toronto rocket straps

TTC debuts revised version of its Rocket subway train

There's an updated version of the TTC's Toronto Rocket subway train circulating beneath the streets of the city this morning. In response to complaints about the lack of handles near the AC unit on the initial Rockets, Bombardier has added a new set of handles and several yellow plastic straps on one test train that the TTC will use to gauge customer response.

The door chimes have also been lowered in pitch and a speaker placed on the outside of the vehicle on the advice of the TTC's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit, a group that directs the transit provider on issues relating to people with disabilities. The famous three-tone chime now plays at the same time as the automated "please stand clear of the doors" message. It's subtle, but it's there.

The TTC's Brad Ross says staff will travel with the tweaked train and gather feedback from riders but that there is currently no timetable for the rest of the fleet to receive the modifications. Frustrating issues with the Rocket's doors have been traced to a software problem and will be fixed separately. The precise cost of the retrofit, and whether the TTC or Bombardier foots the bill, has yet to be determined.

Do these changes make the Rocket a better ride? Have you caught this train? What did you think?

Courtesy of Reddit user laurenceYYZ, here's a video of the new door chime in operation:

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo: Brad Ross/TTC


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