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Old 09-13-2016, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
The 24-hour BSL and also the restoration of the Route 23 trolley, right?
It was the Route 15 that was brought back from the dead. The 24/7 subway service operates only on the weekend - and I opposed its return on the grounds that the money would be better spent bringing 24/7 transit service of any kind to those parts of the city where it is now lacking or extremely inconvenient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
It's the bias these riders have about buses in general. They'd rather ride on crowded/late trains. To me that's silly but that's just me.
I believe I wrote about this in a Next City article in 2013 in which I quoted Elijah Anderson on the subject of status anxiety and mode choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
I mentioned it earlier - but I think what also might be an issue with the idea is that all the lines (with the exception of Manayunk/Norristown) already have GREAT parallel bus service, mostly connecting to the BSL out of Olney.

So to the people who are considering buses at all, going to Olney or Erie to get the L, 18, 22, 23, H, XH, 53, etc most of which offer actual service (every 5-10 minutes) makes a lot more sense than a bus that runs every 40 minutes out of Fern Rock and offers very few stops.

Anybody who was going to consider taking the buses made the switch months ago (like me) to the actual mostly-dependable, fixed route service that has existed for a ages.

Really hair-brained idea. At least it didn't really cause any harm like some of their other ones.
If there were more riders like you, then SEPTA may not have lost as many riders as it fears it did. But if there were many more riders like you (which I doubt), those trains would have been less packed.

Then again, a bunch of transitgeeks I know who discuss service and other issues on several Facebook forums were arguing that SEPTA should have beefed up bus service when the disruption occurred, not later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Breaking. There are more, and different, defects in the 18 cars just returned to service. The cluster... continues.

My view? They will have to bail on those cars completely.
This was what I feared when I suggested we not report on this: namely, that - as many of my fellow reporters did - everyone would fit this into the metastory "SEPTA (or Hyundai Rotem) can't get anything right with these cars."

In this case, IMO, that's not quite the right story. There are some issues that probably can't be detected in testing. How the new pin fasteners for the feet would rub up against older components - which is what caused SEPTA to yank the trains back in service for a quick fix - is probably one of them. Should this have been caught in the design and engineering phase? Perhaps. But to me, maybe what's more important is that they're on top of it. Which brings me to the Washington Metro:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
Oh yeah, I never updated. I ended up not doing the new Manayunk bus service because I'm actually moving out of the area lol. So decided to just suck it up for the next few weeks and then I'll be gone - moving to DC and I actually think Metro is amazing even though folks down there hate it
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
Septa RR can be very unreliable as well - the Metro has the upside of actually being what our connected-commuter rail system pretends to be - that is an s-bahn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Oh my... You know this of course. But anyway, the Metro was built from scratch to be exactly what you say: an s-bahn. Septa was built from multiple separate systems with the added "feature" of never having adequate funding. And the RR portion was forced on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
Metro can be unreliable but you're still never waiting long for a train to come (mere minutes). I use Regional Rail in Philly and especially with this SEPTA debacle, you're waiting an hour+ for trains that are packed to capacity. To me, Metro is a completely different ball game. I'm sure people who hate Metro are only used to riding Metro and don't have SEPTA to compare it to.
The thing I've noted in years of reading up on Metro (not to mention frequent visits to DC) that I think you overlook is this:

That system is a mere 40 years old and now falling apart.

SEPTA's system includes lines that have more than century-old infrastructure, and how often do you hear about fires, accidents, injuries or deaths on SEPTA rail lines?

SEPTA has a much better operating and safety culture than WMATA; The Washington Times did a great expose on this subject about four years ago. That horrific 2009 wreck outside Takoma station on the Red Line brought all the problems to the surface.

Getting you there on time and having frequent service is important, but getting you there alive even more so. The reason Metro ridership is plummeting, besides the fact that WMATA is playing catchup with decades of deferred maintenance all at once, is because the riders no longer believe it can do even that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
Yes. Part of why I don't think the tunnel is not as great of an investment as it's often made out to be. The system just doesn't lend itself to through-travel - and the minimum fare of 9 dollars SEPTA sets for through-travel is as much of a punishment for it as anything else.
Agreed that the Commuter Tunnel's promise is unfulfilled in large part because of the geographic nature of the two systems that feed it, and that fare doesn't help.

One thing you all need to note, though, is that the Washington Metro was designed in an age when the goal of rapid transit in the US had shifted from urban circulation to "remote vehicle storage" for an auto-oriented society. All of the systems since the 1970s have been hybrids - or more oriented towards commuting from far-flung suburbs than urban circulation (even though those earlier systems ended up creating their own suburbs at the outer ends of the lines).
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:35 AM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
Metro can be unreliable but you're still never waiting long for a train to come (mere minutes). I use Regional Rail in Philly and especially with this SEPTA debacle, you're waiting an hour+ for trains that are packed to capacity. To me, Metro is a completely different ball game. I'm sure people who hate Metro are only used to riding Metro and don't have SEPTA to compare it to.
Outside of this current catastrophe, has the SEPTA RR been unreliable?
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:44 AM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post

The thing I've noted in years of reading up on Metro (not to mention frequent visits to DC) that I think you overlook is this:

That system is a mere 40 years old and now falling apart.

SEPTA's system includes lines that have more than century-old infrastructure, and how often do you hear about fires, accidents, injuries or deaths on SEPTA rail lines?

SEPTA has a much better operating and safety culture than WMATA; The Washington Times did a great expose on this subject about four years ago. That horrific 2009 wreck outside Takoma station on the Red Line brought all the problems to the surface.

Getting you there on time and having frequent service is important, but getting you there alive even more so. The reason Metro ridership is plummeting, besides the fact that WMATA is playing catchup with decades of deferred maintenance all at once, is because the riders no longer believe it can do even that.
This exactly. I had to visit DC frequently for work when I was in VA, and this is exactly my experience.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,168 posts, read 4,802,934 times
Reputation: 3400
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
I doubt that. DC, after all, is very transient, unlike simple, unsophisticated Philadelphia. That last comment is sarcasm, BTW. My guess is that people complain about Metro, because, like SEPTA, it has problems and isn't perfect. Given that it's in DC, though, and not lowly, degenerate, and backwards (sarcasm again) Philadelphia, it's "allowed" to be imperfect, and its riders who complain simply don't know what they are talking about. Hmm.

Anyway, good luck with your move (and that part is not sarcasm)!
lol what even?? I didn't say ANY of that. I'm not saying people aren't allowed to complain and I'm certainly not saying that DC is "better" than Philly, why on earth are you putting words in my mouth?? From a transit system standpoint, I think Metro is better than SEPTA. I also think Chicago's system is better than SEPTA. It has absolutely 0 to do with the cities themselves and everything to do with the systems. SEPTA's lines are mostly commuter rail, we only have 2 subway lines. I find Metro incredibly easy to use with many stops having multiple lines run through them, something that SEPTA just doesn't have. They also use a card system, something SEPTA has been way behind on (how many years has Key been delayed now?)

And thanks, I'm super sad to leave Philly as I absolutely love it here. But once in a lifetime opp in DC so had to take it.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:07 AM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
lol what even?? I didn't say ANY of that. I'm not saying people aren't allowed to complain and I'm certainly not saying that DC is "better" than Philly, why on earth are you putting words in my mouth?? From a transit system standpoint, I think Metro is better than SEPTA. I also think Chicago's system is better than SEPTA. It has absolutely 0 to do with the cities themselves and everything to do with the systems. SEPTA's lines are mostly commuter rail, we only have 2 subway lines. I find Metro incredibly easy to use with many stops having multiple lines run through them, something that SEPTA just doesn't have. They also use a card system, something SEPTA has been way behind on (how many years has Key been delayed now?)

And thanks, I'm super sad to leave Philly as I absolutely love it here. But once in a lifetime opp in DC so had to take it.
We'll miss you in this forum. I hope you and cpomp make it back to Philly at some point.

I personally see the latest disaster as a rare experience for SEPTA. It's SOOOOO underfunded, even after the large boost in funding from a few years ago, and I personally am a bit sensitive about SEPTA's quality because I think it's run quite well considering everything. I really love the RR system, but understand everyone's frustration. DC gets special treatment on the back of taxpayers while SEPTA/Philly get underserved. And even still, I think MarketStEl's post was spot-on about Metro. Either way, I hope you have a great experience.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:56 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
Metro can be unreliable but you're still never waiting long for a train to come (mere minutes). I use Regional Rail in Philly and especially with this SEPTA debacle, you're waiting an hour+ for trains that are packed to capacity. To me, Metro is a completely different ball game. I'm sure people who hate Metro are only used to riding Metro and don't have SEPTA to compare it to.
But you know... you may not realize this but this is a bit unfair because hasn't your Septa experience been exclusively regional rail pretty much? You didn't ride the BSL, MFL, NHSL or trolleys very often if at all, right?

When I was working and commuting, I can count on one hand the number of times the BSL train I took was late over years and years, for example.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:08 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
lol what even?? I didn't say ANY of that. I'm not saying people aren't allowed to complain and I'm certainly not saying that DC is "better" than Philly, why on earth are you putting words in my mouth?? From a transit system standpoint, I think Metro is better than SEPTA. I also think Chicago's system is better than SEPTA. It has absolutely 0 to do with the cities themselves and everything to do with the systems. SEPTA's lines are mostly commuter rail, we only have 2 subway lines. I find Metro incredibly easy to use with many stops having multiple lines run through them, something that SEPTA just doesn't have. They also use a card system, something SEPTA has been way behind on (how many years has Key been delayed now?)

And thanks, I'm super sad to leave Philly as I absolutely love it here. But once in a lifetime opp in DC so had to take it.
You have probably read Sandy's(Market El) post about the Metro and the WMTA. That should clear some things up.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Capitol Hill - Washington, DC
3,168 posts, read 4,802,934 times
Reputation: 3400
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Outside of this current catastrophe, has the SEPTA RR been unreliable?
Yes, it is frequently late, understaffed (trains canceled due to not having anyone to staff them), etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
We'll miss you in this forum. I hope you and cpomp make it back to Philly at some point.

I personally see the latest disaster as a rare experience for SEPTA. It's SOOOOO underfunded, even after the large boost in funding from a few years ago, and I personally am a bit sensitive about SEPTA's quality because I think it's run quite well considering everything. I really love the RR system, but understand everyone's frustration. DC gets special treatment on the back of taxpayers while SEPTA/Philly get underserved. And even still, I think MarketStEl's post was spot-on about Metro. Either way, I hope you have a great experience.
I agree with you - I think it runs well considering the infrastructure it has and yes it is definitely underfunded without a doubt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
But you know... you may not realize this but this is a bit unfair because hasn't your Septa experience been exclusively regional rail pretty much? You didn't ride the BSL, MFL, NHSL or trolleys very often if at all, right?

When I was working and commuting, I can count on one hand the number of times the BSL train I took was late over years and years, for example.
Yes, and that is something I mentioned. Systems like in DC and Chicago are most (if not all) subway. If SEPTA was solely a subway system, I think it would much better serve the area. I have never had any issues with the BSL or MFL and think they are great, so yes I am talking strictly about the Regional Rail. But most track in the city are RR and not subway.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,290,092 times
Reputation: 1478
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca8377 View Post
lol what even?? I didn't say ANY of that. I'm not saying people aren't allowed to complain and I'm certainly not saying that DC is "better" than Philly, why on earth are you putting words in my mouth?? From a transit system standpoint, I think Metro is better than SEPTA. I also think Chicago's system is better than SEPTA. It has absolutely 0 to do with the cities themselves and everything to do with the systems. SEPTA's lines are mostly commuter rail, we only have 2 subway lines. I find Metro incredibly easy to use with many stops having multiple lines run through them, something that SEPTA just doesn't have. They also use a card system, something SEPTA has been way behind on (how many years has Key been delayed now?)

And thanks, I'm super sad to leave Philly as I absolutely love it here. But once in a lifetime opp in DC so had to take it.
I'm sorry - I wasn't really saying that you specifically said those tings, because you didn't. It was more an attempt at sarcasm at the fact that other places are "allowed" to have problems, while when there is a Philadelphia-area problem, it's usually considered inexcusable. You have clearly been a big Philadelphia booster; more so than me, actually.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:21 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
We'll miss you in this forum. I hope you and cpomp make it back to Philly at some point.

I personally see the latest disaster as a rare experience for SEPTA. It's SOOOOO underfunded, even after the large boost in funding from a few years ago, and I personally am a bit sensitive about SEPTA's quality because I think it's run quite well considering everything. I really love the RR system, but understand everyone's frustration. DC gets special treatment on the back of taxpayers while SEPTA/Philly get underserved. And even still, I think MarketStEl's post was spot-on about Metro. Either way, I hope you have a great experience.
cpomp has roots in the Philly area so his presence on this board may continue.

I agree with you about Septa. I've been riding pub trans in this area for decades, pre-dating Septa's existence. Except for occasional and rare(for me) breakdowns, my experience has been virtually uneventful. Strikes were painful though.
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