The warnings not to pass between subway cars could become a thing of the past. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ordered 10 open gangway cars as part of its 2015-2019 capital plan, 2nd Ave. Sagas reported. Open gangway subway trains are several cars-long, but have no doors in between them. A bit like bendy buses. The order was included with the order that includes the R211 subway cars that will replace the existing R46s that operate on the A, F, R, and Rockaway Park Shuttle lines. There is no plan for actual implementation, but the order indicates a willingness to see what's possible.
There are many benefits to the open gangway design. For one thing, it increases capacity without increasing train frequency. It means people can spread out across an entire train. It's also great for when you really need to be at the back of the train when you get to your destination, but don't have time to run there before the doors close.
There are worries about crime, but as 2nd Ave. Sagas' Benjamin Kabak points out, it's no longer the bad old 1980s. And while people have raised concerns about subway quality-of-life issues—buskers, homeless people, etc.—along with safety concerns (the MTA has cited tight curves and safety concerns), for many these open gangway trains are long overdue.
· New Capital Plan set to include open gangway prototype order [2AS]
· MTA's $29B Capital Plan Cuts Second Ave Subway Funds in Half [Curbed]