Open gangway style! MTA testing end-to-end open subway cars

Toronto. via Flickr user Sean_Marshall

Well we know at least one person is a fan of the open gangway trains in Toronto. via Flickr user Sean_Marshall, edited by David Colon

The subways, as we know, are more crowded and delayed than ever. The MTA knows we won’t be mollified by cutesy 16-bit videos explaining why everything is broken, so they’re looking for different solutions to get more of us on trains. One option? Per Second Avenue Sagas, the MTA put aside money to buy 10 open gangway cars, also known as articulated trains, in their 2015-2019 capital plan.

Open gangway trains, which are train cars that are open from end to end, allowing passengers to walk from the front to the back of the train without ever stepping off it, are already used in subway systems in Europe, Canada, China and other countries. And while we obviously hate the idea of playing catch-up with the rest of the world, these cars add room for eight to ten percent more riders than a train that leaves a gap between the cars, so we’re intrigued. Even though these trains eliminate the time-honored tradition of drunken twentysomethings doing their best to balance between cars to pee on late nights, we’d have more room, which we desperately need.

What does this purchase plan mean for you at the moment? Not TOO much, since as Second Avenue Sagas notes, the MTA is only buying 10 articulated trains out of their plan for 950 new cars. In the future though, maybe you’ll have a brief break from trains being so crowded you just turn around and go home instead of going to work. Also, on early-morning or late-night trains that are emptier, you could use the whole train as a jogging track.

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