The R142A, along with the R142, are the first and second part of the fourth generation of somewhat similar new technology cars (NTTs) for the A Division of the New York City Subway. These cars were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan. Along with the R142s, they replaced the Redbird trains, including the R26, R28, R29, R33, R33 WF, R36, and R36 WF.
The R142A cars were built by Kawasaki at Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan with final assembly performed at Kawasaki Railcar Corp.'s American Facilities located at Lincoln, NE, USA & Yonkers, NY, USA from 1999 through 2004, and have many of the same features as the R142, built by Bombardier. The R142As were built as fleet numbers #7211–7810.
The first ten R142A cars numbered 7211-7220 were delivered in December 1999. Regular service began on the 6 on July 10, 2000 after several months of testing. The cars maintained at the Jerome Avenue shop facility run on the 4 while the cars maintained at the Westchester shop facility run on the 6.