Seatless Trains a Reality!

Holy crap!  Was the MTA listening to us?

Remember back in June when we were talking about how cool it would be to have train cars without seats (aka standing room only)?  Yeah, guess what?

They’re doing it!  (Read Here)

In about 6 months, retrofitted cars will hit the rails as part of a pilot program.  Among the trains involved in the pilot program, 4 out of 10 cars will be the standing room only cars.

These cars will have all flip-up seats.  Back in June, one of SUBWAYblogger’s commenters suggested that the seats lock in the upright position during rush hour.  Then, at other times, they could unlock, and people can sit down.  Well, that’s exactly what they are going to do!

Apparently, the Straphangers Campaign thinks that the public will oppose the seatless cars, but I couldn’t disagree more.

The seatless cars allow 18% more riders during rush hour.  There will be less jockeying for position as well because certain people (you know who you are) won’t be battling for seats.

Can’t wait to find out what lines are involved.

L and 7 Trains Earn Top Marks

The ranking details 2008.
The ranking details 2008.

According to the Straphangers Campaign, the L and 7 train lines are the best overall lines this year.

Lines were ranked on:

– Frequency of Trains
– Reliability of Service
– Breakdown Rate
– Seat Availability
– Interior Cleanliness
– Clarity of Announcements

The 7 train struggled a little bit on breakdown rate and cleanlines

s while there are apparently never seats on the L train.  Overall, they both offered superior service.

Interestingly, they are both part of the line manager program.  These lines were selected to be part of a test program because they don’t share their tracks with other lines.  The program assigns top level managers to run all operations associated with a specific line.  That includes everything from train maintenance to platform trash pick up.

So far, the test program is working.

Subway Schmutziness Down Year to Date

Subway trash

The Straphangers Campaign released a report on the improvement of subway cleanliness. They say that the state of train dirt and has improved over the past few years.

I guess, for the most part, that is true in my observation.

They found that the L train and 7 train were the cleanest this year. The E and the Q trains rolled in with scores just above dumpster on wheels.

The scientific formula that governs train grime must be a combination of the train age, and overall usage. I find that the oldest cars just have a feeling of being dirtier. Then, throw on heavy usage, and it’s a recipe for grossness.

The strategy of having the lines individually managed may not be a great idea when it comes to custodian services. Something like cleaning the trains should simply be standardized across all the lines. Sure, increase the frequency on trains that are used more, and maybe a little less on lines lighter traveled. In general though, it should be something standard, and easy to manage.

“Passengers on the L and 7 are riding cleaner cars, thanks to more cleaners and better use of them,” said Gene Russianoff, campaign staff attorney. “We congratulate New York City Transit and hope that riders on the other lines will soon be seeing cleaner subway cars.”

Now, if only we could get them to do more than just empty the trash on the platforms (if that).

I said a long time ago that I don’t think it would be completely out of the question to have the platforms power washed a few times a week. Cleaning a station could be easily done with a power sprayer and the occasional brush. Look at the average train platform. Concrete or tile floors with white subway tile walls. Basically, a giant shower stall! So just break out the hose and go to town.

Cutting down on the black, sooty brake dust and dirt would be great. Aaaaaand that would keep the inside of the trains cleaner too!