In ads displayed across the system and online, the smiling riders hold up posters of facts about the transit agency, with their signatures superimposed behind them. Their printed names and what Metrorail line they ride are listed, as well.
But the riders featured in the Metro Forward ads posted across the system are not just regular commuters. They are also paid models.
Metro hired the six through a modeling agency and paid them each $667, said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. That was in cash, not SmarTrip fare.
One of them, Carlyncia Peck, is listed as a Red Line rider. She's also an actress who has appeared in movies and had unnamed parts on the old television police drama "The District," according to IMDB.com,
Another, Orange Line rider Craig Melton, has his measurements listed on his agency's website as his "talent attributes." ("Height: 5' 11" Suit: 42" Waist: 31" Inseam: 32" Hair: Black Eyes: Brown.")
Neha Jain Paul, who is listed as a Red Line rider, has also been the face for Merrill Lynch, Cisco and Strayer University.
"All of them are, at a minimum, occasional riders; some ride regularly," Stessel said.
Paul told The Washington Examiner she models as a hobby but works full time in information technology. But she said her stint for Metro is the first time she has ever plugged a product she uses. The 33-year-old who lives in Falls Church said she has been stopped in a grocery store and asked if she is a student at Strayer. "I wasn't really a student, I was a model, unlike with the Metro system," she said.
She said her agency sent out a casting call for models who ride the system and know how it works.
Paul acknowledges, though, that she doesn't ride Metro as much as she used to do when she had another job until 2009.
"I used to take it almost every day," she said.
Now, she said, she only takes Metro occasionally to her new job in Takoma Park as she'd like to be able to get home to her two young boys in Falls Church, if needed. Until last month, she said, she rode about once a week.
But she said Metro officials were sticklers at the photo shoot to make sure all the models were indeed model riders.
"They verified again and again to make sure we use the Metro system and weren't just someone who rides twice a year," she said.
She said she's pleased to be sending out a message for Metro.
"I am contributing to the society as well by putting across these facts," she said. "As long as they are doing work to improve it, I feel good to be a part of it."