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View Poll Results: Is SEPTA doing a great job in regards to bus, subway, and commuter rail overall??????
YES 38 49.35%
NO 39 50.65%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1481  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2019, 8:10 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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I agree that BSL is the top contender for branching. It's definitely not as busy as the MFL with twice the tracks. If heavy rail is too cost-prohibitive, maybe light rail would work. Two tracks for the existing BSL and two for light rail branches, kind of like the MFL/subway-surface lines. Could even incorporate the city branch tunnel. Based on this random map I found (no idea how accurate it is) it seems like South Philly and NE Philly are the most under-served:

https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/v...882b1ed4b0aebf
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  #1482  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2019, 11:02 PM
Delthayre Delthayre is online now
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Becuse the Frankford El goes straight to Frankford

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Good point on the car length. I saw they both have six car consists and the cars looked similarly long so i didn't consider there would be a significant difference. I'm also surprised the peak frequency is only 4 minutes. In many cases frequency is limited by the availability of rolling stock, but in this case 4 minutes is the minimum for the signalling system?
I don't know if it's a limitation of the signal system. 'Popular' holding among local transit advocates is that the M4 cars are lemons. (There was a story about two and a half years ago about cracks in their bolsters) Each costs more to maintain than the BIVs, which are about fifteen years older, and they have about half the mean distance between failures (I.e. ~120,000 for the BIV cars, but ~ 60,000 for the M4 cars). I once read an old fleet management plan submitted to the FTA for the M4 cars that indicated that mean distance between failures, which was ~60,000 at time of purchase, was expected to better with experience and that they were intended to support three-minute headways. The MFSE ran much more service in the past. I recall reading a report from before 1920 about the PRT running 40 cars per hour, which William S. Twining, Phialdelphia's second Transit Commissioner, thought improvements could be raised to 44 trains per hour, which was desired as contemporary plans called for the planned, but never built, Darby Elevated, mostly to run along Woodland Avenue, to begin as a branch of the Market Street Subway-Elevated until demand made a dedicated route to Center City, which was variously planned as a Chestnut Street Subway or branch of the South Broad Street Line. (A local transit activist has made a very handy series of representations of various historical plans using Google Maps)

SEPTA has 218 M4 cars in service, two having been reassigned to be work cars. It's worth noting that the Broad Street Subway runs about eight five-car local trains, eight five-car express trains and nine two-car Ridge Spur trains (Crudely, ~ 98 cars per hour) with a fleet of 125 BIV cars, but the Market-Frankford Subway Elevated runs fifteen hourly trains (Crudely, ~90 cars per hour) with a fleet of 218 cars. Something about the terminal configurations at 69th Street and Bridge Street (*achem* "Frankford Transportation Center), might account for some of the difference, but that seems inadequate to explain everything. I imagine that multiplying trains per hour by cars per train is inadequate to fully understand the number of cars needed for service, but comparing the ratio of that to fleet size is suggestive. By that crude methodology, the BSS operates with a ratio of 78.4 % of its whole fleet, but the MFSE only 41.3 % of its fleet. Unless the M4 cars are too unreliable or they have too few drivers, it seems that SEPTA should be able to run better frequency on the MFSE. (Worth noting is that General Manager Knueppel's overwrought scheme to lengthen the trains to eight cars also calls for acquiring more MFSE cars and adding yard space; both seem awkward the justify as 218 cars seems like it should be enough for longer trains, even if terminals limit frequency, and the M3 fleet comprised 270 cars)

Last edited by Delthayre; Sep 17, 2019 at 11:12 PM.
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  #1483  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2019, 11:33 PM
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Nexis4Jersey Nexis4Jersey is offline
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One way to solve the problem is purchase open gangaway trains and automate the line. I few years ago SEPTA was considering adding platform screen doors to the Downtown Stations.
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  #1484  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 8:52 PM
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  #1485  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 4:05 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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updates to 15th street station, including ADA elevators and LED light displays.

https://whyy.org/articles/elevators-...lion-makeover/

sounds like more to come:

Quote:
commuters can look forward to real-time train arrival screens that count down the minutes until the next subway arrives. SEPTA is planning to test the first version of those displays by 2020.
Also, 69th street station is getting a new garage:

https://whyy.org/articles/septa-is-b...-daily-riders/
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  #1486  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2019, 5:45 PM
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SEPTA Giving Buses a 3-Second Head Start Around City Hall to Combat Congestion
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news...422.html?amp=y
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  #1487  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2019, 3:09 AM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Looks like the Franklin square patco station is definitely reopening:

https://www.inquirer.com/transportat...-20191112.html


Quote:
Construction is expected to begin next year, with completion slated for 2023, according to PATCO’s website
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  #1488  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 2:55 PM
dreadnought dreadnought is offline
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PATCO Line

I'm annoyed by the PATCO line. I realize that it was built as an anticipated part of a central circle line, but was not completed due to lack of funds. but as a line that now primarily serves NJ residents, I don't understand why it goes beyond 8th and Market. It should terminate there, and then SEPTA should operate the line as it becomes the Locust Street Line. Then it should be extended, rather than abruptly ending at 16th. It could be extended to Rittenhouse Square, then turn up 19th Street, add a station at 19th and Market where it could intersect with a new MFL line station at 19th, then go to Logan Circle, then the Art Museum.
As long as we're indulging in this delusion, it would be nice if they completed that circle line by extending it further to Girard Ave, replacing the trolley line.
Obviously, there have been other threads discussing adding MFL stations between 15th and 30th, and I don't know all of the engineering challenges associated with this, but if the subway-surface lines are obstacles to this, it might be worth getting rid of the subway part of the trolley service and have those passengers use the MFL line. MFL could provide a connection to the surface part of the trolley lines, so passengers could transfer there.
Just a thought.

Last edited by dreadnought; Nov 17, 2019 at 5:04 PM.
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  #1489  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 7:44 PM
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summersm343 summersm343 is offline
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King of Prussia really needs rail. It would make more sense to expand Regional Rail to KOP though, rather than the NHSL. Both would actually be awesome.

Biggest transit needs in the Philadelphia area:

1. King of Prussia Rail expansion, with stops at the mall, the town center, the casino, and Valley Forge Park train station

2. Navy Yard Broad Street line expansion

3. A Cultural line expansion in the city branch, from broad street, down along the Parkway, and to the Zoo

4. Regional Rail expansion to West Chester

5. Regional Rail expansion to Phoenixville and Royersford

6. Regional Rail expansion to Newtown and New Hope

7. New Jersey Transit expansion down through Gloucester City, Woodbury and Glassboro/Rowan University.
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  #1490  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 8:36 PM
dreadnought dreadnought is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
King of Prussia really needs rail. It would make more sense to expand Regional Rail to KOP though, rather than the NHSL. Both would actually be awesome.

Biggest transit needs in the Philadelphia area:

1. King of Prussia Rail expansion, with stops at the mall, the town center, the casino, and Valley Forge Park train station

2. Navy Yard Broad Street line expansion

3. A Cultural line expansion in the city branch, from broad street, down along the Parkway, and to the Zoo

4. Regional Rail expansion to West Chester

5. Regional Rail expansion to Phoenixville and Royersford

6. Regional Rail expansion to Newtown and New Hope

7. New Jersey Transit expansion down through Gloucester City, Woodbury and Glassboro/Rowan University.
8. Roosevelt Boulevard Subway
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  #1491  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 9:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreadnought View Post
8. Roosevelt Boulevard Subway
May not even need to be a subway. A light rail or BRT line could do the trick.

Northeast Philly is so auto-oriented as it is, I think the extremely expensive undertaking of a subway would be extremely pointless.

Would rather run a light rail line or BRT down the center median - would be a lot more cost-effective.
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  #1492  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 11:51 PM
dreadnought dreadnought is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
May not even need to be a subway. A light rail or BRT line could do the trick.

Northeast Philly is so auto-oriented as it is, I think the extremely expensive undertaking of a subway would be extremely pointless.

Would rather run a light rail line or BRT down the center median - would be a lot more cost-effective.
I disagree. It's auto-oriented precisely because it doesn't have a subway line. It's the effect of not having a subway line, not the cause.
There are more people in NE philly than in the entire city of pittsburgh. I think the ridership levels would be so high that it would need to be heavy rail. as we all know, there have been proposals for the subway line, and I think they need to build it.
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  #1493  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 3:19 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreadnought View Post
I'm annoyed by the PATCO line. I realize that it was built as an anticipated part of a central circle line, but was not completed due to lack of funds. but as a line that now primarily serves NJ residents, I don't understand why it goes beyond 8th and Market. It should terminate there, and then SEPTA should operate the line as it becomes the Locust Street Line. Then it should be extended, rather than abruptly ending at 16th. It could be extended to Rittenhouse Square, then turn up 19th Street, add a station at 19th and Market where it could intersect with a new MFL line station at 19th, then go to Logan Circle, then the Art Museum.
As long as we're indulging in this delusion, it would be nice if they completed that circle line by extending it further to Girard Ave, replacing the trolley line.
Obviously, there have been other threads discussing adding MFL stations between 15th and 30th, and I don't know all of the engineering challenges associated with this, but if the subway-surface lines are obstacles to this, it might be worth getting rid of the subway part of the trolley service and have those passengers use the MFL line. MFL could provide a connection to the surface part of the trolley lines, so passengers could transfer there.
Just a thought.
I'm annoyed by PATCO too, but mostly due to its lack of integration with SEPTA. It's fine to have multiple operators, but the usage of the system should be transparent to the user. Why I can't use SEPTA Key on PATCO seems crazy to me. Sure they have some sort of Freedom Share card now that you can use with SEPTA, but it's still confusing and an additional card to carry (and you can't use it on Regional Rail).

Per the expansion you're talking of, I think the tracks already go to Rittenhouse square, there's just no station there (they use the tracks for storing trains or something). I doubt we'll ever see the original plan come to fruition due to costs of tunneling. There could be something similar though if you extend the current PATCO line to the Schuylkill where the B&O tracks are, then head up through the tunnel to the city branch. You can then head east along the cut, where another short tunnel could connect to the broad ridge spur. Still probably cost prohibitive, but at least you don't need to tunnel the whole way. Also CSX is using the B&O tracks, though nothing is using the city branch.

Getting rid of the subway portion of the trolley is a bad idea though; those trolleys get pretty high ridership now and it's mostly due to the tunnel saving a bunch of time. Also connects for free to the BSL at city hall. Personally I think we should have more light rail; I think the trolleys show that there would be a demand.
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  #1494  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 3:38 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
May not even need to be a subway. A light rail or BRT line could do the trick.

Northeast Philly is so auto-oriented as it is, I think the extremely expensive undertaking of a subway would be extremely pointless.

Would rather run a light rail line or BRT down the center median - would be a lot more cost-effective.
I agree that NE is pretty auto-oriented and light rail might work better especially if it branches out in the way that the trolleys do in west philly. The main trunk ROW could be down the middle of the Roosevelt Blvd. The one thing though is that would ridership be higher with a single heavy rail line that directly integrates with the BSL, or a light rail system that merely provides a free interchange? Not really sure. It's too bad that the outer two tracks on the BSL can't be easily converted to light rail; it would open the doors to a lot of usage if you were able to create branches off the main subway trunk similar to the west philly trolleys. The center two tracks could remain as they are as a heavy rail rapid transit system. The BSL is so underutilized if you take in account its infrastructure (a 4-track tunnel).


Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
1. King of Prussia Rail expansion, with stops at the mall, the town center, the casino, and Valley Forge Park train station

2. Navy Yard Broad Street line expansion

3. A Cultural line expansion in the city branch, from broad street, down along the Parkway, and to the Zoo

4. Regional Rail expansion to West Chester

5. Regional Rail expansion to Phoenixville and Royersford

6. Regional Rail expansion to Newtown and New Hope

7. New Jersey Transit expansion down through Gloucester City, Woodbury and Glassboro/Rowan University.
Should probably add a RR expansion out to Allentown/Bethlehem to the list. I think SEPTA is already working on an extension to Quakertown, but it would see so much more usage going all the way to the existing stations in Bethlehem and Allentown.

I'd also love to see some sort of cultural corridor usage of the city branch line, even if it's BRT. It could make sense as light rail though, terminal at broad street is right next to the old 23 trolley line that goes down 11/12. Or it could tunnel a couple blocks and re-purpose the spur, since it really isn't used/redundant to transferring at city hall. It just seems like a waste that SEPTA isn't using it for anything.
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  #1495  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 6:47 PM
Skintreesnail Skintreesnail is offline
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https://www.inquirer.com/transportat...-20191118.html

I get that key is a pretty major undertaking, but wow it's taken a long time:

Quote:
The agency expects to have the majority of train riders using Key by spring, though an exact timeline is murky.
Quote:
Open payment, which is available in cities like London and began to roll out in New York in May, was an early promise. But with a recently approved $4.4 million to replace more than 4,000 card readers to make way for the feature, SEPTA assures it really is coming — “maybe around June,” Busch said.
Quote:
Travel Wallet on Regional Rail is expected to be added to the Key system sometime in March, Busch said, allowing riders to pay with the same fare used elsewhere in SEPTA’s network.
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  #1496  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2019, 12:00 AM
kool-ski kool-ski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
May not even need to be a subway. A light rail or BRT line could do the trick.

Northeast Philly is so auto-oriented as it is, I think the extremely expensive undertaking of a subway would be extremely pointless.

Would rather run a light rail line or BRT down the center median - would be a lot more cost-effective.
I thought I remember seeing somewhere on an old map that the original alignment for the Boulevard Subway was after a stop northeast-bound at the old Sears store at Adams Avenue that it deviated from the boulevard and went up Whitaker Avenue and on a right-of-a-way running parallel with Pennway Avenue. I imagined plenty of NIMBYs balked at that idea. But nonetheless, how do you think that alignment would benefit the NE?
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