New York City launched new, more spacious subway cars earlier this month, reports Bloomberg CityLab. The new cars feature a design favored in Europe and Asia with wider doors and open gangways that allow passengers to move easily between cars. It’s a first for a U.S. public transportation provider, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The MTA is piloting the new cars on two trains with 10 cars on each. The hope is that the doors, which are eight inches wider, and the fact that riders won’t need to exit one car to find seating in another will speed up boarding and disembarking. Each new car will have security cameras, which will help reduce crime. There will be space for additional accessibility seating as well.
“The 20 open gangway cars are part of a $1.4 billion contract with Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. that also includes 440 standard subway cars and 75 Staten Island Railway cars,” Bloomberg reporter Michelle Kaske writes. According to the MTA’s 20-year needs assessment, they’ll need to replace more than 3,900 subway cars over the next two decades. About 1,500 subway rail cars are already past their 40-year limit.