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NJ TRANSIT is purchasing 234 new multi-level rail cars. The new cars will enable NJ TRANSIT to meet and anticipate ridership demand on its busiest rail lines, while providing an unprecedented level of comfort for customers. The new multi-level rail cars were developed with extensive input from customers and employees and designed to be compatible with all existing equipment and operating requirements. A Customer Design Team, comprised of 14 NJ TRANSIT commuters from around the system, followed the multi-level design process and provided invaluable input.
The 234-car multi-level fleet, which will be comprised of 115 coach cars without restrooms, 86 coach cars with ADA restrooms, and 33 cab cars with ADA restrooms, will ultimately provide a total of 31,873 seats. Each multi-level car offers 15-20 percent more seating capacity than the single-level coaches. The cars will be fully compatible with NJ TRANSIT's existing Comet II, III, IV and new Comet V cars, ALP-46 electric locomotives, and the new PL-42 Diesel Locomotives, and with all of NJ TRANSIT's infrastructure, facilities and stations. The design of the car shell and interior layout is 2-by-2 seating, and meets all requirements for ADA accessibility including vestibule widths.
The cars' interior design features large tinted windows, indirect ceiling lighting and soothing blue tones to produce a restful and spacious passenger environment. Each car features an upper and lower seating level, as well as an open, intermediate "mezzanine" level at each end of the car, which has padded leaning stations, and areas for wheelchairs, carts, strollers, bicycles and luggage. Fully accessible restrooms with anti-skid flooring, a call-for-assistance button, refined finishes and a generous amount of space. Each multi-level car also features high-tech automated public address systems and LED destination screens.
On the upper and lower levels, customers will find seats in a 2-by-2 configuration - meaning that every seat is either a window or an aisle seat. This design ensures that 100 percent of the car's seats are usable and that there are wider aisles to facilitate passenger boarding and alighting, while also making it easier for customers and conductors to move about the train. Four doors on each side of the car will further expedite the boarding process. The multi-level cars provide 25.27 inches of knee room - an inch more than NJ TRANSIT's Comet V single-level cars. The seats provide 19.75 inches of width per passenger - 2.2 inches more than the Comet V.
Customers on other rail lines will see benefits, too. As the multi-level fleet enters revenue service, NJ TRANSIT will reassign modern Comet IV and V equipment to replace many 34-year-old Comet I-series cars, the oldest in the fleet. Currently, Comet I cars are used on the Raritan Valley, Main, Bergen County, and Pascack Valley lines.
NJ TRANSIT awarded the multi-Level vehicle contract to Bombardier Corp. The average cost per car for the entire order of 329 multi-levels is approximately $1.82 million. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey funded the initial 103 cars, while the remaining cars were funded by the State Transportation Trust Fund.
All 103 cars of the base order and 131 cars of options A, B & C have been delivered. Production and delivery continues for options D, E & F with an anticipated completion date by the end of 2009.
NJ TRANSIT Department of Capital Planning and Programs