There will be more standing room on the next order of rail cars for Metro, the transit authority's board decided yesterday.
The board, in tentatively approving specifications for the new cars, opted to go for increasing standing room by taking out 12 seats located near the sets of doors on each end of the car.
The action was taken in recognition of reality: during rush hour, it is crowded around the doors and difficult to move in and out of the trains. Another option studied by the board but rejected was to increase the number of doors in the sides of the cars from three to four. Metro's present cars have 80 seats; the new cars will have 68.
THe board also voted to continue installing carpet as the floor covering instead of a rubberized compound favored by general manager Theodore Lutz. Lutz pointed out that rubberized floor was easier to clean. The board pointed out that the carpet looked pretty (at least today) and provided better traction.
Some other changes that will be obvious to patrons include plans to provide more places for standees to hang on, and a reinforcing vertical bar in the middle of Metro's bigh windows.
Changes they will not notice include the elimination of automatic tape-recorded station announcing equipment. Metro operators do the announcing live and the equipment is not used. Some operators, like Daniel Redmond, have become local legends because of their advice to patrons on the proper method of leaving stations. "Exit is easier with Farecard in hand," Redmond intones seriously.
Metro hopes to be able to buy the cars for between $750,000 and $850,000 each. A minimum order of 100 cars is regarded as necessary to stimulate good bids.
The money to buy the cars has not been found, but the Metro staff is working on it. The cars will be needed with the opening of the Huntington line, now scheduled for late 1981.