Hey uptown train buffs! The MTA is planning on introducing a new class of spacious, high-tech subway cars in 2020, and they'll be starting with the lettered lines–that means the A, B, C and D trains for anyone who lives uptown.
You have until tomorrow, December 6, to check out the two prototypes and give the MTA your feedback on the slick new designs (they're on the mezzanine of the 7 train's Hudson Yards stop).
If, understandably, you're short on time, here are some of the more interesting details. Keep in mind, nothing is set in stone yet.
• Each car will have six fewer seats so there will be less space to rest your weary feet, but more standing room–crucial during rush hour. Three seats in the middle will flip up, creating a designated spot for those in a wheelchair.
• The seats will be much narrower (less deep)–another attempt to add more space. I tried them out and they were fine. The new cars are not going to win any awards for personal comfort, that's for sure.
• There will be grab rails up the wazoo: short, diagonal ones at different heights at the end of each seat, long ones above each seat, double sided ones in the middle, plus a ceiling-mounted rail in the middle of each car.
• The MTA will be testing out accordion-like open gangways between cars, which means you'll be able to walk the entire length of some trains without passing through any doors. This should help distribute people more evenly throughout the cars.
• Doors will be eight inches wider, speeding up the boarding process. Arrows will direct passengers through the entrance (maybe the signs will finally teach people not to block the doors?!?). Long, vertical lights along each door will tell passengers whether to proceed (green) or stop (red).
• Digital displays will provide all kinds of useful information, including real-time service updates and arrival times for each upcoming station.
• Radiant heat will pass through the rubberized floor of the cars. No more being roasted alive if you sit in the dreaded hot spot on the older trains!
• In short, I approve.