The New York City subway will get a big upgrade in the years to come when open gangway cars will freely roll across the tracks, but in the meantime the MTA is still working on bringing needed upgrades to an aging and increasingly inadequate fleet. In a press hearing yesterday, Steve Plochochi, MTA vice president of of procurement and material, said that the agency is still working on procuring about 300 new cars to replace the fleet’s oldest and most finicky cars along the J, C, and Z lines, AMNY reports.
The cars are three years overdue—they were expected to hit the tracks in 2014, but the first of the cars in the order didn’t arrive in the city until September 2016. Seventy cars are expected to arrive this year, with another 230 to follow. Unlike the accordion cars that will roll out by 2023, the cars arriving in 2017 and 2018 will be similar to those currently operating along the L line.
As for those accordion cars, the city is close to finalizing their order, which will include 640 open gangway cars and an additional 363 cars that aren’t open gangway. The connected cars will include 58-inch doors, up from the 50-inch doors of today’s cars, that will allow for more easy access and exit. The MTA estimates that the larger doors will reduce the dwell time of cars in the station by about 32 percent.
The new cars will also have (presumably better) Wi-Fi, integrated USB chargers, full color digital customer info displays, and digital ads. The cars will also have illuminated door opening alerts and security cameras to promote safety, as well as a new design that includes LED headlights.