BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The first of a new fleet of Orange Line trains made their debut Wednesday morning. In total, six new cars are set to hit the tracks by the end of the day.
By 2022, the MBTA plans to add 152 new cars to the Orange Line, not only replacing the old fleet but add new trains.
Top officials were in attendance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, including Gov. Charlie Baker, MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack, and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.
According to Poftak, wait time between trains on the Orange Line will be reduced from 6 minutes to 4.5 minutes.
The new cars are said to be more spacious, have wider doors, have wider seats, more standing room, better lighting, and more security cameras. They will also feature more accessible access locations per car and additional passenger emergency intercoms, according to the MBTA.
"I think everybody would agree that it's about time," Gov. Baker said. "It's also going to be about expanding capacity by almost 85,000 seats between the Orange Line and the Red Line, and dramatically improving the system's reliability and dependability, which is absolutely fundamental to the overall system's success."
The entire Orange and Red Lines are due to be replaced over the next five years. Baker said the next batch of cars are set to be introduced next month.
The roll out was delayed several months in recent times as the T worked to resolve issues around an upgraded signal system.
Some riders told WBZ NewsRadio that they are ready to be rid of the old trains.
"It's always cramped, there's never any space over there, and the trains are always delayed," one passenger said. "If you've got wider doors and more space, I'm all for it."