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  #2361  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 6:27 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Originally Posted by domodeez View Post
Office Occupancy Up in Downtown Wilmington

http://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com...ancy-downtown/
Great news!
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  #2362  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 7:18 PM
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jonesrmj jonesrmj is offline
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Originally Posted by domodeez View Post
Office Occupancy Up in Downtown Wilmington

http://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com...ancy-downtown/
Great! This is what Wilmington should be focusing on more! Question for anybody: Have any companies shown interest in wanting to come to Wilmington? I think that if companies do show interest but want modern office space, that they could either build an office tower in one of the countless downtown parking lots or Wilmington could sign a deal with them to share the cost to modify buildings like the Brandywine Building, Hercules Plaza, etc (since the cost to modify downtown office buildings for modern tenants in Wilmington has kept them from doing so). I personally think that if we can dramatically decrease the crime numbers here, add better food options for businesses, and build more mixed-use space, then Wilmington would become far more attractable for businesses. (Also if we could get air service in Wilmington and get it known to businesses too. Frontier had potential in 2013-14, but screwed themselves up in late 2014-2015)

BTW Any news on Amazon HQ2? When are they going to make the decision where their 2nd Headquarters will go?
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  #2363  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 8:23 PM
Nova08 Nova08 is offline
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Originally Posted by jonesrmj View Post
(Also if we could get air service in Wilmington and get it known to businesses too. Frontier had potential in 2013-14, but screwed themselves up in late 2014-2015)
IMO, air service into New Castle will do little for attracting business. The problem is that business travelers rely on frequency and number of destinations. A flight or two a day to OHare or Atlanta does not help much when people still have to connect from any other destination. They'll opt for nonstops via BWI or PHL.

Frontier's low cost infrequent service really does not attract business travelers. Plus with their growth in PHL and WN/Spirit in BWI, it really put a squeeze at New Castle.
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  #2364  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 8:45 PM
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Knight Hospitaller Knight Hospitaller is offline
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^ You'd need something like what my brother-in-law had in Belgium. He used Ryanair from Charleroi over "mainstream" carriers from Brussels. You'd need a discount carrier with frequent enough services to many destinations to make New Castle into Philly's Charleroi. That might have some side benefits on the attractiveness of setting up shop in Wilmington.
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  #2365  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 10:28 PM
Nova08 Nova08 is offline
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Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan View Post
To address your points:

#'s 1 and 2.) SEPTA does indeed face a crew shortage, which it is currently trying to rectify. Once appropriate staffing levels are achieved, however, it should look to negotiate with the BLEW regarding the automation of certain trainsets. The only way that RER-style service will be achieved is through automating a small portion of the fleet.

#3.) My reasoning behind the Cynwyd Line is due to the fact that it has the most components of a rapid transit line compared to any of the other Regional Rail lines. The Cynwyd Line terminates at Platform 7 in Suburban, has only five stations (three of which have high-level platforms), it is no longer speed-restricted since SEPTA decommissioned the bridge over the main line, it serves a relatively population and job-dense area, and it stops near major arterial roads. Bala Station could be the focal point of the project, as it passes under City Avenue. Not only are St. Joe's and a number of office buildings a short walk away, but a number of bus lines traverse it. Passengers on the 1, 44, 52 (extended from 54th-City to Bala), and 65 could transfer seamlessly to the new Cynwyd rapid transit service for a fast connection to Center City.

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post is fare integration. The Cynwyd Line would have the same fare as any transit route under my plan. Fare integration, along with the accessibility and efficiency of boarding that high-level platforms bring (it would be easier to build them at Bala and Cynwyd than to retrofit a longer line), are two other reasons that I'd prefer to start with the Cynwyd Line.

#3a.) After evaluating the success of a line that isn't through-routed via the Commuter Tunnel, the first pair of lines I'd recommend would be the Fox Chase and Chestnut Hill West (R8 pair). Like the Cynwyd Line, both are short lines that terminate within the city or just outside of it. Unlike the Cynwyd Line, however, it would run through the Tunnel and test the capacity of SEPTA's Main Line. Additionally, it would test the strength of SEPTA/Amtrak communication with more trains running over NORTH PHILADELPHIA interlocking. The next recommendation would test the strength of running RER-style service north of NEWTOWN interlocking.

#3b.) The next pair would be the R5 pair: the Paoli/Thorndale and Lansdale/Doylestown. Since this pair has multiple destinations, I'd recommend running Thorndale*-Doylestown, Malvern-Link Belt, and Bryn Mawr**-Lansdale routes. After preliminary testing is completed, this would be the line to really get ridership going.

*I believe that the Paoli/Thorndale Line should be extended to Parkesburg via Coatesville. There's also the question of a new line heading from Lansdale to at least Shelly or Quakerstown.

**With the potential for a new interlocking at Villanova, that station may take the place of Bryn Mawr
1.) I'm not sure I understand "automating of trainsets." Meaning driverless vehicles? If so, driverless regional rail trainsets are likely 10+ years away....and that's generous. Self contained driver less routes is one thing (Something like the Girard Ave trolley), but it's a different ball game when operating on Amtrak's NEC territory.

3.) Good points here. High level platforms, length of route, logistics in Suburban are key factors to the operational efficiencies required in a high frequency environment. I'd hope that the full roll out of the Septa key will simply ticket sales and enable swifter changes to fare rules as necessary. Though, the little I've read up on the Septa Key, I feel as though it is already an outdated technology/process.

3a.) Even if Amtrak/Septa become best buds, I highly doubt Amtrak will allow Septa many more Chestnut Hill West trains over North Philadelphia interlocking It creates too much of a bottleneck risk for Amtrak.

Septa has a similar interlocking just below on the Reading main for the Norristown line. They benefit from being the dispatching railroad and full of $5-10 fares, not $100+ fares. I also once heard that Septa pads the schedule by something like 10 minutes around Allegheny so the trains don't miss their window to merge onto the Reading main.

We've discussed the operational needs of implementing such a service, but the more important piece is passengers and subsequently $$$.
1.)Current ridership must be evaluated to determine the impact and benefit of providing more frequent service
2.)They'll need to study the potential of gaining additional passengers due to more frequent and reliable service

We only know the current ridership aspect of 1 and don't know 2.
2017 stats
Cynwyd
13 out of 13 Avg. weekday ridership
9th in operating ratio
Fox Chase
11th in Avg. weekday ridership
6th in operating ratio
Chestnut Hill West
10th in Avg. weekday ridership
11th in operating ratio

So while these lines offer some operational upsides, they are all at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to current ridership. And with more trains over the NEC on Cywyd/CHW, I'd suspect that the cost will go up with fees to Amtrak. Even if these lines saw a 20% increase in weekday ridership, they'd still be about 50-75% less than the daily ridership of the most traveled lines. Out of the 3, I'd say Fox Chase would be the best candidate.
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  #2366  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 2:24 AM
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jonesrmj jonesrmj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova08 View Post
IMO, air service into New Castle will do little for attracting business. The problem is that business travelers rely on frequency and number of destinations. A flight or two a day to OHare or Atlanta does not help much when people still have to connect from any other destination. They'll opt for nonstops via BWI or PHL.

Frontier's low cost infrequent service really does not attract business travelers. Plus with their growth in PHL and WN/Spirit in BWI, it really put a squeeze at New Castle.
It's actually called "Wilmington Airport" now. They changed the name in mid 2017.

Quote:
Once officially called the New Castle County Airport, the facility recently changed its name to the Wilmington Airport, a DRBA spokesperson said.
(Source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/...ant/694324001/)

Also, I do see your point. Business travelers are usually attracted to more business class airlines (American, Delta, United, etc) which is indeed true, but I also agree with Knight Hospitaller. The biggest reason why many airlines have failed in Wilmington is because they have not made any effort to be attractable here. Delta for instance used small regional jets that only flew to one destination. Frontier had potential when they came in 2013 because they flew to more destinations and used their airbuses. They were successful because they later announced in 2014 that they would add flights to 3 more destinations.

The downfall of Frontier began when they began to transform into an ultra-low cost carrier. Republic Airways Holding sold the airline to Indigo Partners, which caused Frontier to cut costs. They've planned to suspend flights out of Wilmington in December, but they move them to November at last minute, giving people tickets to cancelled flights. This angered many flyers and caused Frontier to loose its reputation. Today, Frontier Airlines ranks as the worst U.S. Airline according to the Airline Quality Ratings Report: (Source:http://pointmetotheplane.boardingare...onor-now-goes/).

What airlines need to do when they come to Wilmington is to provide us with a trustworthy experience with multiple destinations to fly to and great customer service if they want to succeed.
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  #2367  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 7:31 PM
jsbrook jsbrook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesrmj View Post
It's actually called "Wilmington Airport" now. They changed the name in mid 2017.


(Source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/...ant/694324001/)

Also, I do see your point. Business travelers are usually attracted to more business class airlines (American, Delta, United, etc) which is indeed true, but I also agree with Knight Hospitaller. The biggest reason why many airlines have failed in Wilmington is because they have not made any effort to be attractable here. Delta for instance used small regional jets that only flew to one destination. Frontier had potential when they came in 2013 because they flew to more destinations and used their airbuses. They were successful because they later announced in 2014 that they would add flights to 3 more destinations.

The downfall of Frontier began when they began to transform into an ultra-low cost carrier. Republic Airways Holding sold the airline to Indigo Partners, which caused Frontier to cut costs. They've planned to suspend flights out of Wilmington in December, but they move them to November at last minute, giving people tickets to cancelled flights. This angered many flyers and caused Frontier to loose its reputation. Today, Frontier Airlines ranks as the worst U.S. Airline according to the Airline Quality Ratings Report: (Source:http://pointmetotheplane.boardingare...onor-now-goes/).

What airlines need to do when they come to Wilmington is to provide us with a trustworthy experience with multiple destinations to fly to and great customer service if they want to succeed.
Possibly. But it's a chicken/egg thing. There may not be enough demand for traditional airlines to fly to multiple destinations from Wilmington to justify the increased costs of operating there. The Philly airport is nearly as close or closer for some Delaware suburbs. While it would be more convenient for some people in Wilmington proper and surrounding suburbs, there may not be enough of those people to justify the operating costs.
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