The CTA on Monday added two eight-car Series 5000 trains to the Red Line. So the busiest "L" line and its riders now get to check out the smooth, quiet ride, and see whether they like the long expanses of aisle-facing seats.
I actually do like the new cars. They are quiet, more roomy, and accelerate and decelerate smoothly because they use alternating current (AC) propulsion and braking technology. I just don't like using the molded "bucket" seats. But I lost that battle, so I will try to enjoy the ride - and hope there's room for all to use every seat.
Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman today noted some good tips on making your ride more comfy:
Rush for the "good" seats: Run, do not walk, past the elderly and the infirm to nab the few remaining seats with some extra butt room. The four seats per car that face forward or back, and the ones at the empty-space end of a long center-facing run of seats, let you scooch over and hang your hindquarters a bit over the edge.
Precision aim: If you must sit between two people, do so carefully. Position your haunches at thecenter of the bucket and slowly slide yourself in with as little physical contact as possible.
Seriously, I think we'll all finally get used to the new configuration and laugh later at the big fuss we made.
For more photos of the new rail cars, check out the CTA's Flickr set.