DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Wider doors, accordion-style cars, countdown clocks and Wi-Fi access are some of the features included in a plan to build more than a 1,000 subway cars and redesign 31 stations across the city, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Cuomo and MTA officials presented new renderings and details of the proposed redesigns, which were announced earlier this year, at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn Monday morning.
The project, included in the MTA’s $27 billion five-year capital plan, will modernize subway cars and stations by adding new technology, improved wayfinding and additional security, officials said.
The 1,025 new subway trains will include wider doors that will allow passengers to walk in and out of the train more quickly, digital route markers so passengers can easily make out which line a train belongs to, and LED headlights.
Inside, the trains will have an open-car design that will allow passengers to walk between cars. Instead of a door between cars, there will be an accordion-like connector that will increase car capacity, officials said.
The new trains will have flip seats to maximize space within the cars, new oval grab bars that will give straphangers more options for holding on, and illuminated door-opening alerts that will flash green to indicate on which side of the train the doors will be opening.
Each train will also have Wi-Fi access and USB charging ports, despite recent problems with charging stations on the State Island Ferry.
The new trains will also be equipped with security cameras for added safety, according to officials.
“It’s a different world every day,” Cuomo said. “The MTA needs to design that in their plan for the future.”
Prototypes for the new cars are expected to come out by 2020 at the earliest, according to the New York Daily News. The MTA did not specify which subway lines would be getting the new cars.
The agency will also be upgrading 31 subway stations across the city, the first three of which will be in Brooklyn — at the Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street and Bay Ridge Avenue stations.
The new subway entrances will feature a sleek, glass design that will rise above ground for improved visibility. The entrances will also include a neighborhood map and street-level service announcements.
Underground, the redesigned stations will be modernized with glass barriers that will replace the existing iron bars that separate the entrance from the platforms.
The stations will have brighter lighting, countdown clocks and improved signage, and platforms will include leaning benches, Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.
Above-ground stations would feature mesh and glass windscreens, along with contemporary art.
While the redesign will modernize the stations, the historic features of each will be preserved, MTA President Ronnie Hakim said.
The agency will release a request for proposals (RFP) next week seeking a private developer to design and build the new subway cars, as well as an RFP for a developer to design and build the first three subway stations.
RFPs for the remaining 28 stations will be released over the next 12 months. The first contract is expected to be awarded in the fall.
The MTA did not say when it would break ground on the first subway station.
Cuomo said the agency’s priority will be finishing the job quickly, which means complete station closures for up to six months.
“The way the MTA has done it in the past is they’ve operated it and they’ve patched it” Cuomo said.
“This is not a patch job. Patch jobs are a waste of money in my opinion. This is a rebuilding and reconstruction.”