Medical Center station (Washington Metro)

Coordinates: 38°59′57″N 77°05′52″W / 38.999067°N 77.097676°W / 38.999067; -77.097676
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Medical Center
Medical Center station platform
General information
Location8810 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland
Coordinates38°59′57″N 77°05′52″W / 38.999067°N 77.097676°W / 38.999067; -77.097676
Owned byWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Platforms1 island platform
Structure typeUnderground
Depth120 ft (37 m)[1]
Bicycle facilitiesCapital Bikeshare, 88 racks, 38 lockers
Other information
Station codeA10
OpenedAugust 25, 1984; 39 years ago (August 25, 1984)
20221,651 daily[2]
Preceding station Washington Metro Following station
Grosvenor–Strathmore Red Line Bethesda
toward Glenmont

Medical Center station is a Washington Metro station in Bethesda, Maryland, United States. The island-platformed station was opened on August 25, 1984, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Providing service for the Red Line, the station serves the National Institutes of Health campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and is located at Rockville Pike and South Drive. Since there is little retail in the area and no commuter parking lot, this station is used almost exclusively by employees and visitors to those two institutions.[citation needed]


The station opened on August 25, 1984.[3][4] Its opening coincided with the completion of 6.8 miles (10.9 km) of rail northwest of the Van Ness–UDC station and the opening of the Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Grosvenor, and Tenleytown stations.[3][4][5]

In September 2009, Montgomery County submitted a $20 million federal grant application to build a pedestrian tunnel under Rockville Pike to improve access to the Medical Center stop from Walter Reed Medical Center. Currently, there is only a crosswalk here, with many passengers crossing the heavily travelled street from Walter Reed on the east side of MD 355 to get to the station on the west side. Construction would have originally occurred in 2011,[6] but the project was not approved until 2013.[7] The project is fully funded at $68 million, mostly through the Department of Defense, and includes installation of new deep elevators, improvement of surface bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as an extension of the left turn lane on southbound MD 355. The project began construction in 2017. The elevators and staircases of the MD 355 crossing underpass opened in late 2021 and the east side elevators to mezzanine, another elevator to platform, and a new staircase opened on February 25, 2022.[8][9]

Station layout[edit]

Medical Center is the last underground station heading towards Shady Grove, as north of this station, it emerges from the tunnel onto a brief elevated section, crossing the Capital Beltway. The station is one of 11 stations in the system constructed with rock tunneling and is accordingly deeper underground than most stations in the system.[10] Its platform is located 114 feet (35 m) below its west entrance and more than 120 feet (37 m) below street level.[1][11]

Unlike most other Red Line stations, the escalator bank emerges above ground outside, rather than in a subterranean landing.[12] These escalators are located at the southwest corner of Rockville Pike and South Drive, where bus bays and a kiss and ride lot are also located. The escalators are 202 feet (62 m) long and rise 101 feet (31 m) from the mezzanine to the entrance landing.[13]

G Street level Exit/entrance, buses
M Mezzanine Fare gates, ticket machines, station agent
Platform level
Westbound toward Grosvenor–Strathmore or Shady Grove (Grosvenor–Strathmore)
Island platform
Eastbound toward Silver Spring or Glenmont (Bethesda)


  1. ^ a b Kraut, Aaron (June 13, 2016). "Cost of Rockville Pike Tunnel, Metro Elevators Project Increasing by $36 Million". Bethesda Magazine.
  2. ^ "Rail Ridership Data Viewer". WMATA. Retrieved February 12, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Staff Reporters (August 25, 1984), "Red Line adds 6.8 miles; Opening ceremony for new segment set for today at Friendship Heights", The Washington Post, p. B1
  4. ^ a b Brisbane, Arthur S. (August 26, 1984), "All aboard; Metro festivities welcome latest Red Line extension", The Washington Post, p. A1
  5. ^ "Sequence of Metrorail openings" (PDF). Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Ujifusa, Andrew (September 16, 2009). "County proposes underpass for Medical Center Metro station". Montgomery County Gazette. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "Medical Center Metro Crossing Project". Montgomery County Government. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Martinez, Julio (January 11, 2018). "Tunnel to be Built for Pedestrian Use". DC Military. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Brooks, Jeremy (January 11, 2018). "Progress to Continue on MD 355 Crossing Project through 2018". DC Military. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "See some of the reasons why Metrorail is hard to maintain". Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  11. ^ Montgomery County Department of Transportation. "MD 355 Crossing (BRAC) South of Jones Bridge Road/Center Drive to North of South Wood Road/South Drive Geotechnical Baseline Report for Proposal" (PDF). Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Johnson, Matt (July 8, 2014). "What are the 10 longest Metro escalators?". Greater Greater Washington. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "Medical Center Entrance Escalator Replacement | WMATA".

External links[edit]