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View Poll Results: ?
Barcelona 36 78.26%
Philly 10 21.74%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,163 posts, read 21,760,655 times
Reputation: 10232

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I think when it comes to transit, both cities are somewhat comparable.





Barcelona Metro Map
The Philly map looks extensive, but much of that is commuter rail which is far less frequent and serves far fewer people and stops than heavy rail (subways et al) which is what the Barcelona map features. The Philly map basically puts in all forms of rail transit in there including intercity rail (also not very frequent compared to heavy rail), trolley/trams, and trolleys. The only heavy rail are the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, and the PATCO High-Speed Line. Barcelona's heavy rail (far more frequent and faster than the other modes) system is more extensive than all of Philly's different rail modes combined, but added to that is also a much better intercity rail, commuter rail, and tram/trolley lines in Barcelona. The fact of the matter is, Spain pumped a lot of resources into developing mass transit and the US did not. The only system that is arguably at the same level of service as what's found in Madrid or Barcelona in the US would by NYC's. The other cities commonly mentioned such as DC, Chicago, Boston, Philly, and SF (in that order) have systems that are considered good for the US, but would be considered middling to bad for cities of their size in much of the rest of the developed world.

 
Old 01-24-2013, 03:29 PM
 
10,290 posts, read 12,413,503 times
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Not fair.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
11,830 posts, read 9,840,377 times
Reputation: 7982
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
The Philly map looks extensive, but much of that is commuter rail which is far less frequent and serves far fewer people and stops than heavy rail (subways et al) which is what the Barcelona map features. The Philly map basically puts in all forms of rail transit in there including intercity rail (also not very frequent compared to heavy rail), trolley/trams, and trolleys. The only heavy rail are the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, and the PATCO High-Speed Line. Barcelona's heavy rail (far more frequent and faster than the other modes) system is more extensive than all of Philly's different rail modes combined, but added to that is also a much better intercity rail, commuter rail, and tram/trolley lines in Barcelona. The fact of the matter is, Spain pumped a lot of resources into developing mass transit and the US did not. The only system that is arguably at the same level of service as what's found in Madrid or Barcelona in the US would by NYC's. The other cities commonly mentioned such as DC, Chicago, Boston, Philly, and SF (in that order) have systems that are considered good for the US, but would be considered middling to bad for cities of their size in much of the rest of the developed world.
Well said, just wish it weren't true.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,386 posts, read 9,958,169 times
Reputation: 5230
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
The Philly map looks extensive, but much of that is commuter rail which is far less frequent and serves far fewer people and stops than heavy rail (subways et al) which is what the Barcelona map features. The Philly map basically puts in all forms of rail transit in there including intercity rail (also not very frequent compared to heavy rail), trolley/trams, and trolleys. The only heavy rail are the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, and the PATCO High-Speed Line. Barcelona's heavy rail (far more frequent and faster than the other modes) system is more extensive than all of Philly's different rail modes combined, but added to that is also a much better intercity rail, commuter rail, and tram/trolley lines in Barcelona. The fact of the matter is, Spain pumped a lot of resources into developing mass transit and the US did not. The only system that is arguably at the same level of service as what's found in Madrid or Barcelona in the US would by NYC's. The other cities commonly mentioned such as DC, Chicago, Boston, Philly, and SF (in that order) have systems that are considered good for the US, but would be considered middling to bad for cities of their size in much of the rest of the developed world.
I think transit in the Philly area has the potential to seriously rival the Barcelona MSA if Septa restored service to some regional rail lines to towns like West Chester, PA and Newtown, PA for example. I would love for the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway line to be built one day. Also what really slows down the Philly area from arguably having the 2nd best transit system in the country is the lack of rail service in South Jersey. The state of New Jersey has never really invested that much into South Jersey when it comes to mass transit. We had to fight tooth and nails just to get the River Line built. It also doesn't help to have one of the most anti-transit governors we've seen over the past 20 years.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,252 posts, read 2,453,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I think transit in the Philly area has the potential to seriously rival the Barcelona MSA if Septa restored service to some regional rail lines to towns like West Chester, PA and Newtown, PA for example. I would love for the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway line to be built one day. Also what really slows down the Philly area from arguably having the 2nd best transit system in the country is the lack of rail service in South Jersey. The state of New Jersey has never really invested that much into South Jersey when it comes to mass transit. We had to fight tooth and nails just to get the River Line built. It also doesn't help to have one of the most anti-transit governors we've seen over the past 20 years.
Philly's commuter rail network is decent (even if it's dilapidated and poorly run) but its subway network is quite poor by world standards. Barcelona's OTOH is one of the densest and best designed in the world. Just look at the map you posted and keep in mind that it covers an area thats only about 1/3 of Philly proper. In that small area they've got 80 miles of track and 166 stations (and still continually expanded) handling over 400 million passengers a year (that's 4 times Philly's subway and PATCO combined). Philly needs to at least TRIPLE its subway route to even be in this conversation. And thats not even touching other factors like frequency, punctuality, cleanliness etc. You have obviously never been to Barcelona or you would realize there is simply no comparison.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 05:55 PM
 
Location: In the heights
20,163 posts, read 21,760,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
I think transit in the Philly area has the potential to seriously rival the Barcelona MSA if Septa restored service to some regional rail lines to towns like West Chester, PA and Newtown, PA for example. I would love for the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway line to be built one day. Also what really slows down the Philly area from arguably having the 2nd best transit system in the country is the lack of rail service in South Jersey. The state of New Jersey has never really invested that much into South Jersey when it comes to mass transit. We had to fight tooth and nails just to get the River Line built. It also doesn't help to have one of the most anti-transit governors we've seen over the past 20 years.
It will take an incredible change in policy, sentiment, funding, and general infrastructure. Barcelona has an amazing system and it did not just appear out of thin air. Restoring regional rail services to towns does almost nothing to balance the equation because Barcelona's commuter rail network is already much better and commuter rail (regional rail) moves nowhere near the amount of people nor has the frequency and utility that heavy rail does. SEPTA is not a contender for second in the US and the second for the US is not even in the same ballpark as Barcelona's. Sure, I'd love for Philly and other US cities to have a great transit system, but having it in comparison to Barcelona and suggesting that just restoring some regional rail would somehow make any significant dent in the gap between major US cities and major Spanish cities sort of shows just how unthinkably huge the gap is.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,252 posts, read 2,453,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
It will take an incredible change in policy, sentiment, funding, and general infrastructure. Barcelona has an amazing system and it did not just appear out of thin air. Restoring regional rail services to towns does almost nothing to balance the equation because Barcelona's commuter rail network is already much better and commuter rail (regional rail) moves nowhere near the amount of people nor has the frequency and utility that heavy rail does. SEPTA is not a contender for second in the US and the second for the US is not even in the same ballpark as Barcelona's. Sure, I'd love for Philly and other US cities to have a great transit system, but having it in comparison to Barcelona and suggesting that just restoring some regional rail would somehow make any significant dent in the gap between major US cities and major Spanish cities sort of shows just how unthinkably huge the gap is.
You said it better than I did. The gap is indeed huge. Barcelona has 11 subway lines servicing over 400 million passengers per year while Philly has 2 handling less than a quarter of that. gwillyfromphilly obviously still doesn't grasp how big that gap is if he thinks that restoring a couple of regional lines and building one more subway line will do much to close it.
 
Old 01-24-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: London, U.K.
886 posts, read 1,292,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
You said it better than I did. The gap is indeed huge. Barcelona has 11 subway lines servicing over 400 million passengers per year while Philly has 2 handling less than a quarter of that. gwillyfromphilly obviously still doesn't grasp how big that gap is if he thinks that restoring a couple of regional lines and building one more subway line will do much to close it.
Also factor in that Philly has 50% more population. 6m vs 4m.

If Philly the larger metro is lagging by that much already, there's no chance of catching up to Barcelona. It's not just a Philly problem but a problem shared by all US cities

Last edited by BLAXTOR; 01-24-2013 at 06:46 PM..
 
Old 01-24-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,252 posts, read 2,453,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAXTOR View Post
Also factor in that Philly has 50% more population. 6m vs 4m.

If Philly the larger metro is lagging by that much already, there's no chance of catching up to Barcelona. It's not just a Philly problem but a problem shared by all US cities
Agreed, but this just highlights why this is altogether an unfair comparison to Philadelphia. Barcelona is one of the greatest cities in the world that is almost without a fault. It has stunning architecture (both old and modern), cutting-edge urban design, round-the-clock hustle and bustle, enviable physical setting, fabulous climate and - as icing on an already dilicious cake - world class infrastructure ... not just subway, but also a highly impressive freeway network, brand new airport terminal and high speed rail. I personally can't think of any other city that combines so many desirable attributes in one package. Can anyone? Nothing against Philly but this comparison is like a match up between Roger Federer and an old star from the senior tour with a few extra pounds and an alcohol problem.
 
Old 01-25-2013, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA
2,346 posts, read 3,199,762 times
Reputation: 1077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzrovian View Post
unfair comparison to Philadelphia
But Fitzrovian, I thought Philly was the greatest city in the world
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