Home Asides Ahead of New York, Boston starts seatless car experiment

Ahead of New York, Boston starts seatless car experiment

by Benjamin Kabak

While the MTA announced plans for a seatless car experiment in August, Boston’s MBTA has beaten them to the punch. As the Daily News reports today, some Red Line cars in Boston will now be seatless an in effort to increase capacity. According to MBTA officials, this move should increase capacity by 10 percent. For local reaction, check out The Harvard Crimson. In New York, when four out of 10 cars feature the flip seats, the estimated increase is 18 percent. While some people will complain about missing out on the hypothetical seat, most rush hour riders don’t have the chance to rest anyway.

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rhywun December 9, 2008 - 12:56 pm

If I’m gonna be standing, I’d rather do it in a car where everyone else is standing, than in a regular car full of young punks spreading themselves over two seats apiece and throwing their legs in the aisle….

Skip Skipson December 9, 2008 - 1:04 pm

It’s certainly a cheaper way to increase capacity. Will this force riders to move to the middle of the car now?

If/when this happens there can be a new complaint that the fares are going up and they are taking away the seats!

theloosh December 10, 2008 - 12:10 pm

The Chicago ‘L’ got seatless “MAX” cars in September:


They found we couldn’t go completely seatless though because subway cars aren’t engineered for that, so they took out half the seats.

The Chicago Tribune was very negative about the change all the way up to its implementation. They were very surprised when public reaction was overwhelming positive upon their debut.

The Chicago Transit Authority is also experimenting with taking out seats on buses on busier routes.


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