The MTA's $800 million Subway Action Plan is currently underway, and New Yorkers will see some of its first tangible effects this week in the form of slightly less seats on some E trains.
The authority announced on Tuesday that the first batch of refurbished and reconfigured R-160 subway cars are being rolled out on the line, with replaced parts and removed seats on each end. The reduction in seats is expected to increase the capacity of each train by up to 100 passengers and aims to reduce delays and service disruptions that result from overcrowding. A total of 100 updated cars will be rolled out onto the E, C, L and Times Square shuttle lines as part of a pilot program that aims to improve the reliability of the system (which has been terribly unreliable this year).
“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," MTA chairman Joe Lhota said in a statement. “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 refurbished cars have special interior and exterior wrapping, which lets passengers know that they'll have a harder time finding a seat. Aside from the chair-culling, the rehabbed cars also come with a batch of LCD screens, improved lighting and improved handrails.
It's too early to tell whether or not the pilot will be a success. But if you're sick and tired of not being able to nab a seat on the subway, don't expect your luck to change any time soon.