The first of 706 new CTA cars made their debut on the Pink Line Wednesday and were met with mixed reactions from Chicagoans.
The new cars--the first addition to the rail fleet since 1992--emulate New York City's MTA trains, with seats lining the walls, facing inward and wrist loops, like those featured on CTA buses, extending along the now-widened aisles.
The new arrangement provides additional space for wheelchairs, increasing the total to two per car, and allows for two on-board bikes per car, according to a CTA release.
LED displays with large text positioned internally and outside the trains will indicate upcoming stops and the date and time, and system maps will now feature LED lights that indicate the train's present position as it travels along the route, the release said. The LED screens will spell out verbal announcements, complying with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, as do new opening/closing lights positions near side doors.
“The 5000-series cars provide a more enjoyable ride for customers,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a statement. “These cars have wider aisles and roomier interiors, electronic destination signs and security cameras in each car for enhanced safety.”
Each rail car is equipped with multiple security cameras, and will eventually transmit live feeds to CTA's Control Center, the Office of Emergency Management and communication and the Chicago Police Department, according to the release. The city has seen a series of recent crimes on CTA platforms and L trains, including frequent thefts of smart phones and other gadgets.
“The CTA remains the primary mode of transportation for many residents of Chicago, and these new rail cars reflect the Agency’s commitment to its customers and to our city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. “In order for Chicago to grow, continue attracting new businesses and increase the quality of life for all Chicagoans we must continue to invest in public transportation, improving transit infrastructure and expanding service.”
See photos of the new cars below. What do you think of the new look? Tell us in the comments: