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View Poll Results: Which region do you prefer when it comes to rail service?
Chicagoland(Chicago) 22 66.67%
Delaware Valley(Philadlephia) 10 30.30%
Tie/Can't decide 1 3.03%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-27-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
checking Manayunk to Center City, google maps suggests the 27 bus rather than the train. Bus looks a bit slower [Bajan probably can say how much worse it is reality] but frequency is much higher. The 27 bus uses I-95 for much of the way so its speed is probably comparable outside of rush hour. Probably cheaper, too. Perhaps a downward cycle occurs: few take the train because the bus comes more often, train frequency declines, since few take the train.

Levering St to S 16th St - Google Maps
That's definitely true. I think commuter rail is perfectly fine for what it's intended for: commuting. But I don't think I've ever taken the train to Center City because the 23 runs so frequently. And as you said, it's also cheaper.

And that's not I-95 the 27 is riding along, btw. It's the Schuylkill Expressway.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I was in West Philly recently and used the trolleys a bunch of times. A bit on the slow side, but I found them pleasant and convenient, though I didn't take it that far out (about 47th street).
This is why I don't like putting all "rail" into the same category. People often say that rail can support densities that buses can't. That very well may be true. But that doesn't mean all forms of rail transit can support higher density levels than buses.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
This is why I don't like putting all "rail" into the same category. People often say that rail can support densities that buses can't. That very well may be true. But that doesn't mean all forms of rail transit can support higher density levels than buses.
Street trollies seem to have few advantages (and many disadvantages) over buses. It'd be a different matter if they ran in a separate ROW.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Street trollies seem to have few advantages (and many disadvantages) over buses. It'd be a different matter if they ran in a separate ROW.
Well, people cite a number of advantages the streetcar/trolley has over the bus.

1. It's "permanent"
2. It has higher capacity
3. It promotes economic development
4. It's better for the environment
5. It's a smoother ride
6. It draws "choice" riders who won't ride a bus
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:40 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Well, people cite a number of advantages the streetcar/trolley has over the bus.

1. It's "permanent"
2. It has higher capacity
3. It promotes economic development
4. It's better for the environment
5. It's a smoother ride
6. It draws "choice" riders who won't ride a bus
#4 is true, electric vehicles produce less emissions even if the energy consumption is the same (one giant power plant is more efficient than a tiny in vehicle plant, as well as electric engines are more efficient for stop and go operation). Also, the air pollution is moved elsewhere, the dirty emissions aren't where people live.

#5 The Philly streetcar felt smoother to me and a bit nicer than a bus. All things being equal, I'd take a streetcar over a bus, but it's not a huge factor for me.

Others I'm skeptical, but #3 might be possible.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
#4 is true, electric vehicles produce less emissions even if the energy consumption is the same (one giant power plant is more efficient than a tiny in vehicle plant, as well as electric engines are more efficient for stop and go operation). Also, the air pollution is moved elsewhere, the dirty emissions aren't where people live.
Buses can run off electricity. That's not something unique about streetcars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
#5 The Philly streetcar felt smoother to me and a bit nicer than a bus. All things being equal, I'd take a streetcar over a bus, but it's not a huge factor for me.
That may be true. But the question is whether the smoother ride is worth the extra coin. A Mercedes Benz is smoother and nicer than both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Others I'm skeptical, but #3 might be possible.
Unfortunately, there's no way to prove it.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
As a former Chicagoan who was a fan of the local rail transit (and frequent user of the L and the commuter lines) I am actually a bit blown away by how extenisve SEPTA is (+ the stuff in Jersey).
Philadelphia is a big city, but that system beats Bostons, and is probably on-par with Chicago.

Would you all say that for rail transit, its pretty much NYC area, Philadphia and Chicago, the Boston, then the "aslo-rans'?

Perosnally and with experience on all these six here is my take

1 NYC - the only truly grand system in the US
2 Chicago - while METRO in DC may be better pound for pound Chciago delivers on breadth
3 DC - The Metro is very good and expanding as a commuter rail of sorts. Also MD looks to be doing sme good things
4 Boston - Although the system is very similar in many ways to Philly its just a tad more user friendly and cleaner and better used
5 Philly - Comprehensive system. Misses on too much bus reliance and under utilized Regional Rail which could probably nearly triple capactiy with no changes
6 SF - High ridership but system has some flaws IMHO slow trollys in the core and BART as Heavy rail does a better job as a commuter line than a inner city subway

Just some thoughts
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Perosnally and with experience on all these six here is my take

1 NYC - the only truly grand system in the US
2 Chicago - while METRO in DC may be better pound for pound Chciago delivers on breadth
3 DC - The Metro is very good and expanding as a commuter rail of sorts. Also MD looks to be doing sme good things
4 Boston - Although the system is very similar in many ways to Philly its just a tad more user friendly and cleaner and better used
5 Philly - Comprehensive system. Misses on too much bus reliance and under utilized Regional Rail which could probably nearly triple capactiy with no changes
6 SF - High ridership but system has some flaws IMHO slow trollys in the core and BART as Heavy rail does a better job as a commuter line than a inner city subway

Just some thoughts
I agree with this. I think Chicago and DC are extremely close, but I'd also give the edge to Chicago because it has express train service.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:11 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Philly's train system seemed surprisingly uncrowded around 5 pm. Quite a bit of empty seats. Part of the reason for Boston's higher numbers, I suspect is the greater center city employment numbers. Even though length is the same, for some reason Boston's system's feels like it has better coverage for some reason. It could definitely do better covering the southern part of the city, Somerville, and some green line sections could use some speed ups (signal priority).
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,245 posts, read 26,214,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Philly's train system seemed surprisingly uncrowded around 5 pm. Quite a bit of empty seats. Part of the reason for Boston's higher numbers, I suspect is the greater center city employment numbers. Even though length is the same, for some reason Boston's system's feels like it has better coverage for some reason. It could definitely do better covering the southern part of the city, Somerville, and some green line sections could use some speed ups (signal priority).
Maybe. But I also suspect that ridership may be higher in Boston because it has more Park and Rides.
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