After decades of riding the same Orange Line trains to get around, commuters boarded the newest fleet of cars on Wednesday, happy to see progress on a system that has been plagued by delays and derailments in recent months.
“I’m really excited, because it’s about time the MBTA replaced those old cars, they are disgusting,” said Dorchester resident Joel Saintis, 23, who said he’s been riding the T virtually his entire life. “To see that they’ve finally put this into action means a lot to me.”
Gov. Charlie Baker and MBTA officials held a press conference at Wellington station in Medford, introducing six new cars to the public.
“There’s been a long wait for these cars, I think everybody would agree that it’s about time,” Baker said. “There’s a ton of work that’s been done, there is far more left to do. This is a very important day with respect to turning the corner and finally getting some of these trains into service.”
In addition to clean and shiny exteriors, the new cars feature wider doors, LED displays, renovated seats and more overall space for passengers.
MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said that all 152 new Orange Line trains will be introduced over the next two years and when the Orange Line renovations are finished, wait times between trains during rush hour will be reduced from six minutes to four and a half minutes. He also said total capacity will be increased by 40 percent.
“Customers are going to start seeing these trains more and more, and they’re going to provide more reliable and more comfortable commutes,” Poftak said.
Poftak also said the MBTA is aiming to complete the replacement of its 252 Red Line cars by 2023.
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