After months of customer complaints about the aisle-facing seats in the new 5000 Series rail cars, the CTA announced Thursday that less than half the seats in its next generation of rail cars will face the aisle, the Tribune reports.
Field research and a customer survey confirmed complaints aired here since the 5000 Series cars first went into service in 2011:
- Riders don't like squeezing into the 17.5-inch scoop seats between two other people.
- We miss the views out the windows.
- We prefer not to look at a standee's butt or crotch.
- And we're tired of getting our toes stepped on.
Big props to CTA management for asking us what we want in seating arrangements, and then giving it to us. That's something the previous management team didn't do when it placed orders for the 5000 Series cars seven years ago. Here's a Chicago Tribune graphic showing what the seating will look like in the new 7000 Series cars, compared with the current 5000 series. The new seating is similar to that found on the 3200 Series cars running on the Brown and Orange lines.
Bids for the 7000 Series cars are due in October. The first order of 100 cars would be delivered in 2016.
We'll have more on this next week. Enjoy the weekend knowing that your voice was heard.