Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by F40CFan
I saw an article in "ON THE BI-LEVEL" about proposed new seating. I went to LaSalle St. Station and took a look. They are not very comfortable. Also, they would be fixed seating, facing the vestibule. Anyone who remembers the Budd cars that the RTA purchased in the 70s would be familiar with that type of seating. As to how popular it was, the seats were replaced with reversible seating.

If you have strong feelings about sitting backwards, you may want to send Metra comments before they make a decision.
  by CHTT1
Fixed seating is not that bad. The seats on the original Highliners are the most comfortable in commuter railroading. The "flip flops"on the new Highliners are just "meh."
  by Tadman
Just avoid the South Shore seats at all cost. The 1982-era cars are awful seats. I'd rather ride on a CTA seat to South Bend.
  by F40CFan
The sample seats feel like a wooden bench with 1/4 inch of padding covered with vinyl. They make the current seats feel like Lazy-boys.
  by ryanch
I'd prefer pretty strongly to sit facing forward. I think most people would. I notice that when I get on in the morning (I'm usually relatively early in the load pattern), typicallyl every other seat is taken, seemingly because people want to sit in the seat that has the whole window in front of it, rather than the one with a partial.

Obviously it's not a big deal for the trip home for most commuters at this time of year, since Metra cars are lit so brightly you can hardly see out the window when it's dark. Yesterday, our NB slowed to a crawl for a couple minutes just south of Addison, and dozens of people got up to leave. They couldn't see out the window well enough to realize that we were nowhere near the next stop - Rogers Park.

Anyway, I'm going to vote against fixed seats.
  by F40CFan
ryanch wrote:Anyway, I'm going to vote against fixed seats.
That was the main purpose of my post. To let people know about the seat plans and to urge them to let Metra know their feelings, either way, before its too late.
  by metraupwest
Why do they even need to change the seats? The current ones are quite comfortable as they are.
  by eolesen
When I was riding the TRE in Fort Worth, we had the fixed seats, and I hated them in comparison to the knockover seats.

I'd rather see the money spent on some more power plugs and wifi...
  by F40CFan
I just read an article regarding the seats. Apparently the survey results aren't that conclusive. If you have a strong feeling either way, I would let Metra know soon.
  by Tadman
I fail to see how a brief test-sit in these seats actually proves anything. The real test is to see if they're comfortable for an hour or more moving at 79mph on a train packed so thick you can hardly move about whilst wearing a parka and carrying a large purse or briefcase. That's how they'll be used. I ride Metra occasionally and rush hour is pretty intense.
  by F40CFan
It doesn't. But apparently neither does limited testing in service. CTA modified 3407-3408 with the bowling-alley type seating they were planning for the 5000s. There wasn't a negative enough backlash and the 5000s were delivered with bowling alley seating. It was unpopular and now the 7000 series will have "normal" seating.

All I'm saying is that if anyone has a strong feeling about sitting backwards, let Metra know before they go ahead and start implementing them.
  by HammerJack
I'm not seeing the point of installing these new seats. What's wrong with the current ones? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I've never heard anyone complain about the current seats. After all, Metra could use the money in other places....
  by F40CFan
I believe the "new" seats are for future upgrades/rebuildings. I doubt very much that they are just going to go around replacing seats.
  by spRocket
This is Illinois we're talking about, so I wouldn't be surprised if some well-placed cronies stand to make a mint if the new seats are approved.
  by eolesen
I don't see how the new seats would lower costs. The knockovers are easily rebuilt and repaired. Not a lot of moving parts, no molded plastics to break, and you can fit a third person into a row if they're really small (think all those days when kids are out of school?...

I also don't see how well those would work out on the upper level. The armrest will be poking out into the aisle, and turn into a great snag hazard for backpacks & jackets.