The CTA is seeking those opinions in advance of the request for proposals it will publish to get bids from rail car manufacturers. "It's a pretty broad research effort that will assist CTA in determining the optimal design requirements for the cars, and the research results will be part of the criteria weighed in the selection of a manufacturer for the 7000 series," said a CTA spokesperson.
Here are some elements of the survey:
- How passengers board and alight the cars.
- How they move around within the cars.
- Questions for standing passengers, such as whether they prefer holding a strap or bar.
- Various questions on seating layouts.
- Other interior design elements.
Questions about seating layouts showed photos of the new 5000 series layout with aisle-facing "scoop" seats, compared with the traditional seating now found on the older Red Line cars, and compared with the mixed seating found on some Brown and Orange line cars. Another question showed the current New York bench subway seating compared to the traditional Red Line seating configuration. And there was a question about cloth vs. plastic seats.
So the good news here is the CTA is testing the waters on lots of seating configuration, possibly with an eye to tossing the much-criticized aisle-facing "scoop" seats on the news 5000 series cars.
(Hat tip to CTA Tattler reader Mike for bringing the survey to my attention. I didn't actually take the survey.)