Five reasons to love the TTC’s new subway cars—even though they’re delayed

Five reasons to love the TTC’s new subway cars—even though they’re delayed

The Star reported yesterday that the TTC’s first batch of new subway cars has been delayed until August. It’s another setback for the Red Rocket, but since we’ve already gone giddy over all the new features (meant to keep riders comfortable while they’re stalled in the tunnels due to signal malfunctions), and because transit takers need a reason to rejoice these days, here’s a joyful deconstruction of the new design:

(Image: Toronto Transit Commission)  

1. No doors between cars
It’s not that we don’t like field-tripping schoolchildren; it’s just that we don’t like to be trapped in a subway car with 60 of them at 9 a.m. The new cars aren’t divided with doors, so riders can freely walk from the first car to the last. This also means the middle cars won’t be packed during rush hour while the end cars sit empty.

2. Handles beside the doors
Riders trapped in the doorways during rush hour currently have to press their hand on the window, simultaneously keeping balanced while freaking out that the doors might randomly open. The new cars have a long handle right there—though they may also encourage door-blocking jerks.

3. No centre poles
Like some of the cars on the Sheppard line, the new cars don’t have poles down the centre, which means they can accommodate a lot more people and will be less of a pain for people with strollers or wheelchairs. Though, sadly, Facebook will have a sudden dearth of photos of  impromptu drunken pole dances.

4. Flashing route maps
The new maps visually announce the next station and show which direction the train is moving. There will also be LED/LCD displays to announce service delays—a huge improvement from the current system of muffled intercom announcements that make us feel like Charlie Brown getting lectured by his teacher.

5. Room for 100 more passengers
The absence of poles and doors separating the cars means the train can carry about 100 more people than it does now. Downside: there will be 100 more people on each train than there are now.

• TTC’s new subway cars delayed [Toronto Star]