Contributors to Chicagobus.org are reporting that the first two new rail cars have been delivered to the Skokie shop for testing. These are part of an initial test order of 10 cars total, as we reported last week.
And in the Chicagobus forum post, contributor Greenstreet says many of the features promised by Huberman are not included in the two new cars:
Not only won’t many of the Huberman-proposed changes be in the
prototypes, they won’t make it into the final order. Sources said that
the changes would have resulted in even more delays and tens, if not
hundreds, more millions of dollars.
Here’s a list of some of the design changes he told the Tattler about more than a year ago. Most changes have been jettisoned.
# Recessed lighting. – Nope
# Reading lights. – Nope
# Six 9-inch TV screens in each car, rotating CTA info and advertising. – Nope, way too expensive and would require significant electrical design changes
# No more advertising cards — the small TVs are replacing all paper ad cards. – Wrong
# Computerized Internet controls mean no more herky-jerky rides. – Not an accurate description, but there will be smoother rides as a result of better computer controls
# A “smart” systems map in the middle of the car pinpointing the train’s current location. – Not sure if this is in the prototype
# The same number of seats arranged longitudinally to allow for more standing room. – True
# A padded “butt perch” in the area where a wheelchair would go so if
there was no disabled passenger onboard, other passengers could rest
against the padded perch. – Nope
# Security cameras in each car. – Probably not in the prototype, but in the final delivery
Not noted on this list, but some of the exterior cosmetic design
changes Huberman proposed are not on the two cars that were delivered
Friday. (The two-toned swirly design on the upper half of the exterior
that can be seen in the rendering linked here was not visible on the delivered cars).
Nothing is set in stone, but I do think we can count on the longitudinal seating that many commenters here say they detest. Look for mockups of the new seating at page 29 of this report from last year.