"Max capacity" cars with some seats make Brown Line debut
While they may not be standing-room-only, two reconditioned train cars with about a dozen seats removed in each debuted on the Brown Line Friday in a new attempt by the CTA to add capacity to overcrowded rush hour trains.
In this limited trial period, the CTA has reconditioned just three pairs of 3200 series rail cars. With 12 seats removed in one car and 14 in another, the CTA expects each car could hold almost 115 riders, instead of 90 with all 39 seats installed.
Engineering studies forced the CTA to abandon the original idea of removing all seats due to safety concerns. Removing all seats would mean the cars might exceed the max weight limits if filled to capacity.
The CTA is spending about $10,000 per car to alter the suspension system to prevent the cars from swaying.
This pilot test comes in the same week the CTA announced that ridership on the rail system this year has increased by 8.3%.
(Photo by the Chicago Sun-Times)