Seats to be removed in subway overhaul plan

- After a 30-day audit of the subways, the MTA released its two-phase reorganization plan, including a plan to take some seats out of trains to increase capacity.

The first phase is broken down into five categories: signals and tracks, cars, stations, communication, and management. All of them will require a lot of money.

The second phase will focus on modernizing the system. The MTA will unveil details in the coming weeks.

"New Yorkers are rightfully frustrated with the current state of the subways, and their demands for better service have been heard," MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. "We are committed to earning back their trust by implementing solutions that will enhance the customer experience in the short- and long-term."

The growing problems on the subway came to a head in June when a train derailed in Harlem. Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded immediate action to fix the system. He gave the MTA 30 days to come up with a plan.

In the meantime, subway troubles continued: a track fire in Hamilton Heights during the morning rush, a Q train derailment in Brighton Beach, and of course more delays, signal problems, and overcrowded platforms.

The MTA will be testing out pilot programs like removing seats from some cars to make room for more riders.

The pilot program will be on select lines, beginning with the Times Square S Subway shuttle and the L Subway line, to remove seats to allow greater standing capacity by 25 customers per car.

Lhota said that the MTA will not raise fares to fund the plan.

"The MTA is in crisis and hard-working New Yorkers deserve better," Cuomo said. "I am fully committed to making it a reality. I accept the 50/50 split of funds, and the state will do its part."

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