NYTimes: For decades, the New York City subway car has been a predictable space. Some have seats; some have benches. Graspable pole options vary only slightly. Mariachi bands play, and self-appointed preachers preach. And if there is no seat, no room, no end to a performance, there is often no escape for a rider — at least until the next stop. That may yet change. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are envisioning a subway car of the future that offers New Yorkers an out, ending the era of the captive car population. This month, in a 142-page document outlining needs for the next 20 years, the authority noted the benefits of articulated trains — similar to accordion-style buses — that have no doors between cars, allowing unrestricted flow throughout the length of the subway. The inclusion of articulated train cars in the report, a mild surprise to some transit advocates, does not guarantee that the cars will reach the rails anytime soon, or even at all; it was not clear how the cost of the articulated cars compares with that of nonarticulated cars. But for the first time in the subway system’s modern history, the authority appears poised to seriously consider a model adopted in cities like Berlin, Paris and Toronto.
Imagine this? No more smushing into trains like the Chinese or standing with an armpit in your face in the morning rush. Sounds great in a perfect world but it’ll never happen. It would probably mean subway cards costing $10 per swipe. How about we get the 2nd Ave line up and running first (that no one will use since it will only run about 40 city blocks for the first few years). Baby steps MTA, baby steps. You’re still fixing the subway from Sandy and you’re talking about accordion trains of the future. Love the idea but just sounds like a wet dream.