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Old 06-23-2018, 11:12 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,166 posts, read 26,374,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I think other trains routes are a good idea, but the River Line actually passed its ridership expectations, no?

There is existing track going to Glassboro. What do you reckon should be run on it?
The only thing that saved face for politicians was North Jersey politicians getting realtors to sell using that line to get to NYC-bound trains. Suddenly, South Jersey was inundated with NYC commuters looking to get cheap real estate without having to go to NC. Mercifully, many of them didn't like it much in South Jersey. Many hated it & put the word out to their friends. When the real estate bubble burst, that stopped the influx.

Heavy rail would be preferable on a Glassboro line, but the powers that be have declared that it will be light rail.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:33 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
The only thing that saved face for politicians was North Jersey politicians getting realtors to sell using that line to get to NYC-bound trains. Suddenly, South Jersey was inundated with NYC commuters looking to get cheap real estate without having to go to NC. Mercifully, many of them didn't like it much in South Jersey. Many hated it & put the word out to their friends. When the real estate bubble burst, that stopped the influx.

Heavy rail would be preferable on a Glassboro line, but the powers that be have declared that it will be light rail.
Is the ridership of the River Line that much skewed towards people commuting to NYC? That seems pretty wild, but I guess possible. Where did you find those stats?

Unfortunately, I'm still not quite understanding why heavy rail is the best option for the Glassboro line since it doesn't seem like the population density along the line would support such a large expenditure. If there was the possibility of rallying that much money for infrastructure in South Jersey, wouldn't a fast and frequent light rail line down the corridor along with maybe improved Atlantic City Line service with possibly the branch to Maple Shade-Moorestown-Mt. Holly or any other extensions be a better use of those funds?
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:37 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,166 posts, read 26,374,628 times
Reputation: 8573
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
No, I'm not very familiar with South Jersey which is why I keep asking for input.

I'm not saying there was fanfare either nor am I saying it was a good idea or the best use of funds. Also, I think corruption in terms of giving away money to friends through public works is almost certainly never a good thing no matter if you're in South Jersey or otherwise.

I'm asking about given the infrastructure in place now and what physical concrete lines there are, what are the most reasonable projects to engage in. I'm partially leaving aside the organizational problems, which while important and need to be tackled (and possibly smothered under a pillow), are a related, but different can of worms. Pretty much all the different agencies and their stakeholders in this region will need to cooperate if they want to make the best use of transit dollars here and leverage what infrastructure there is to its best use. I'm not saying that's going to magically happen, but I am asking what are the reasonable projects to move towards since that's actually interesting to me and MAYBE they would highlight why actual regional cooperation is better.
You can come up with pipedreams that never come to fruition & just waste time if you don't understand that you're dealing with different agencies & plenty of weirdness & sometimes corruption with the histories of the agencies & lines.

Fun fact for you. The AC line runs next to the PATCO line in Haddonfield. The agencies involved POed each other & the AC line got POed at Haddonfield. Because of that, every night as the AC train goes through Haddonfield, instead of lightly tapping a muted horn, they lay on the horn, full blast, for about 2 minutes. I could hear it loud & clear in my closed up house in Cherry Hill, with the TV on. That's gone on for decades.

To run a commuter spur off the AC line, some agency would have to have an agreement with the track owners. Good luck on that.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:51 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,942 posts, read 22,525,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
You can come up with pipedreams that never come to fruition & just waste time if you don't understand that you're dealing with different agencies & plenty of weirdness & sometimes corruption with the histories of the agencies & lines.

Fun fact for you. The AC line runs next to the PATCO line in Haddonfield. The agencies involved POed each other & the AC line got POed at Haddonfield. Because of that, every night as the AC train goes through Haddonfield, instead of lightly tapping a muted horn, they lay on the horn, full blast, for about 2 minutes. I could hear it loud & clear in my closed up house in Cherry Hill, with the TV on. That's gone on for decades.

To run a commuter spur off the AC line, some agency would have to have an agreement with the track owners. Good luck on that.
That is literally what this topic is--without the corruption and the balkanized infighting agencies, what are the things that make sense in regards to infrastructure for the area. Partially, I think a concrete step into thinking what should actually be done with the infrastructure is generally the best way to corral the politicians, agencies, and other stakeholders together and subject them to public scrutiny for why they aren't doing something. That something generally needs to be pretty concrete though because it's hard to keep any momentum by just saying that they're doing it wrong with no real steps on what doing it right means. It's partially that which forced LA's mass transit agency and area politicians, which did not have a particularly wonderful history of loving mass transit, to do things like the Exposition Line which was said to be a stupid pipedream with too many stakeholders to ever be done or even to be worth it.

Now to stay on topic, why do you think the Glassboro line makes more sense as a heavy rail line? Do you think a branch of the Atlantic City Line going out to Mt. Holly would not have much ridership? Where did you get the stats that the ridership on the River Line is skewed towards NYC-bound workers who are transplants from the NYC?
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:27 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,166 posts, read 26,374,628 times
Reputation: 8573
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Is the ridership of the River Line that much skewed towards people commuting to NYC? That seems pretty wild, but I guess possible. Where did you find those stats?

Unfortunately, I'm still not quite understanding why heavy rail is the best option for the Glassboro line since it doesn't seem like the population density along the line would support such a large expenditure. If there was the possibility of rallying that much money for infrastructure in South Jersey, wouldn't a fast and frequent light rail line down the corridor along with maybe improved Atlantic City Line service with possibly the branch to Maple Shade-Moorestown-Mt. Holly or any other extensions be a better use of those funds?
I've addressed the AC line. Those people don't play well with others.

When the River Line opened people were hopping mad & there were almost no riders. It was so bad that they were offering free rides on the weekends.

How do I know about the NYC commuters? Talking to people & overhearing conversations.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:20 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,942 posts, read 22,525,209 times
Reputation: 10915
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I've addressed the AC line. Those people don't play well with others.

When the River Line opened people were hopping mad & there were almost no riders. It was so bad that they were offering free rides on the weekends.

How do I know about the NYC commuters? Talking to people & overhearing conversations.
Right, for regional transit to work well, NJT needs to be forced to play nice.

I was looking at service frequencies for PATCO and it looks like they do the slimmest frequency at about 4 or 5 minutes at key stops during peak hours, so there is room for more frequency, but thatís a lot to go for without the line going also for branches in Philadelphia after its current terminal. One branch line to Glassboro might work, but having three branches including the current route starts edging up against what the interlined parts could handle after the branches join without eliminating some runs on the current line. How tough is the transfer right now between the River Line and PATCO?
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Old 06-23-2018, 03:37 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,166 posts, read 26,374,628 times
Reputation: 8573
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Right, for regional transit to work well, NJT needs to be forced to play nice.

I was looking at service frequencies for PATCO and it looks like they do the slimmest frequency at about 4 or 5 minutes at key stops during peak hours, so there is room for more frequency, but thatís a lot to go for without the line going also for branches in Philadelphia after its current terminal. One branch line to Glassboro might, but having three branches including the current route starts edging up against what the interlined parts could handle after the branches join without eliminating some runs on the current line. How tough is the transfer right now between the River Line and PATCO?
I've never ridden the River Line, not even when they offered free rides. How many times have you ridden PATCO &/or the River Line?

So you think PATCO is allowing too much time between trains. Ever think that there's a reason? I've been stuck on a train more than once, including on the bridge. If something happens, they allow the trains on the opposite side to clear, then they start running with one track.

Again, if a transit authority does not own a stretch of tracks, they can't run trains on it without permission from the owner.

If SEPTA wants to run a north/south line off the end of the PATCO line, all the more power to them.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:55 PM
 
717 posts, read 568,246 times
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Practically speaking, I would think the best options would be to have an AC Line Spur that hits Maple Shade, Moorestown, somewhere in Mt. Laurel, and Mt. Holly. On the existing AC Line, add a Merchantville stop (technically it would be right outside of Merchantville and in Pennsauken, but close enough). The Glassboro-Camden Line should ideally be PATCO rather than Light Rail. The problem with Light Rail is that it is snail rail. It's just too slow for commuters. I would also add that another PATCO spur for Laurel Springs, Barrington, Haddon Heights, Audubon, and Oaklyn would be a smart choice, as those towns are all built to accomodate the stations with a walkable downtown grid (albeit some are quite small in size), and if you run PATCO further in Philly, you should have more options for NJ commuters since each trip would take longer in its total distance. After Oaklyn, it could continue on its existing path to meet with the Glassboro-Camden PATCO extension, or it can build a short connection to Ferry Avenue on the existing line.


None of this would ever happen, but if a guy could dream, then I would say we could also dream about a summer seasonal line from Atlantic City to Cape May, hitting all of the major towns in between. I realize that may just not be possible from an engineering perspective, let alone NIMBY issues. And a light rail connecting Smithville, Stockton University in Galloway, ACY Airport, Pleasantville, and the AC Rail Terminal. All things considered, with Stockton opening the AC campus, there could actually be legit reasons to offer that as a transportation option. It's also a shame that towns as big and wealthy as Medford and Marlton don't have any commuter rail options. New tracks would have to be built altogether to accommodate them, and of course, that is never going to happen. But in a dreamer's world, I could see that line getting built around their small downtown areas, which could spurn development there, and possibly hit another Mt. Laurel stop, the Cherry Hill Mall area, and then Merchantville again as another AC Line spur.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
4,136 posts, read 2,001,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Whoever thought that the River Line was a good idea found out differently when it opened. It was kept hushed as long as possible. Many of the towns didn't want it. People elsewhere had the same simultaneous reaction - "Who wants to take a train from Camden to Trenton? Where's the train to Moorestown or Glassboro?".
I think that service was an act of pure expediency, built simply because there was a railroad ROW lying around that happened to run south from Trenton.

The state sought Federal Transit Administration "New Starts" funding for it and got laughed out of the room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I think other trains routes are a good idea, but the River Line actually passed its ridership expectations, no?

There is existing track going to Glassboro. What do you reckon should be run on it?
Yeah, but those expectations were so low they couldn't get Federal assistance for building it. That should tell you something.

The Glassboro-Camden light rail line will use those tracks for most of its route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I've never ridden the River Line, not even when they offered free rides. How many times have you ridden PATCO &/or the River Line?

So you think PATCO is allowing too much time between trains. Ever think that there's a reason? I've been stuck on a train more than once, including on the bridge. If something happens, they allow the trains on the opposite side to clear, then they start running with one track.

Again, if a transit authority does not own a stretch of tracks, they can't run trains on it without permission from the owner.

If SEPTA wants to run a north/south line off the end of the PATCO line, all the more power to them.
I actually have ridden the River Line. Three times now. Only one of them was because I wanted to go somewhere on it.

The dirty little secret is, the line exceeds ridership projections because NJ Tranit all but pays you to ride it.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:20 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,942 posts, read 22,525,209 times
Reputation: 10915
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I've never ridden the River Line, not even when they offered free rides. How many times have you ridden PATCO &/or the River Line?

So you think PATCO is allowing too much time between trains. Ever think that there's a reason? I've been stuck on a train more than once, including on the bridge. If something happens, they allow the trains on the opposite side to clear, then they start running with one track.

Again, if a transit authority does not own a stretch of tracks, they can't run trains on it without permission from the owner.

If SEPTA wants to run a north/south line off the end of the PATCO line, all the more power to them.
Just a few times each.

I didn't say that PATCO is allowing too much between trains. I was looking at the schedule and seeing that at peak frequency, the trains are run pretty frequently so having the Glassboro spur feed into it might be an issue. From your experience, it seems like they're already having issues without the spur though perhaps that's an issue with their state of repair or signaling system since it looks to be double-tracked throughout where the spur would ostensibly meet up with PATCO to go into Philadelphia.

I'm well aware that a transit authority needs to either negotiate with track owners on usage or flat out buy the tracks which is what GO Transit in Toronto has actively done over the last couple decades.

Yes, I do think that Philadelphia/PA should fund PATCO to have an extension out of the Philadelphia end because that extension automatically ties into several stops in Center City as well as stop in South Jersey. Depending on the route, it'd also be of some use to current PATCO riders within South Jersey though I understand that politically getting an extension within Philadelphia funded by Jersey is unlikely--so I'm saying it could be reasonable for Philadelphia/PA to fund the extension on its own because it is still beneficial giving what they can get out of it.
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