New York City transit officials have announced a significant upgrade to the New York subway system. A new type of train has been chosen with a focus on increased safety and reduced crowding. The new style, open “gangway” trains have been used in other major cities with excellent results so far, and transit officials are encouraged by the potential benefits in New York.
Unlike current trains, the gangway cars are one long, open vehicle. Passengers can move freely from one end of the train to another, something that is unsafe and illegal in the current model. This setup allows for greater visibility among all passengers, which many report leads to a safer feeling on the train.
Crowding is a significant problem in New York subways, and the gangway model helps alleviate this. The new design will make better use of interior train space. The open design increases overall space by about 10 percent. Doors will be 58 inches wider to mitigate the problem of passengers standing in the entryway. Additionally, a foot of space will be added to each side of the doors so passengers who want to stand at the door can do so without obstructing passengers who are exiting. A transit spokesperson reported that simulations indicate a 32 percent reduction in time the train must spend at the station with the increased doorway space.
The Metro Transit Authority intends a graduated roll out of the new concept. They will initially invest in 750 of the new cars, a bit less than half the total they will be adding. As part of the same improvement process, all city subway trains will be equipped with helpful informational screens and security cameras.
The concept has been met with positive responses so far by city residents. A primary concern for passengers is overcrowding, and residents welcome anything that can alleviate that stress. Officials have not given a time frame for implementation yet, but new cars have been ordered, and changes will be implemented over time.