New York’s MTA will remove seats on some subways to jam more people inside

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will remove seats from the L and S subways lines to fit more people inside.
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Michael Semensohn / flickr

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will remove seats from some subways to jam more people inside.

The state-run MTA will first remove seats from the S and L subway lines as part of a pilot program. MTA chairman Joe Lhota made the announcement Tuesday when he unveiled the agency’s plan to tackle New York City’s deteriorating subway system.

The number one cause of subway delays is overcrowding, which slows down trains and prevents them from leaving stations on time, the New York Times reported in June.

The MTA will try to increase capacity by taking out seats, forcing passengers to crowd into the available aisles.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June gave Lhota 60 days to assess capital needs for cars, tracks, and signals after declaring the MTA was in a “state of emergency.” The seat removal pilot is part of the agency’s short-term plan to tackle disruptions.

Lhota’s is asking the state to channel $836 million toward short-term solutions like increasing the length of trains, cleaning stations, and adding personnel, NBC New York reported. The MTA is requesting an addition $8 billion for long-term repairs that would allow the agency to modernize the overall subway system.

Subway delays and outages have skyrocketed this year, resulting in a chaotic transit experience that New Yorkers are referring to as the “summer of hell.” Two subways derailed within a month’s time span this summer.