New Subway Cars Expected...In 4 Years

The MTA is buying 300 subway cars to replace equipment on the C line that's nearing 50 years of age.

The authority's board  approved a $600 million contract Wednesday with Montreal-based Bombardier Transit Corporation. The cars will be built upstate in Plattsburgh and are scheduled to arrive in the city for testing at the end of 2014.

The new cars are not expected to be in service on the C or other lettered lines until 2016.  That means riders of the C train, routinely ranked worst in the system by passenger surveys, must continue to cultivate patience. If the new subway car project had a countdown clock like those on subway platforms, it would be showing an arrival time of four years or more.

The governor's office, however, said the new cars will be worth the wait because they’ll sport digitized voice announcements and a regenerative braking system that will save energy. They’ll also have brighter lights and signs, like the newest cars on other subway lines.

The contract to buy them will be paid in part with $305 million in federal money.