The MTA’s latest batch of subway trains will begin hitting the tracks later this yr – together with some with an accordion-style setup that enables straphangers to simply transfer between cars.
The open gangway trains are anticipated to roll out by December, MTA officers mentioned Friday. The structure, which must be acquainted to MTA bus riders, hasn’t been used since the early days of the subway.
The accordion trains are in a pilot section for now – solely 24 cars out of 640 will characteristic open gangways. That represents solely two complete trains.
The remaining have bench seating much like the latest prepare cars presently in the system. These trains, generally known as R211s, have wider doorways so passengers can board and exit extra rapidly. In addition they have devoted area for wheelchair customers, in addition to built-in surveillance cameras.
The overall order will value $1.7 billion.
Straphangers will first see the new trains on the A and C traces and Staten Island Rail Highway beginning in the spring. They’ll substitute the oldest trains in the system, which have been in service for greater than 50 years.
“New Yorkers always want and deserve train cars that haven’t lived through eight presidents,” MTA Chairman Janno Lieber mentioned.
The rollout spells the finish of the well-liked “conversational seating” association on the oldest trains.
“The cars these will replace will qualify for their AARP card in 18 months,” New York Metropolis Transit President Richard Davey joked.
As with many initiatives in the MTA, the rollout is delayed.
The MTA ordered 535 new prepare cars from Kawasaki in 2018 and anticipated them to be totally delivered by July 2023. However provide chain points in addition to labor disputes at the Kawasaki plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, brought about delays.
Final October, the MTA elevated the order to 640 new prepare cars, with a last supply date between February 2025 and December 2026.
“Putting their feet to the fire is a nice way to put it,” Lieber mentioned when requested how he’ll ensure the order arrives as anticipated. “We are insisting they fix things and get the delivery back on schedule.”