For Metro Transit, just one word: plastic

Judy Griesedieck for MPR News file

Now that we no longer have winters to define our identities, we’re on the search for something else here at the World Headquarters of NewsCut.

So let’s consider this brag possibility, courtesy of Tim Harlow, the transportation guy at the Star Tribune, who notes today that the Minneapolis-St. Paul light rail system is one of the few that has fabric seats. How do you like us now, New York?

We learn this just as we learn that fact, like severe winters, is about to disappear. Probably.

Fabric, which covers up dirt, is also hard to clean. And it’s harder to see drink spills before sitting in the sticky mess.

So Metro Transit is seeking customer feedback for plastic seats.

Harlow reports they’re being installed in several Blue Line cars to see what people think.

On Monday, riders gave the test seats mixed reviews. Some sympathized with the effort it takes to keep cloth seats from fraying as riders put their feet on the seats.

Others said they think plastic seats would likely work better and be easier to clean. A few said the blue plastic seats were aesthetically pleasing.

Annyliss Quinde, of Minneapolis, said she missed the upholstered seats.

“I don’t like the change,” she said as she rode the light rail Monday. “[The plastic seats] are not as comfortable. They are too cold and too hard.”

Cold and hard. Sounds like a suitable replacement for winter.