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Old 02-20-2019, 10:20 AM
 
7,425 posts, read 4,208,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
How would you say that compares to NYC MTA, though? MTA also let its system crumble, probably for even longer. But we still have 24/7 service on most lines and most headways are better than DC's? I honestly don't know enough about the construction/maintenance of DC, but it seems the problems aren't all that different, yet somehow MTA seems to be actually managing the flaws better. I'd guess the only reason DC doesn't make national news is that MTA is such a massive system and the most well-known subway system in the country.
New York’s is in a worse state of disrepair, but it’s still so much better, on so many levels. Chicago’s is in really good shape. Instead of investing in expansion, they invested in maintenance, and it paid off.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:05 AM
 
6,214 posts, read 13,656,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
New York’s is in a worse state of disrepair, but it’s still so much better, on so many levels. Chicago’s is in really good shape. Instead of investing in expansion, they invested in maintenance, and it paid off.
So if NYC's is worse, why does it seem like DC is suffering more closures/delays? Not trying to sit here and say one is better/worse than the other. Just genuinely curious since everyone always talks of NYC's MTA falling apart, yet we still have pretty solid 24/7/365 service on the majority of our lines and short headways during the day.

Definitely Chicago has done really well. If I remember correctly, the guy who helped Chicago fix the L tried to help NYC but couldn't? Am I remembering that correctly?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
333 posts, read 113,781 times
Reputation: 680
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
There was a rather lengthy expose of WMATA's lousy operating and abysmal safety culture that ran in The Washington Times about a year or two after the 2009 Red Line Takoma crash, which revealed just how thoroughly termites had eaten through the Metro's woodwork.

The reason you experience all that single-tracking now is because over the last five-plus years, Metro has been playing catchup with about 40 years of deferred maintenance. In hindsight, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority was actually a construction company that happened to operate its principal project, the subway it was building. It was pretty competent at building things but had no clue about running them. And what it did, in essence, was build the subway, then let it sit and rot for the next 40 years.

The bill for that strategy came due at Takoma.

That's the explanation for scheduled maintenance work. And for what it's worth, they've shortened Metro hours to make maintenance easier overnight and yet there's still delays due to maintenance almost every weekend day and public holiday (including the ones where the majority of private sector employees have to work).



I've used public transit on a daily basis for almost 30 years and in different locations. WMATA takes the cake in terms of being unable to maintain their system without disrupting operations significantly.


I am also highly skeptical of how successful this maintenance is as delays due to technical faults still occur all too frequently. Just yesterday morning there were significant problems on the Orange/Silver/Blue line corridor in downtown D.C. due to signal problems. I'd also add that almost every cold snap or rainy situation leads to problems in the system.


The problem here is for a system to be "good" you need to be able to count on it. It's up to the operator to figure out how to make that happen. D.C. has a decently sized network for North America, sure, but beyond that it's really a showcase for 'how not to run public transit'.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,254 posts, read 2,053,581 times
Reputation: 2694
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
How would you say that compares to NYC MTA, though? MTA also let its system crumble, probably for even longer. But we still have 24/7 service on most lines and most headways are better than DC's? I honestly don't know enough about the construction/maintenance of DC, but it seems the problems aren't all that different, yet somehow MTA seems to be actually managing the flaws better. I'd guess the only reason DC doesn't make national news is that MTA is such a massive system and the most well-known subway system in the country.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
New York’s is in a worse state of disrepair, but it’s still so much better, on so many levels. Chicago’s is in really good shape. Instead of investing in expansion, they invested in maintenance, and it paid off.
Back in the early 2000s, Chicago's system was in pretty bad shape. One train lost power and got stranded in a tunnel for about four hours before rescuers could evacuate and move it, and another derailed while standing still because the ties had deteriorated to the point where the fasteners just fell out.

But the CTA/RTA plowed a chunk o'change into repairs and things are fine now.

Likewise, New York spent $12 billion in the early 1980s on bringing the system back to a state of good repair. A number of stations got facelifts or rebuilds in the process.

What's happening in New York is nowhere near as bad as what's happened in Washington - and not just since Takoma. I'll start this by asking this question:

When was the last time you read or heard about a fatality accident on the New York City subways?

Even in the late 1970s, when it was arguably in worse shape than it is now, I don't recall hearing of any. Since the very first fatality accident on WMATA Metrorail in January 1982 - a derailment that ended up killing three - there have been three other accidents that killed riders (one that involved malfunctioning tunnel exhaust fans that caused a train to fill with smoke from an electrical fire) and four more that killed WMATA personnel over the intervening 37 years. I don't think that any other transit agency operating a rail system in this country comes even close to this dismal record.

In that same 37-year timespan, I don't think there was a single fatal accident on the CTA or NY MTA, and only one on SEPTA.

And the worst of those Washington accidents, the 2009 Takoma crash, did make news nationwide. So did the first, but that was in part because it occurred around the time that Air Florida Flight 90 struck the 14th Street Bridge and plunged into the Potomac upon takeoff from Washington National Airport.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
85 posts, read 67,468 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
So if NYC's is worse, why does it seem like DC is suffering more closures/delays? Not trying to sit here and say one is better/worse than the other. Just genuinely curious since everyone always talks of NYC's MTA falling apart, yet we still have pretty solid 24/7/365 service on the majority of our lines and short headways during the day.

Definitely Chicago has done really well. If I remember correctly, the guy who helped Chicago fix the L tried to help NYC but couldn't? Am I remembering that correctly?
Depends on what you mean by "pretty solid 24/7/365 service", that's not what I've read and hear from friends that live in Midtown Manahattan.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/n...?module=inline

I think going off anecdotal evidence is dangerous. My experience with WMATA's service since Safetrack and the rapid replacement of old cars with the 7000 series cars has been noticeably better, but the better evidence is the actual numbers and the fact that WMATA is doing well enough to offer the refund policy for rides with 15 minute delays or worse...and they're doing well enough that they've now decreased that to 10 minute delays for refunds. MTA's 58.1% on-time performance versus WMATA's 85.7% is pretty striking.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/n...s-new-low.html

Also, it was just a week or so ago it was national news that the woman died at an MTA station due to the lack of accessibility for the disabled, a widespread issue for MTA.

After Mother's Tragic Death, Disability & Transit Advocates Rally For An Accessible Subway System: Gothamist

Last edited by urbancritic; 02-20-2019 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,578 posts, read 18,442,316 times
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The MTA has the best coverage in the US, but it depends on where you are even and where you're trying to get to. I think that for parts of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn the coverage is great. However, it's not like it's amazing everywhere. Getting between Queens and Brooklyn efficiently for example is terrible - really the only option is the G train which is known as the Ghost Train by some people since it doesn't come very often.

Still the best coverage, but the service is really line to line. Some lines are great with service while others can be atrocious. When I lived in UWS, I took the B and C - the C especially was ALWAYS delayed either getting into the station or while riding. There were so many times I lost count that it just stopped on the tracks for 30+ minutes in Manhattan. Or during the summer of 2017 in Manhattan around 7pm on a weekday, it would tell me the train was coming in 5 minutes so I'd wait, and wait, and wait - many times waiting for 30 or more minutes.

Other lines I used to take regularly were the R and 1,2,3. I feel that the 1,2,3 comes well, but the R you had to wait for 10-15 minutes during normal hours even. I take the 7 now and while it can get semi busy, it's not terrible IMO and it comes on time mostly. It's 1 million times better than the C.

The other thing is that while the subway runs 24/7, not all stops are actually 24/7. Some stops are "part time" meaning depending on the hour and day, the stop may be skipped.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: (six-cent-dix-sept)
4,255 posts, read 2,126,974 times
Reputation: 2584
this would be significant:
https://www.universalhub.com/2019/co...presses-free-t
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
757 posts, read 1,249,963 times
Reputation: 559
The MTA has turned into an absolute crapshow. Trains no longer run frequent during rush hours, crazy amount of delays, QOL going backwards, etc. WMATA has also gotten worse over time, yet they think not doing anything about fare evaders is a good idea.

Hate to say it but despite its lack on size SEPTA seems like the best. More reliable, cleaner system(tho not saying much), etc.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,254 posts, read 2,053,581 times
Reputation: 2694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv95 View Post
The MTA has turned into an absolute crapshow. Trains no longer run frequent during rush hours, crazy amount of delays, QOL going backwards, etc. WMATA has also gotten worse over time, yet they think not doing anything about fare evaders is a good idea.

Hate to say it but despite its lack on size SEPTA seems like the best. More reliable, cleaner system(tho not saying much), etc.
The American Public Transportation Association named SEPTA its Best Large Transit System for 2012.

I said to the local head-scratchers at the time that SEPTA really deserved that award, and that it won it for keeping its system in decent running condition using nothing more than duct tape and baling wire.

(This was before the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania finally fixed the transportation-funding mess that arose in the wake of the collapse of its plan to fund transportation infrastructure by tolling Interstate 80. After that happened, SEPTA got to work replacing its most seriously deteriorated infrastructure, and at least three rail expansion projects are either underway or under consideration.)

And even though its rapid-transit network is skeletal and nowhere near what the city had originally planned to have, SEPTA is the sixth-largest transit agency in the country, right behind Boston's MBTA; New York MTA, Chicago's CTA, LA County MTA, and WMATA also rank above it, and New Jersey Transit ranks right behind it, according to the 2017 APTA Fact Book.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,013 posts, read 581,967 times
Reputation: 1481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv95 View Post
Hate to say it but despite its lack on size SEPTA seems like the best. More reliable, cleaner system(tho not saying much), etc.
The subway is incredibly reliable, as far as on-time performance goes here. I've been taking the Broad Street Line daily to work for the last 4.5 years, and I can count the numbers of times it's been more then a few minutes late on two hands. Nobody who lives in any other system I know can say that. I love knowing that on my commute the train is going to show up when the schedule says it will.

I would disagree with cleanliness though. Our stations seem grimier then New York's. City Hall Station, as the busiest station in the network and major transfer point, is an embarrassment.
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