New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans this Monday for redesigned subway cars and renovated stations as part of the $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program approved last May to improve the NYC transit system. The proposal calls for 1,025 new subway cars, including 750 open-end cars, and major upgrades to 31 stations across the five boroughs. High-tech features will include Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital displays, but perhaps more important to straphangers are the open gangways that provide a seamless connection between train cars, helping to reduce overcrowding and aid in the flow of passengers. Open-end cars (also known as “accordion” cars) are increasingly being implemented around the world, including in London, Paris and Toronto.
“New York deserves a world-class transportation network, worthy of its role as the heartbeat of the 21st century economy,” Governor Cuomo said at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn. “The MTA design team developed a bold and visionary reimagining of the quintessential commuter experience, incorporating best practices from global transit systems, and focusing on our core mission to renew, enhance and expand. We are going to do more than renovate — we are bringing subway stations to a higher standard than ever before, and the new vision for subway cars will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding and delays.”
Other new design features for the subway cars include wider doors (from 50 to 58 inches) that can reduce delays by allowing customers to enter and exit the train car more quickly, foldable seats, illuminated door opening alerts, security cameras, LED headlights and more colorful exteriors with blue and gold painted on parts of the cars.
The upgraded subway stations will feature enhanced lighting and improved signage, including digital, real-time updates at station entrances and digital countdown clocks on platforms. The renovated stations will also include easier-to-clean surfaces, improved neighborhood maps, USB charging ports, improved cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi and new contemporary art.
The MTA will issue a Request for Proposals later this week for the subway cars and the first three stations to be renovated, all in Brooklyn — Prospect Avenue Station, 53rd Street Station and Bay Ridge Avenue Station. The station renovations are expected to be completed by 2018 and the new cars are expected to be online by 2023.
Images via Governor’s Office