MTA Passes On Seatless Subway Plan

Back in 2008, MTA NYC Transit announced a pilot program that outraged the majority of NYC subway riders. The pilot in question would have had a 10 car train feature 4 cars with their seats locked up. The objective was to increase the amount of passengers able to fit on a train during the rush hour.

However with the massive service cuts that have already occurred & the fare hike to match around the corner, the much maligned transit agency has decided to scrap the pilot before it even began. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more:

The cattle-car train has been canceled.

NYC Transit won’t try to cram even more subway riders aboard trains by deploying cars without seats, the Daily News has learned.

A one-train pilot program, conceived more than a year ago, was expected to begin sometime this year so managers could evaluate a low-cost way of carrying more rush-hour passengers.

But with riders getting slammed with fare hikes and service cuts, the new NYC Transit administration saw trouble down the line.

“People are already feeling they’re paying more for less,” a transit official said.

“I don’t know that a train like that, even though the idea was to increase capacity, was something that the public would have embraced.

“We’re not going down that road.”

Good thinking, according to Andrew Albert, the riders’ representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.

“I think there would have been civil disobedience,” Albert said.

“I think people would have brought bolt cutters and unlocked the seats. I hated that idea. I still do.”

While it can be tough snagging seats during rush hour, “We shouldn’t be locking them away from riders,” Albert said.

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad to hear this pilot is being scrapped. While I understand the agency’s desire to increase the amount of riders per car, especially in areas where more trains can’t be added, this was not a way that would have been satisfactory to riders.

While the picture Mr. Albert painted seemed to be on the extreme side, it is safe to assume he was not far off in terms of how riders would have felt & reacted to such a sudden change. They have already gone through a lot of shock in terms of service cuts, & are only a few months away from feeling it in their pockets. This would have just taken it too far especially for an agency that wants to win their sentiment.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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