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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

8/1/2006    Vehicle Makeover

Rail News: Mechanical

WMATA to evaluate new interior car designs

Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) unveiled two redesigned passenger-rail cars that feature more standing room and more space for luggage, wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers. The cars are part of the authority’s effort to improve passenger flow and reduce crowding.

On one car, WMATA added handrails and bench seating, but removed eight seats and five windscreens. The other was rearranged to include more overhead and seatback-to-ceiling handrails, and fewer windscreens.

In a few months, WMATA plans to introduce a third redesigned car that will feature four folding seats at one end and leaning rests at the other, as well as more seatback-to-ceiling and wall-mounted handrails, and spring-type handholds.

The authority has installed cameras on the cars to study how the new designs affect passenger flow. WMATA will record flows for six weeks, conduct customer surveys and gather input from the Riders Advisory Council and Elderly and Disabled Committee to determine if the redesigned cars help reduce crowding.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.