Queens residents who step into the E train will find that there are less seats.
The new design is a part of Chairman Joseph Lhota’s Subway Action Plan, which was announced in July. In the plan, Lhota outlined an initiative to remove seats to “allow greater standing capacity by 25 customers per car.” Though the design was scheduled to first appear in the 42nd Street shuttle and L train, the agency unveiled the new cars on the E train — which connects Jamaica to the World Trade Center — on Oct. 3.
“Providing a safe and reliable ride is what our customers demand and what the MTA is determined to deliver through our Subway Action Plan. We do not have time to waste when it comes to improving the customer experience and service for our riders,” Lhota said. “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.”
The trains also include new handrails, LCD screens in all cars to provide passengers with information, LED lighting to decrease energy consumption and exterior indicators to let people know which cars have less seats.
These R-160 cars are part of a 100-car pilot that had their master controllers, equipment that is responsible for breaking and accelerating, replaced.
In addition to this new design, Lhota’s plan will repair 1,300 signals, reduce instances of water leaks and clogged drains, clean the underground subway network to reduce fire hazards and dispatch special teams to places with the highest rates of track issues.
The inspection and repair of car doors, which cause 40 percent of car breakdowns, will be increased along with the number of overhauled cars. NYC Transit will completely overhaul 1,100 cars per year instead of 950.