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(AUS)Metro starts ripping out train seats to help ease commuter crush

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From The Herald Sun:

Metro starts ripping out train seats to help ease commuter crush


Nick Leys

From: Herald Sun

July 22, 2011 12:00AM


PASSENGERS will have less chance of getting a seat on Melbourne's already crowded train carriages as Metro starts ripping out seats in some trains to increase capacity.


The train operator says the removal of the third aisle seat in 48 trains in the X'Trapolis fleet will provide more space for commuters and speed up the time it takes to get on and off.


Every six-car X'Trapolis train will have 72 fewer seats - down from 528 to 456.


Metro says the reconfigeration will bring the older X'Trapolis trains into line with the 38 new X'Trapolis trains being rolled out.


The reconfigured trains will come into use from next week. Extra handles will also be installed.


Metro spokeswoman Geraldine Mitchell said the changes will provide more capacity on the network.


"It enables us to better utilise the space we have available and will provide more comfort for customers," she said.


"There tends to be a lot of congestion with people crowding near the doors. By creating more space, we're providing more room for people to move about.


"Ultimately this will help to get more people to work on time and home on time, safely and comfortably."


The changes were approved by the State Government in March and should be complete by next March.


Daniel Bowen, president of the Public Transport Users Association, said the changes were acceptable as long as Metro did not remove any more seats than had been decided.


"The old seating layout is inefficient and leaves a narrow gap between seats which means people crowd around doorways," he said.




Ms Mitchell said Metro would apply for more funding next year to remove seats on the Comeng fleet.


The X'Trapolis fleet only services less crowded lines.



Not helpful for us on the Southern lines but those trains will be done in due course.

The first one is sitting at Newport being done as we speak. Should be in active traffic next week.

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