As officials from the MBTA and CRRC, the company building our new Red and Orange Line cars, awaited a visit from the governor this afternoon, they explained the mock up on display on City Hall Plaza has something the actual cars won't: Shiny, slippery fiberglass seats that make riders feel like they're going to get closer than they want to to their neighbors on curves and coming into stations.
Officials said the actual trains scheduled to go into service, some on the Orange Line by the end of the year, will have more nubbly seats, similar to those on new T buses, to keep people from sliding around. Officials added that they're looking at possibly replacing current Blue Line seats with slide-proof versions - but during a mid-life overhaul, which could be a ways off.
The mock-up Red Line car will be on display at City Hall Plaza during the day through Thursday.
Flags in place for the governor's arrival:
All abooooard! The new cars will have wider doors to speed up getting people in and out:
This kid would be a perfect driver - he was able to recite the elevator directions for Park Street flawlessly - although normally the new cars will rely on automated announcements:
His right hand was on the lever that runs the train - which has a "dead man's switch" that requires the driver to have the knob pulled at a 90-degree angle - if he releases that, because he's just died, the train stops.
In addition to getting knobby surfaces, seats will have releases to put them up for people in wheelchairs or with baby strollers: