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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM
 
119 posts, read 88,548 times
Reputation: 137

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Well, NY obviously wins out on scale of subway coverage, but let's not pretend like those stations are anything other than frigging disgusting, too. I rode it last month when visiting friends in Washington Heights, and there was very little that was aesthetically pleasing about anything I saw. Yes, SEPTA stations can be gross; NY's can be just as gross. They're better, but still not great.

(You want great? Go to Europe. I could live in the Munich subway, it's so gorgeous.)

That said, I completely disagree about a lot of stations needing to be "modernized." Cleaned, yes, but I find the vintage tile look of a lot of the BSL stations to be very attractive, if it were properly maintained. Don't rip out attractive history just because it has a little grime on it.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
940 posts, read 534,205 times
Reputation: 1383
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
When did septa's regional rail experience any horrific accidents like MetroNorth did a couple of years ago where people died? I may be wrong but I do not recall that ever happenning on Septa's trains. And, yes, I have ridden on NJT and MetroNorth a bunch of times. And, tbh, I am nervous every time I ride on any MetroNorth train now.

All of those lines are in the NY metro, the biggest one in the country, so they had better be more than good. However have you ridden NJT at "rush hour" from Penn Station? It's like a scene from hell.
I'm not talking about accidents. In terms of capacity, number of lines, frequency, etc., Regional Rail just doesn't compare at all. The OP claimed it was the best in the country, which is a bit laughable if you have ever ridden the three systems that feed into NYC. Again, Regional Rail is good, but like everything else is a step below New York. It is also used extensively by people outside of rush hours as well. I rode LIRR from Huntington back into the city Friday evening, and it was packed. You don't see that on Regional Rail outside of AM and PM rush hour often at all.

And yes, I've done the mad dash to the platform at Penn Station many times before. It's crazy and surprising that more people don't get hurt when it happens. It has it's issues, but it is leaps and bounds ahead of any other city in the country, Philadelphia included.

If you want to see how public transportation is done right, go to Asia. I've ridden on the Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Bangkok systems, and they put anything in America to shame. Even in Bangkok, which is a generally dirty city with very limited rail coverage is much nicer and more pleasant to use than anything in America. Same goes for Paris and London. The fact every city in the country neglects it's public transit systems the way they do is a crying shame.
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Old Yesterday, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
270 posts, read 120,595 times
Reputation: 239
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Sounds like you are unaware the entire western elevated portion of the MFL was completely rebuilt not that long ago. The entire structure, which dated from its opening in 1907, was ripped down and totally replaced. Now, I agree it could be much cleaner! As could everything else.

I understand complaints about not having a more extensive subway system in Phila.. But I also know how long it took to build even part of the 2nd Ave subway. So I try not to be too upset about the lack subway coverage.
That's a good point about the western end of the MFL. Apologies for completely forgetting about that. One day I want to ride the MFL from Girard all the way to the end and walk over to H-Mart for a non-car perspective.

It really is a shame how prohibitively expensive it is in this region to build new mass transit infrastructure, let alone re-use existing ones e.g. Media line extension and West Chester and Phoenixville restoration interest.
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
1,883 posts, read 3,002,030 times
Reputation: 2423
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
I understand complaints about not having a more extensive subway system in Phila.. But I also know how long it took to build even part of the 2nd Ave subway. So I try not to be too upset about the lack subway coverage.
Then what more can I say? If complaints about the subways not hitting enough spots given the size of this city, are met with shoulder shrugs and excuses about costs, then we will stop bothering to reply. And only use the system when traveling downtown.

Minneapolis recently built their nice tram system. Why can't we?
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Old Yesterday, 12:18 PM
 
193 posts, read 66,915 times
Reputation: 325
[quote=Fireshaker;53747481

That said, I completely disagree about a lot of stations needing to be "modernized." Cleaned, yes, but I find the vintage tile look of a lot of the BSL stations to be very attractive, if it were properly maintained. Don't rip out attractive history just because it has a little grime on it.[/QUOTE]

This x1000. Look at the PATCO stations is Center City if you want to see the fruits of modernization:

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Old Yesterday, 02:52 PM
 
4,208 posts, read 9,363,905 times
Reputation: 3689
I've also been coming to appreciate SEPTA more. Regional Rail weekend service itself is a major advantage over Washington/Baltimore. I flew from PHL to Vienna, Austria this summer and (though Vienna has a denser tram service) honestly Phila is closer to the standards of transit in that "world's most livable city" than most places in USA.
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Old Yesterday, 03:37 PM
 
8,330 posts, read 4,498,619 times
Reputation: 2772
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post
Why do people hate SEPTA? IMO, I think most people's gripes come down to aesthetics. Suburban and Jefferson stations are the main stations for suburbanites to get off at in Center City and it feels like you are dumped out in a homeless shelter.

As a center city resident, my personal gripe lies with the inability to ever keep any of the stations clean. We have 7 people standing around talking to one another waiting for someone to approach them about the SEPTA Key. While at the same time, people are fumbling their way through one of the most counterintuitive design menus ever created and the station is just begging to be swept. These SEPTA Key ambassadors have been around for years now. Think about how much money could have been spent elsewhere.
I deliberately went through Suburban Station this afternoon, at around 1pm, to see if the homeless problem was worse. I'd say, "No.", it's not worse. I saw 4 obviously homeless people. Maybe it's bad in the early morning when commuters arrive and changes during the day.

Re the ambassadors. Are there some union work rules that keep them in those positions?
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Old Yesterday, 03:55 PM
 
8,330 posts, read 4,498,619 times
Reputation: 2772
Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post

If you want to see how public transportation is done right, go to Asia. I've ridden on the Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Bangkok systems, and they put anything in America to shame. Even in Bangkok, which is a generally dirty city with very limited rail coverage is much nicer and more pleasant to use than anything in America. Same goes for Paris and London. The fact every city in the country neglects it's public transit systems the way they do is a crying shame.
I know what you mean given that I have used transit in Europe. The last time was last April in Paris.

But you know exactly why we don't have what we should have in this country: Republicans and specifically the rural ones who hate cities, hate transit and don't care about what other countries do because, wee!, everyone should drive. So our state legislatures and the US Congress have little interest in what should be obvious. The last election was a good start in changing controlling factions but it's just a start.
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Old Yesterday, 04:08 PM
 
8,330 posts, read 4,498,619 times
Reputation: 2772
Quote:
Originally Posted by BK_PHL_DEL View Post
That's a good point about the western end of the MFL. Apologies for completely forgetting about that. One day I want to ride the MFL from Girard all the way to the end and walk over to H-Mart for a non-car perspective.

It really is a shame how prohibitively expensive it is in this region to build new mass transit infrastructure, let alone re-use existing ones e.g. Media line extension and West Chester and Phoenixville restoration interest.
Plus there are likely tons of projects wrt deferred maintenance. Right now there is an extensive track repair project going on
on the NHSL that's been going on since last summer for instance.
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Old Yesterday, 04:24 PM
 
Location: The Best Philly, West Philly
909 posts, read 636,586 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtypirate View Post
Why do people hate SEPTA? IMO, I think most people's gripes come down to aesthetics. Suburban and Jefferson stations are the main stations for suburbanites to get off at in Center City and it feels like you are dumped out in a homeless shelter.

As a center city resident, my personal gripe lies with the inability to ever keep any of the stations clean. We have 7 people standing around talking to one another waiting for someone to approach them about the SEPTA Key. While at the same time, people are fumbling their way through one of the most counterintuitive design menus ever created and the station is just begging to be swept. These SEPTA Key ambassadors have been around for years now. Think about how much money could have been spent elsewhere.

Little things go a long way. I think perceptions would change if city hall, 15th street, walnut-locust, and other close in stations were looking good and clean all the time. These are the most trafficked stations. Why shouldn't they receive the most care and attention all the time?

Another thing is signage. Particularly around 30th street can be confusing if you do not know where you are going. Nothing really indicates that you need to leave the station and cross the street to get to the MFL. Some of the SEPTA lines in 30th Street can be diffcult to find.

These are all things that are easily achievable in my opinion, but from most optics it appears that SEPTA doesn't care or is unwilling to even bother to attempt to fix these blemishes.
I absolutely agree with the point that can be made from your statements: small, relatively inexpensive improvements could significantly improve the rider experience. As it stands now, the SEPTA system is excellent in form and coverage. Little things, such as signage and station cleanliness (although our stations are a lot cleaner than those in NYC), would go a long way. The best example of this is the Fairmount stop on the BSL: with all of the development occurring in and around the Fairmount neighborhood, one would think that SEPTA would improve that stop in preparation for the expected new ridership. That hasn't been the case, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
Too much city uncovered by subway lines. SW, NW, NE, are completely untouched by subway. W, N, and S, only have the bare minimum of subway lines. Forget it if you want to travel from overbook to manayunk, or West Philly to mt airy. Or from some other part of the city to South Philly that's not walking distance of Broad St.

You shouldn't need three modes, two transfers, to get somewhere in the city. Pretty sure you don't need to do that in Paris! Having to go bus-subway-bus, or God forbid bus-subway-El-bus, is just ridiculous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHL10 View Post
Regional Rail system coverage is excellent. The frequency is terrible. Unless you are doing the commute into CC weekdays, it's not a very convenient system.

I think the bus network is good.

Can't do much about the lack of subway lines but I do consider Frankford as part of the NE so heavy rail does get you there, albeit in the very, very bottom of it. With the 66 feeding FTC at peak intervals of less 5 minutes, it functions as a defacto extension of the EL to a degree.
We do need more subway lines, and it shouldn't be undoable. With our bond rating and an influx in tax revenue, the time is right to invest in heavy rail. Our bus and trolley systems makes up for where our subway system falls short, however. As you both alluded to, we do have pretty frequent service on both of those modes. I live in West Philly, and I can reasonably rely on a lot of other services should something happen to the El.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
No it isn't. Ever heard of MetroNorth, NJT, and LIRR? In level, frequency, and capacity of service, it is the undisputed king of commuter rail in the United States. Regional Rail is pittance in comparison, which doesn't mean it's bad, just not on the same level.

The rest of your post was pretty good though.
I don't think that NJT can be considered an undisputed king of commuter rail anymore. Sure, their system is much larger than ours, but it is fraught with with operational and personnel issues. Plus, they only really do a good job of covering North and Central Jersey. South Jersey only has the Atlantic City Line (which is out of service until Spring 2019) when it really needs commuter rail lines to Mount Holly/Pemberton, Salem, Vineland/Millville, etc.). Metro-North and the LIRR are good, however.

When I say that we have the best system in the US, I'm talking about its aspects: a one-seat ride across the region, multiple Center City termini, electrified trackage, etc. Our system is more similar to that of several European systems. I never realized how annoying it is to have a non-integrated commuter rail system until I used NJT, Metro-North, the LIRR, and the MBTA.
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