Area Metro riders are predicatably less than thrilled at yesterday’s passage of “the most expansive fare hike in the history of the transit agency,” perhaps none more disgruntled than 30-year-old Michael Wasson of Cleveland Park, who told WaPo:

“My position would be, if we need to pay a little more, that’s fine, but is this really paying for Metro to be upgraded? The cars are a sweatbox. They’re crowded, especially when crowds come back from a game on weekend nights. Are higher fares going to improve anything? I don’t see it.”

Wasson may have to wait up to six years to see much improvement sweatbox-wise.

Metro’s board also approved an $886 million contract to buy 428 new rail cars, including 300 replacements for the subway system’s oldest models, which federal investigators have long described as “uncrashworthy,” the Examiner reports:

Metro staffers in the board room clapped when it was approved, in an unusual step from the usually staid crowd.

The new cars won’t arrive until 2013, however, and won’t be in service until 2016.

Video courtesy of WJLA-TV