MTA Reveals Possible Subway Cars of The Future


A conceptual image via the MTA of what these “doorless” open gangway, articulated subway trains would look like.

We won’t be seeing them anytime soon and at the very earliest only 2, ten car prototypes will be ordered for delivery by 2020—ish. That ‘ish’ means we probably won’t see them anytime soon until perhaps 2025 or beyond given the MTA’s track record with advancing technology.

But the future will be interesting and looks like New York City is on pace to joining the rest of the modern world by testing articulated subway cars that will be just one long, open train from end to end where passengers can roam freely.

These new trains will literally snake through the system providing for roughly 10% additional capacity by making them one long train car without doors between each car. The designs not only provides wide open spaces for people to move freely but also a sense of security as you’ll never find yourself ‘the only one’ in a subway car.

Sadly, these trains won’t be tried in The Bronx (where we have horrendous overcrowding on the 2,4, and 5 lines but on the A and R lines where they may be crowded but no where nearly as crowded as we are.

Toronto is way ahead of the game with these trains running in their system.
Toronto is way ahead of the game with these trains running in their system.


The trains will also provide WiFi, electronic charging stations, digital screens, and of course security cameras to watch our every move.

But it’s not just the plan to have these technologies on new trains but the MTA is proposing to have them installed on existing ones.

“The Governor’s proposal will also improve the customer experience aboard subway cars and buses with digital information screens, Wi-Fi hotspots and USB charging ports for mobile devices. Charging ports will be installed on 200 subway cars this year and 400 next year, while all new buses delivered starting later this year will have Wi-Fi hotspots. By 2018, some 1,500 buses will have Wi-Fi hotspots and USB charging ports, bringing a new level of connectivity and convenience to customers.” said the MTA’s press release on the proposed future of transit in the region.

Given the importance of our electronic devices and how much time we spend on commuting it’s only fitting that the MTA at the very least provides a connected ride and one that people can charge their devices. I can already see people fighting their way to these precious seats much like folks fight their way in a Starbucks for a seat near an outlet.

What do you think of the possible future of how we commute?

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.