From DP's article linked above:
"CTA President Forrest Claypool was asked about the workmanship of the new Bombardier cars. "It is consistent with the introduction of a new generation of rail cars,".
"Robert Kelly, president of the CTA rail workers union, said Friday that there have been many bugs and training issues to work out with the new equipment. "They are a constant headache. On average many are out of service on a daily basis," said Kelly, president of Local 308 of the Amalgamated Transit Union."
I think Claypool is being more realistic than Kelly, who appears to be doing what I call "complaining". Training issues? On new equipment? Can't imagine... The FAA requires type-ratings, where pilots CANNOT operate new planes without training. As opposed to the railroads, where one can theoretically go from SD70ACe and mile-long coal train to 4-car EMU or vice-versa. For the life of me, I cannot believe the nanny-state has not required type-rating, but has put in place regulation about making diner car seats fixed.
Claypool realizes the nature of "one-off" production, seen in the LIRR DE/DM, Septa SL-V, and Metro-North M8. If there's no market other than one city, there is no way an equipment manufacturer like Bombardier or Kawasaki is going to build the M8 or CTA 5000 on speculation. Ergo, if the MTA or CTA wants something that can do all kinds of tricks, they're going to pay for a test fleet to do in-service testing, which is exactly what we've seen. It's the same reason why you see racecar drivers out testing new suspension setups - you can't exactly build a Nascar for the mass market, so they try something and let the driver work the bugs out pre-race. Pre-race on the CTA evidently means the pink line, which rarely has heavy ridership.
Want to change how this works? It wouldn't be hard for Chicago, NYC, PHL, and BOS to sit down and come up with common propulsion systems, door controls, loudspeakers, etc... Sort of like the PCC.
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net