MBTA debuts new three double-decker cars

Three brand-new commuter rail coaches debuted today, the first of 75 double-decker cars that the MBTA commissioned from Hyundai Rotem.

The coaches left North Station at 10:30 a.m. on Train 213 to Haverhill, the MBTA said in a statement. The MBTA plans to introduce 15 of the coaches, which cost the transit agency $190 million, into regular rotation by this fall, the statement said.

“We are constantly working to bring our customers a better experience,” MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said. “These new coaches will do just that; with a cleaner, more informed and more comfortable trip for all on board.”

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The MBTA said the coaches built by the South Korea-based company provide 55 percent more seating room than single-level cars. The coaches are equipped with LED displays to show announcements and station locations, updated restrooms, seating for passengers with disabilities, high-tech air-conditioning systems, and microprocessors to control doors, brakes and signals, the statement said.

After a series of delays on the contract, Scott visited the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia last month and said she believed the company was “turning the corner” and would begin to deliver on its promise to provide 75 double-decker coaches to the commuter rail.

Fifteen of the coaches were expected to be running by September, Scott said at that time.

Correction: Due to a reporting error, an article published Wednesday incorrectly stated that 75 new Commuter Rail coaches would be put into rotation by this fall. Actually, only 15 of the 75 will be put into rotation by the fall.