New R211 subway cars hit the tracks for the first time

The MTA's new model of subway cars, the long-awaited R211 took to the city's subway tracks for the first time on Saturday.

The cars are being phased into service on the A line, part of a 535-car order of the new model, which includes 440 cars with state-of-the-art amenities.

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The R211's come with a list of new features, including:

  • 58-inch wide door openings, eight inches wider than the openings on existing cars
  • Security Cameras
  • Additional accessible seating
  • Digital displays with more detailed station-specific information
  • Brighter lighting and signage
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MTA Chair & CEO Janno Lieber and NYCT President Richard Davey participate in the inaugural ride of the first R211A subway to enter customer service, from 207 St on the A line on Friday, Mar 10, 2023. (Credit: MTA via Flickr)

"The new cars are going to give our riders a more modern passenger experience, so riding the subway no longer feels like a step into the past," said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

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The MTA has also ordered 15 Staten Island Railway five-car trains and 20 cars with the open gangway feature. 

"Wider doors and additional accessible seating will drastically improve the experience for all riders and particularly those with disabilities," said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. "Future open gangway pilot cars will also allow customers with mobility devices or strollers the ability to move through a train like never before, and I'm excited to try out these new cars."