The Metropolitan Transit Authority is preparing to roll out a new version of its modern R211 subway cars — this version will come with what’s known as an “open gangway” allowing for passengers to move freely from one car to another.
The first versions of the R211 cars debuted on A line trains in early 2023. The latest version with the open gangway is similar to what passengers see on the London Tube, Paris Métro, or Boston T system.
MTA Transit President Richard Davey said commuters will see the cars in service in “the coming weeks” here in New York.
The open-gangway cars will debut on C trains, Davey said, which was a purposeful choice.
The new cars will only be on local lines, not express lines, Davey said.
“We thought it was more prudent to having that train stop more frequently,” he said.
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The cars will also have wider doorways. Proponents say the cars help with overcrowding and also allow for more accessibility to riders with wheelchairs or stollers.
“Wider doors and additional accessible seating will drastically improve the experience for all riders and particularly those with disabilities,” MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo said in a statement in 2023. “Future open gangway pilot cars will also allow customers with mobility devices or strollers the ability to move through a train like never before, and I’m excited to try out these new cars.”
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is the nation’s capital is also exploring open-gangway cars, it announced in early 2023.
The MTA previously said an additional 437 cars featuring the open-gangway design could be delivered in early 2025.