That New York City boasts the most comprehensive and heavily-used public transportation system is a travesty. Because despite its outsized reputation as one of the top subway systems in the world, the subway leaves a lot to be desired. Trains are increasingly crowded and late, even outside of rush hours, and the system is broke, even though it had more riders in 2015 than anytime in the last 65 years, and expects that ridership to grow in the future.
There is one bright spot: New subway cars might be coming. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City's subway, is going to test a new, open-style car design on its trains similar to the ones used in London, Tokyo, and Paris. The trains won’t have individual, disconnected cars (you know, the type you walk between even though you’re not supposed to). Instead, they’ll all be connected in one long tube, so that you can walk from one end of the train to the other.
A London Underground train. Image Credit: Spsmiler via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
The open-style cars will add 10 percent capacity to the trains, since people will be able to stand where previously there were closed doors. The design would also solve the problem of a lot of people bunching up in one car, unable to move, while another sits relatively empty. It may, however, mean that you won’t be able to get away from that one really smelly person just by hopping onto the next car.
Alas, this won’t help your commute anytime soon. The $52 million test run for the new cars—only two trains—won’t begin until at least 2020.