The last time we reported on the MTA’s newest class of subway cars, the R211, we provided a sneak peak of a prototype that was stashed behind a construction wall in the Number 7 line’s West 34th Street-Hudson Yards station. The new models, which feature an open-gangway between cars (similar to “articulated” buses already on the road), have sparked a host of interesting comments and questions from Untapped readers, some addressing concerns and potential issues. Now the MTA is giving the opportunity for commuters to give in-person feedback. Over the course of the next week, the agency is offering public tours of the new fleet.
Beginning Thursday, November 30 to Wednesday, December 6, head to the 7 line subway station mezzanine at 34th Street-Hudson Yards between 11am and 7pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on weekends to see the new car design and its various features up close. Staff from the MTA will also be present to take questions and hear feedback from visitors, who can either fill out surveys (on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) or share their thoughts through Twitter (tweet @MTA or @NYCTSubway), Facebook at the MTA New York City Transit page or the MTA website.
We recently paid a visit and snapped a few shots of the prototypes. See below and let us know what you think of the new features:
Blue, white and yellow exterior
New double grab railings and floor graphics; flexible route strip map also seen
End-of-seat grab rail and horizontal, ceiling mounted grab rail; door alert light
Fold up seats for wheelchair parking
Flexible information display
Door alert light and emergency intercom
“Developing a first-in-class subway car is an essential part of modernizing our subway system,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “It is important that our subway customers provide their feedback in this process and we hope they will do so after visiting the prototype. Ultimately, our customers will be riding these cars each day and their input is very important.”
In addition to the “open gangway,” which will be featured as a pilot program in some initial R211 cars, important updates to take note of include the model’s 58-inch door span — (eight inches wider than standard doors) — the digital displays that provide real-time information about service and stations, new grab rails and a variety of aesthetic updates (safety graphics, signage, blue and white exterior with the state seal).
Image via the MTA. Renderings released in July 2016
It is hoped that the articulated design that incorporates corrugated rubber connectors instead of doors will increase passenger capacity and reduce crowding by allowing commuters to ride in the gangway between cars. The MTA plans to introduce the new cars for testing beginning in 2020. In the meantime, pay a visit to Hudson Yards to drop in your two cents. The feedback will be shared with the car’s designers and the Car Equipment Division of NYC Transit.