The better way is about to get better yet, Mayor David Miller said at the Thursday launch of the TTC’s new Toronto Rocket subway trains on the platform of Downsview Station.

With open gangways that allow a full-length view of the six-car trains, enhanced security features and an open-floor design, the Rockets will carry up to 10 per cent more riders and offer greater mechanical reliability.

The cars included in the $710-million purchase, shared by all three levels of government, were made at Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant.

Miller said he has no regrets about sole-sourcing the trains to Bombardier in 2006 as a way of keeping the company’s plant open in northern Ontario.

The 234 subway cars to be delivered over the next two years will begin running by early next year on the Yonge line.

The cars feature an anti-microbial coating on stanchions to prevent the spread of germs; a more open design inside the doors to provide easier loading for crowds and people using wheelchairs or strollers; three flip-up seats inside the door for accessibility, and new emergency features that automatically train cameras on the area from which an alarm has been triggered.

The public will get a look at the Toronto Rockets sometime in the next couple of weeks, when the first train will be parked for viewing, probably at Sheppard Station, said TTC chief general manager Gary Webster.