The subway cars running on the C line date to 1965. But the MTA plans to replace them and other old cars soon, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agency will spend almost $600 million on 300 new cars, which will first appear on tracks in a testing phase in 2014 before a full roll-out the following year. C trains can currently run an average of 62,000 miles before breaking down, a marked decrease from the year before; by contrast, the E train—the most efficient in the system—can run 1.6 million, more than 25 times as many. Riders routinely criticize the line’s poor air-conditioning and announcement system, among other problems; it tied for last place in the Straphanger Campaign’s most recent ridership poll.
It’s still unclear whether the C line will get fresh-from-the-factory cars or what the Journal calls “less-old trains.” Old cars still running on the J and Z lines—about a quarter of the fleet—will also be phased out. The new ones will be similar to those already running on many subway lines, with bright lighting and electronic signage.
The money would come from the MTA’s capital-projects fund, which is devoted to projects like the Second Avenue subway and cannot be used to, say, avoid the fare increases that are coming in 2013, 2015, and 2017. The agency struck a deal earlier this week with the state legislature to secure billions of dollars for such projects, and enabling it to borrow more money in the future by removing its “bond cap,” the Fort Greene Patch reports.
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