MTA Unveils First Five Train Cars of a Future Fleet of at Least 535
Testing Will Begin in Coming Weeks, With Passenger Service Set to Launch on Lettered Lines Next Summer
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) leaders today unveiled the first five subway cars of the R211 fleet. The Authority will begin qualification testing on the R211s in the next few weeks, with the cars expected to begin serving passengers on select lettered lines next summer.
The cars, which are a critical part of the MTA's ongoing modernization efforts, feature 58-inch door spans that are eight inches wider than standard doors on existing cars. The expanded doors are designed to reduce delays and speed up train movement by speeding boarding and reducing the amount of time trains sit in stations. The cars also include digital displays that will provide real-time information about service and stations, and brighter lighting and signage, slicker bonnet design, among other features.
"The arrival of the first of the R211s marks a critical milestone in the MTA's broader efforts at modernization," said Janno Lieber, President MTA Construction & Development. "They are a vital element of our historic Capital Plan that is continuing to pick up steam as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. In addition to giving riders a more modern passenger experience, they’re also essential to the re-signaling initiatives already underway that will allow us to increase capacity by running more trains, and providing more frequent service.”
"Today is an exciting day for everyone in the Department of Subways," said Demetrius Crichlow, Acting Senior Vice President for the Department of Subways at New York City Transit. "The impact for customers is going to be huge once we complete testing and get these on the rails. Our riders will experience enhancements to the ridership experience with expanded doors that will help speed up boarding time. I can't wait for customers to experience the R211 experience starting next summer."
The R211s are part of a $6.1 billion investment in rolling stock that's included in the current capital plan. The full base order of R211 consists of 535 cars, though the contract will include options for up to 1,500 cars that NYCT may exercise over time.
Eventually, 20 of the additional forthcoming R211 cars will feature an “open gangway” located at the ends of the cars as part of a pilot program. This open design features soft accordion-like walls and allows riders to move freely between cars to reduce crowding and distribute passenger loads more evenly throughout the train.