Monday, May 17, 2004

Finally . . . CTA seats aren't minimizing space in the trains

This story in the Tribune indicating that the CTA is finally testing a smarter configuration of seats on the train. Instead of putting two seats on each side perpendicular to the walls as we do now, so as to leave only a small aisle of room down the middle to stand, the seats will sit parallel to the walls, leaving a much wider aisle for people to stand in the car and cutting out some of the seats.

Every rush hour (especially on the Brown line), people are waiting on the platforms because the trains are too crowded, and part of the problem is that the seats jut out into the middle of the car, taking away valuable space for people to stand.

Another problem, by the way, is that every single car has a compartment for a driver. This is valuable space that could be filled up with passenger. Only the front car needs a space for a driver -- the other cards don't need one. If the CTA manages their fleet, then not every single car would need to have a drivers' compartment.

Apparently the CTA is buying new cars later this year (without any Illinois FIRST money, I'm not sure how, but whatever), so hopefully they'll get new cars with more standing room (no compartment for drivers and seats parallel to the walls).

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