BROOKLYN — New Yorkers just got a glimpse of the subway of the future — and it looks pretty cool.
The 112-year-old system will be leaping into the 21st century with dramatic new subway cars, renovated stations and even now-standard amenities like Wi-Fi and USB charging ports, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The MTA plans to use so-called “design-build” contracts to expedite the design and renovation process, and the first requests for proposals will be issued later this week for three subway stations in Brooklyn around Prospect Park. A total of 31 projects around the boroughs will receive overhauls under this project. The stations will be closed for 6 months at a time to complete the work.
The new trains, buses, and station projects are just some of the $28 billion Capital Plan. Most of the work will be done over the next 5 years. Some of the new equipment will be ordered over the next few years and begin to arrive.
Cuomo's plan includes the debut of 1,025 new subway cars. Up to 750 of those cars will feature a new open car design.
Doors between these new cars will be replaced with accordion-like connectors to create a longer, more open space. Passengers will have more room to walk between cars and car capacity will increase, according to a news release.
The new cars will also have wider doors, which will prove helpful during hectic commute hours. Door openings will increase in size from the current 50 inches to 58 inches wide and, according to a news release, this increase in size can reduce train wait times by 32 percent by allowing customers to enter and exit the subway cars more quickly.
Modern designs and amenities such as Wi-Fi, USB charging ports, full color digital customer information displays, digital advertisements, security cameras and illuminated door opening alerts will be added to the new cars as well.
Car designs will be updated and will feature LED headlights, larger windows and a blue stripe with gold accents down the sides.
Stations across the five boroughs will be updated too. Thirty-one stations are slated to undergo extensive renovations, which will include enhanced lighting, improved signage, real-time train updates on new countdown clocks, improved cell service capabilities and Wi-Fi.
These renovations will maintain unique and historical architectural elements at each station.
The first three stations that the MTA will issue proposals for are the Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street and Bay Ridge Avenue stations in Brooklyn. Proposals for more stations will be released over the next 12 months and the first station renovation contract is expected to be awarded this fall.
Station closures will be limited to a six-month period, according to a news release.
Design consultants with extensive international train and transit design, including in London, helped create the new car designs and station renovation plans.