Metra buying at least 200 new rail cars, seeks new designs

CHICAGO (AP) — Metra is buying at least 200 new railcars, and the northeastern Illinois commuter rail agency says it’s open to new designs that will provide more seating capacity.
The agency issued a request for proposal Wednesday for at least 200 new cars, and said it may purchase up to 200 more if funding is available. Metra says manufacturers may propose designs that provide more seating than the bi-level cars in use for nearly 70 years, which have fewer seats on the upper level.
Metra says the new designs must create efficient passenger flow and have arm rests, cup holders and bike racks. Manufacturers may also include USB ports, tray tables and wireless internet service.
Proposals are due in August. Metra hopes to finalize the deal by the end of 2019.