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Seatless subway cars debut in Boston and trial program's chugging this way


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A nearly seatless subway car debuted Monday in Boston - months before a similar pilot program launches in New York - and Beantown straphangers were unfazed.

 

"I haven't gotten a seat in the last three months, so it makes no difference to me," Richard Sullivan, commuting on Boston's Red Line, said. "Besides, people who need seats can always get on a different car."

 

Sounding like a regular on the the notoriously crowded Lexington Ave. Line, fellow Boston Red Line rider Valentine Torres said he couldn't even recall when he had a rush-hour seat.

 

"There's much more space now," he said, adding that his only complaint is that the high-capacity cars lack a center pole, forcing passengers to crowd along the sides in order to hold onto overhead railings.

 

Others, like Christy Vette-Santana, said she was concerned about how the lack of seats on some cars would affect disabled and elderly passengers.

 

"It's all right for me, but there are a lot of people who have to sit," she noted.

 

Boston's transit authority stripped all but a couple of seats from two cars on a Red Line train so more people could squeeze inside.

 

Officials in Boston are gauging rider reaction before making a decision on a possible expansion.

 

The Daily News reported exclusively in August that NYC Transit next year plans a pilot program that goes further.

 

Four cars on a 10-car train will have no seats during rush hours.

 

Seats in those cars would be locked in the up position during peak travel times and returned to their normal position during off-peak times.

 

"It's the fastest way to increase capacity on lines that right now are extremely crowded," NYC Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said.

 

In addition to rider reaction, NYC Transit will gauge the impact on platform crowding, train schedules, loading times and other issues, Seaton said.

 

Transit systems across the country saw significant ridership growth after gas prices skyrocketed earlier this year.

 

So far, NYC Transit's ridership has not declined even though gas prices have fallen and the region is sinking further into recession.

 

Several subway lines are maxed out - NYC Transit can't run more trains per hour because of the constraints of the signal system. Seaton said the pilot program will be launched on one of the lettered subway lines.

 

Dubbed "Big Red," Boston's nearly seatless subway cars hold up to 200 people each, a 10% increase, officials there said.

 

The subway train being retrofitted for NYC Transit's seatless experiment is expected to carry 291 riders, an 18% boost in capacity, NYC Transit has said.

 

BY BEVERLY FORD and PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS WRITERS

December 9th 2008

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The point of getting on a subway train during rush hour is to get to work as quickly as possible. That's why when the train you need to catch pulls into the station, and there's no seats, and barely any standing room, you find some way to jam yourself in anyway, rather than wait for the next train.

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I think it may work here, that is, if the seats CAN be put up. I'm not about to get on a rush hour <6> at Pelham Bay Park, where it's empty, and then have to stand. But I'll settle if I get on at 96th street and I wouldn't be sitting anyway.

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I think it may work here, that is, if the seats CAN be put up. I'm not about to get on a rush hour <6> at Pelham Bay Park, where it's empty, and then have to stand. But I'll settle if I get on at 96th street and I wouldn't be sitting anyway.

 

The tricky part would be if the seats jammed, and the MTA didn't get around to repairing them often enough. In that case, they'd have to get them down, and leave them down.

 

In any event, they aren't proposing that whole trains be seatless.

 

I only wish this wasn't a prelude to cutting trains.

 

Oh what am I saying, they'll be doing that before the seatless cars arrive.

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You guys sound kinda spoiled.;)

 

When i'm on my way home, be it from mets game, apple store, movie, my girlfriend's house.... I stand the -entire- time till princeton junction rail station. It's considerably longer distance than most of you travel in a day (probably 80 miles total one way when i go to a game), and i see no problem at all in adding standing cars in the subway and PATH. It would add loading capacity without changing headways or car dimensions. Brilliant, and about time.

 

- A

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You guys sound kinda spoiled.;)

 

When i'm on my way home, be it from mets game, apple store, movie, my girlfriend's house.... I stand the -entire- time till princeton junction rail station. It's considerably longer distance than most of you travel in a day (probably 80 miles total one way when i go to a game), and i see no problem at all in adding standing cars in the subway and PATH. It would add loading capacity without changing headways or car dimensions. Brilliant, and about time.

 

- A

 

 

I have stood on MNRR hudson line from GCT to Croton Harmon during the summer mainly after a Yankee game on trains leaving NYC between 10pm-11pm myself.

 

If a seatless train was created it should only be in 1-2 cars maxuim imo.

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Well for the Lexington Ave. lines, this is a good idea. But what about other lines? Like me for example. In the morning I get on at Newkirk Ave. (arounf 7AM) and either take the (:D to Columbus Circle or the (Q) 57th Street 7th Avenue. While it does get crowded its not hard to get a seat and i usually get one immediately. There is a constant cycle of seat switching and the train does not get too crowded. If you are standing, you have breathing room-- and compared to the (4)(5)(6)<6>, you have an entire state! Seatless trains wouldn't help on my line, but on Lex where you have your body smashed against the door, it helps.

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As long as they only run during rush hour it's fine by me. If they run these trains at other times, I'll make a seat. I don't want to have to stand the whole way home when I'm on the train at 2am after going out all night. Also if they do this to any NTTs what will they do with coupler adapters, from the cab drawing I have it does not look like there would be much room for them.

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i would agree with the seatless cars it would make more room that is needed with the rush hour flow of passenger.it would make the train operate a lot faster.but all i worry about is the pole like said in the article people will be lined up on the sides hould the pole they should do some thing about that.but the idea does sound good.

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Well for the Lexington Ave. lines, this is a good idea. But what about other lines? Like me for example. In the morning I get on at Newkirk Ave. (arounf 7AM) and either take the (:D to Columbus Circle or the (Q) 57th Street 7th Avenue. While it does get crowded its not hard to get a seat and i usually get one immediately. There is a constant cycle of seat switching and the train does not get too crowded. If you are standing, you have breathing room-- and compared to the (4)(5)(6)<6>, you have an entire state! Seatless trains wouldn't help on my line, but on Lex where you have your body smashed against the door, it helps.

 

It is MADNESS on the Lex lines. And this occurs at 6:45 AM before Grand Central. Really crowded. Sometimes in the Bronx (4), it is packed right after 149th and it stays that way all the way till Kingsbridge. I have to deal with that every day en route to school. :mad:

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No f'ing way am I standing from Jamaica Center to Lexington Avenue. And these con artists want a fare hike?

 

No way I'm standing from Lefferts to 145th street. This idea is completely dumb. Whats going to happen to the elderly, pregnant, those holding babies, the tired? I highly doubt this should be implemented in NYC. It might work in other places but NY is the worse place to test this idea.

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