The Staten Island Railway beats the bus and the traffic when commuter Alice Delvalle needs to travel.
But riding on the train cars, she said, is "like going back like 50 years in time."
That’s because it is. The model running on the Staten Island Railway were built 50 years ago, and it is among the oldest still running in the MTA.
Delivery of the new model that will replace them, known as the R211s by Kawasaki, is delayed over a year, in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. That means more rides on the metal workhorses from the 1970s.
“It shows you the age, the wear," Delvalle said. "It’s not a pleasant ride. It’s not a smooth ride.”
A proposal from Kawasaki stated the first test car for the subway’s lettered lines would arrive this Thursday. However, it could be a few months longer.
A source told NY1 the first test cars may not arrive until June the earliest. An MTA spokesman said that it’s premature to say when the cars will be delivered, and will provide an update on the future.
Delivery of the test-certified fleet, delayed by at least a year, meaning Staten Islanders won’t start seeing them October 2023.
"The delays are just really having an effect of on riders," said Lisa Daglian, director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. "People are, particularly on Staten Island, are having to bear the brunt of continuing to ride on old equipment when the gleaming new cars are behind schedule.
This is the second order of new model train cars that were delayed in production, following a model built by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier.
An MTA spokesman said agency officials have been meeting with top Kawasaki executives to press for “aggressive mitigation efforts and accountability.”
For $1.7 billion, the MTA contracted Kawasaki to build as many as 1,612 cars, with an initial order of 535 cars - 440 for the lettered subway lines, 75 for the Staten Island Railway and 20 cars to test out a style known as “open gangway” that allows free flow of people through a train.
It will also be built with a modern HVAC unit, LED lights, wider doors and closed-circuit cameras.
“It’s just time that they give us comfortable cars, some upgrades here," Delvalle said. "We’ve paid the fare, OK? They’re getting the money out of the taxpayers. They need to do the proper updates."