The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is planning to add 800 passenger seats to its rail fleet for the city's planned 20-mile rail transit system in Hawaii.
Seating in each train will be increased by more than 25% from 76 to 96 seats, while still saving space for luggage, bikes and surfboards, HART officials said.
Each two-car train will be capable of carrying up to 350 people; the trains initially had 64 seats before the city added 12 seats, increasing it to 76, and then to 96.
HART executive director and CEO Daniel Grabauskas said that listening to the public and to studies showed that the trains needed more seats.
"The increased seating will be designed to enhance the riding experience and to increase passenger comfort," Grabauskas said.
"Any cost savings we can yield will be redirected to the design and construction of the rail system."
The decision to increase the number of seats was taken after a report by Jacobs Engineering Group found that the number of seats would leave many people to stand during their journey from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, which could reduce ridership, according to Pacific Business News.
Hawaii's new transit line will run from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, serving 21 stations in communities such as Waipahu, Pearl City, Aiea, Kalihi, Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu and Kakaako.
It also has stops at major employment and destination centres, such as UH-West Oahu, Leeward Community College, Pearl Highlands, Pearlridge, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu International Airport and Honolulu Community College.
HART started first phase construction on the rail transit project in April 2012.
The contractor for the first two sections of the project, Kiewit Infrastructure West, has started drilling holes for the concrete foundation shafts and support columns.
Image: HART broke ground on the $5.17bn elevated rail transit project in February 2011. Photo: courtesy of usashi1600.