It's going to be harder to find a seat on one of the city's busiest subway lines: the MTA has begun removing them from some trains. NY1 Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has the exclusive details.
On the outside and the inside, some E trains, one of the city's most overcrowded subway lines, have new looks.
"Well, I never get a seat. I definitely have to squeeze on," one straphanger said, chuckling.
And now she'll have even less of a chance to sit down.
The MTA has begun removing some seating to increase the number of riders that can squeeze on board.
Tuesday morning, two E trains were the first to roll with fewer seats.
By the end of the month, the MTA will remove seating on ten of the trains, which will be identified by new blue, gold, and black designs, which can be seen in the video above.
"It's a huge system, we want to see change, and seeing this is better," one train rider said.
The MTA is not removing all of the seating; just the small benches at one end of each car.
It's expected to create enough space for eight to ten people in each car, and as many as 100 extra riders per train.
"We hope during the peak hours we'll be able to see less crowding on the platforms so more people will be able to get into the cars, and we'll be looking forward to feedback," MTA Chief Operating Officer Phil Eng said.
NY1 beat the MTA to the punch, talking with straphangers about the reconfigured cars, which also have new poles for all those additional riders to grip.
"There's already a lot of problems on these trains, and I don't think fitting more people on them is the right answer," one commuter said.
"When the rush hour comes, it makes no difference; it's still the same crowd," opined another.
The MTA is calling it a pilot program that eventually will expand to two other crowded lines: the L and the 42nd Street Shuttle.
Officials say the ultimate goal is to reduce delays. In July, 24,000 of the more than 57,000 weekday delays were caused by overcrowding.
"I guess it will increase the efficiency of getting folks to work on time. That's important," a straphanger said.
But like so many pieces of the MTA's Subway Action Plan, this is just a temporary fix. It will be years before riders see new subway cars that have more capacity.
Those are the so-called "open gangway cars" ordered by the MTA, which will someday turn trains into long tubes without any gaps between subway cars.
"We're looking at ways to accelerate new car procurement, but we don't have a timeframe for that yet," Eng said.
Meaning that for now, riders will have to settle for the extra space anywhere they can find it.