MTA unveils new NYC subway cars for A/C line riders
Bet this beats the subway car you rode to work.
The top Metropolitan Transportation Authority brass on Friday showed off some gleaming new, high-tech subway cars they hope to roll into service before the end of the year.
So far, the MTA has ordered nearly 1,200 new R211 subway cars — worth an estimated $3.2 billion — that will feature wider doors for speedier boarding, digital displays with more information, more room for handicapped passengers and security cameras in every car for improved security.
The MTA says A/C line straphangers will get the first crack at the shiny new rides, as well as a look at what the MTA hopes is the future: Subway cars linked together by an open passageway, allowing riders to easily move around and find seats during the rush hours.
The MTA has ordered just two of these open-gangway trains as part of a pilot program so far, but Chairman Janno Lieber and his chief of New York City Transit, Richard Davey, played up the advantages when they invited reporters out for a demonstration Friday.
“We have to test these, we have to try them out and see how they work, see if they fit into the New York environment — there’s a lot of complexity,” Lieber told reporters on the new train car. “But it’s always a milestone when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“We wouldn’t have the press on if we weren’t satisfied” with the trains, Davey added. “So far, so good.”
The two open-gangway trains and their traditional closed-car brethren will allow the MTA to finally replace the problem-plagued R46 trains, which date back to the presidencies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
The open-gangway trains link together the first five cars and the last five cars of the train, allowing passengers to more easily move between the front half or back half, a setup that is common on major European subways like London and Paris.
The new cars will be compatible with the MTA’s new computerized signaling system that currently powers both the 7 and L trains and can dispatch trains as frequently as every two minutes, allowing officials to dramatically boost capacity.
The agency is currently spending hundreds of millions to bring the system to the 8th Avenue and Fulton Street subways to improve the speed and reliability of the A and C trains.
It give transit agencies more space inside for seats and standing room and it allows passengers to quickly move to emptier parts of the train if they choose.
Some New Yorkers mocked the MTA’s apparent embrace of the design on Twitter after the rollout, complaining that foul smells could now pollute several cars instead of one.
Officials said late Friday that if the open gangway pilot is successful, they could convert an option they currently hold with Kawasaki for another 437 R211 cars to the configuration — enough for roughly more 40 trains.
Check out our Latest News and Follow us at Facebook