The CTA is delaying purchase of the newest addition of rail cars by about three years in order to more thoroughly test a new seating configuration they hope will accommodate more standees than the newest 5000 Series rail cars, according to a Tribune report.
A research study by two CTA employees confirmed what we all have experienced and seen on the newer 5000 Series rail car - single seats in the aisle-facing rows of seats often go unused, and not as many standees can fit in the aisles because of splayed feet and long legs.
The researchers observed a maximum total average of 101 passengers on a 5000 Series rail car, reports the Trib - lower than the expected 106 to 134 seated and standing passengers.
So it's back to the drawing board for the rail car designers. But that won't be hard. All they have to do is look at the design for the current 3200 Series cars used on the Brown Line. That design features front- and rear-facing seats with single seats across the aisle from pairs of seats. This provides more aisle standing room.
I think this makes sense. See the Tribune illustrations for what the 5000 and 7ooo Series seating charts look like.
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