NEW YORK (PIX11) — Take the A train for an all-new experience in transit in New York City.
The MTA’s new standard R211 subway cars began passenger service on Friday. One train set is currently running on the A line and more trains will be phased in. Riders could immediately tell some of the new features.
“[It’s] beautiful and impressive,” said one rider.
MTA officials said the cars are part of a 535-car order. It includes 15 Staten Island Railway five-car trains and 20 cars with an open gangway feature. An additional order for up to 1,200 is also possible in the coming years.
Riders will first notice the wider doors and larger isles. That’s designed to speed up boarding and passenger flow. Jesse Lauter noticed a different feel to the seat.
“My spine is adjusting. It’s well-lit, that’s important. You feel more comfortable,” Lauter said.
Security cameras, brighter lights and additional accessible seating are in place. Enhanced digital displays provide details and specific station information.
“I get to be the first train operator to take this train into service with customers and I’m very hopeful it’s going to be an eventful day,” said NYC train operator Tito Thorpe.
MTA Chairman Janno Lieber pointed out the benefit to riders’ experience and service.
“We’re investing over $6 billion in new train cars as part of the historic $55 billion MTA Capital Program, and it’s not just for aesthetics because these new train cars enable us to run more frequent service,” said Lieber.
The transit agency is currently in the first stages of testing for the next model, which features the open gangway design. There are no doors between train cars. The process for those trains will continue this year, with passenger service expected to be tested by the end of 2023.
Additional trains will be delivered in the coming months.