Photos by Rachel Pincus/Gothamist

subwayseats0810a.jpgForget the days of colorful, clunky seating filling up the subway cars—the future is here, straphangers, and it looks mighty uncomfortable.

The new flip-up seats arrived late last year, and we finally spotted them this morning on the E train (as you can see, the perfect line to test the rush hour seats on!), so we thought we'd check in with the MTA on their fleet of ten testing cars. Deirdre Parker, Deputy Director of Public Affairs, tells us they were brought in for "a test to see if it would add capacity on crowded lines during rush hour. Those seats are locked in the down position and will remain that way. There is no plan at this point to run those cars in the up position." Parker wouldn't answer why the seats were remaining locked, or if they would ever be unlocked, so for now we'll just assume they had some extra cash burning a hole in their pockets.

The cars are also fitted with split poles, allowing for more people to grab on—but hindering subway pole dancers from putting on a good show. That's not the only bad news, we're told the new seats are quite uncomfortable. They will, however, increase customer capacity by about 19% per car... if they're ever put to use! Good thing the MTA has too many budget concerns to hire agents to shove us into packed cars, like they have in Tokyo. We'll get there though, New York, one day.