Attention E train riders: Look around your subway car the next time you're commuting—you may be on one of 100 new "refurbished and reconfigured" train cars that have had some seats removed to increase standing room.
The updated R-160 train cars, part of the MTA's $800 million "Subway Action Plan" to improve service, also featured brand new master controllers. According to the MTA, the master controllers "are responsible for the braking and acceleration of the train" and "were identified as one of the leading causes of failures on the R-160's."
As for the additional standing room, the agency believes that 80-100 more passengers will be able to board each train, and that the extra space will streamline the boarding and exiting processes.
Here are some other things that were upgraded on the cars, according to an MTA press release:
- Improved stanchions and hand rails to enhance customer comfort and safety.
- Display LCD screens in all cars to provide customers with better information.
- LED lighting to improve lighting and reduce energy consumption.
- Interior and exterior wrapping of the cars for customers to identify Pilot Trains, as well as car exterior indicators to identify the cars that have the modified seating arrangement.
You may see these updated train cars along the Times Square S shuttle and the L line as the MTA expands its pilot program.
"We do not have time to waste when it comes to improving the customer experience and service for our riders," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement. "This pilot goes directly to the heart of that goal by attacking a significant cause of failures on these cars and making a fast, targeted improvement. We also know that getting more passengers onto trains, in a more efficient manner, is absolutely essential — which is why we’re piloting the removal of select number of seats."
Last week, Lhota said that all the fixes for the subway can't really be made unless the city kicks in half of his $800 million action plan. (Don't get it twisted: The MTA is controlled by NY State and Governor Andrew Cuomo.)