Metro identifies African-American Civil War Memorial at the U Street station and Adams Morgan at the Woodley Park station (even though it’s a 15 minute walk from the station), but it doesn’t identify the White House at Farragut West. Or the Capitol at Union Station. Why not highlight the most popular tourist spots?

Metro stations’ primary names always note a station’s physical location, be it a street, circle, square, or suburb. The other station designations, like Adams Morgan or African-American Civil War Memorial, come about after an advisory neighborhood commission or councilmember approaches Metro’s board of directors about the change.

As such, Metro isn’t in the business of noting tourist locations nearby stations, says authority spokesperson Taryn McNeil.

“We’re not sitting around thinking about what names to give stations,” she says.

And Metro is not eager to change stations’ names, because any alterations are time-consuming and expensive. For instance, the last two station name changes—renaming Rhode Island Avenue station to the Rhode Island–Brentwood station and changing Archives–Navy Memorial station to the Archives–Navy Memorial–Penn Quarter Station—cost $210,840 to produce and distribute new maps and signs and to update the stations’ pylons (the brown posts that note a station’s name).

Who foots the bill? The jurisdiction that requests the change, which, in the case of both the Rhode Island Avenue station and the Archives station, was the District.

So unless Capitol Hill or Farragut Square residents begin calling for a change to help the barrage of tourists who converge around stations’ information booths to ask directions to the White House or Capitol during the summer months, it’s unlikely that Metro will change the station’s names.

Every Monday, the ‘Huh?’ Bub takes your questions. Got one?

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