Mayor Rahm Emanuel got his first ride on the new Series 5000 rail cars Tuesday at the Midway station of the Orange Line. (I'm not sure why Rahm couldn't ride the new cars on the Pink Line, where they are making their inaugural run.)
“The 5000-series cars provide a more enjoyable ride for customers,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a press release. “These cars have wider aisles and roomier interiors, electronic destination signs and security cameras in each car for enhanced safety.”
Of course, the wider aisles and roomier interiors result from the aisle-facing seating configuration, which has been criticized here and elsewhere. But folks, I think we're just going to have to get used to it, because I seriously doubt there will be any changes made at this point.
The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion which is funded by two CTA bond issuances backed by sales tax receipts. The remainder is paid for by $150 million in federal funds.
A knowledgeable source on ChicagoBus.org said the Pink Line will have its full allotment of new rail cars by the end of the year. The Green Line will get the next shipment, followed by the Red Line, he said, in mid-2012.
View a Flickr photoset from the Tuesday press conference.