.  

Riders will find another benefit to the new flooring: the new floors will reflect the interior and exterior light, making your ride a bit brighter. 

#GiveJoy to a child for the holiday season

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- LOG ON TO http://www.wusa9.com/givejoy to donate a toy or money to children via "Volunteers of America." 

Jan Jeffcoat is out on assignment and it's a GREAT assignment! Jan's in Prince George's County helping to kick off our holiday virtual toy drive!

WUSA9 has teamed up with the Volunteers of America Chesapeake on a new one-of-a-kind holiday campaign called "Give Joy" and it gives you a chance to help needy kids and families this holiday season with the click of a button. We're calling it a JOY DRIVE and you can buy a toy, donate or just send a holiday message virtually - from home, from work, from anywhere!

Between now and mid December Jan and the whole team here at wusa 9 will be bringing you stories about the people you can help. If you follow her on Twitter @JanJeffcoat you can get live twitter updates.

2 accidents on Route 50 result in death, injuries

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- A five vehicle accident closed a portion of Rt. 50 prior to I-97 in Maryland Thursday night. The road is now open.

Maryland State Police officials say four cars and a tractor trailer were involved in the collision on the eastbound side of Rt. 50 at around 9:20 p.m.

One man was transported to a trauma center with non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Three other people were transported to hospitals with non life-threatening injuries.

Another accident happened on eastbound Route 50 east of Rt 424 in Davidsonville at 11:30 p.m., say police. In that accident, a van hit the back of a tractor trailer. The driver of the van was flown to a trauma center in critical condition. Later, police said that 38-year-old Michael Lee Sampson died.

Missing man from Md. found

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Officials say they have found a 21-year-old missing man from Md.

Philip Dane Kasparites was reported missing on Thursday morning. According to his family, he voluntarily left his home at 1:30 a.m. after an argument with his grandfather. 

Police did not release any details about where or how Kasparites was located.