For decades, Metro’s fuzzy fabric seats — rare among major U.S. transit systems — have drawn fascination and disgust from bus and train riders.
Propelled by years of complaints and a sizable dry-cleaning bill, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is preparing to swap out the wool and nylon seats on the subway for sleek, patterned vinyl with a drainage hole to prevent liquids from pooling.
The change will occur on the Red and Purple lines, which represent a fraction of the Metro system’s vehicles. The agency has no immediate plans to discard the upholstery on its 2,438 buses or four light-rail lines.
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