Riders are reacting to one of the most attention-grabbing component of the emergency turnaround plan for the subways detailed by the MTA's chairman, Joe Lhota. With overcrowding causing so many delays, the MTA will test removing seats from selected trains so more people can ride them. NY1's Michael Herzenberg reports.
"Stand clear of the closing doors."
You can now take that literally.
It looks like there will be no sitting on some L and shuttle trains.
The MTA says it will pull out all the seats on one or two cars of each L train, and from the middle car of the Times Square shuttle, as a test to ease overcrowding.
"I think it's crazy," said one commuter.
Claire Kaufman says people need to sit, she's 80 years old.
"People say I look younger than I am," Kaufman said.
She gets on the L train at 8th Avenue and says she can stand if she has to, but her partner can't.
"Because I'm older and I have spinal stenosis so I can't stand in one place too long," he said.
Still, he says he's actually okay with the plan to remove seats, which would allow 25 more people to ride in the affected cars
The MTA says it will clearly mark which cars will be standing only and alert passengers in advance through loudspeakers and digital signs.
"In the afternoon it is pretty crowded," said another rider. "It will be alright."
But not everyone agrees.
"You're tired when you get off of work," said one. "My feet hurt right now, imagine getting on a crowded train."
"It's ridiculous they make enough money," said another. "They just telling you to pay $2.75 and you get in there like sardines. They should be serving refreshments in there."
The L train is among the most crowded and stressful for sure — but during off peak hours — the mood can strike a different note.
Some lounge with their feet up, others take a siesta. There'd be no reason for the extra space.
The MTA says it will start retrofitting the cars as soon as possible but it will take some time. We will begin to see those standing only cars before year's end.