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Old 03-15-2019, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatsquirrel View Post
The main problem I have with SEPTA is that the system is less extensive than the trains in NYC. I don't think I've ever bought an Unlimited Metrocard inside Philly either, only those super expensive per-ride cards. I also used a token once for some weird reason.
When SEPTA implemented the Key card, it had a golden opportunity to rethink its fare instruments.

It passed on the opportunity.

Instead of 7- and 30-day unlimited-ride cards good from date of purchase, we still have the calendar-based weekly and monthly passes, both of which have ride caps that make them 7- and 30-day versions of the One Day Convenience Pass (a paper pass that lets you take up to eight trips (one vehicle = one trip, except for the free transfer between subway and trolley lines at 15th/City Hall) per day).

What you should do if you don't see yourself riding SEPTA daily is to load money onto the Travel Wallet on your Key card. Fares using the Travel Wallet are deducted at the discount (token) rate for the first vehicle and the $1 transfer fare for each transfer on your same journey.

I'm generally a SEPTA supporter, but I have been known in my more bemused moments to refer to the agency as

The Society for the Elimination of Public Transportation Altogether
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
940 posts, read 259,117 times
Reputation: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessimprov View Post
cause SEPTA is short for "SEPtic TAnk."
We knew this guy who worked for SEPTA ... some called him "SEPTA John" others referred to him as "Septic Tank John."


Personally, I think SEPTA does a wonderful job of getting people around the area. What I don't like about SEPTA are a lot of the people who ride it. I know, I'm an elitist. It's gonna be sad when I have to rely on SEPTA one day.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Tony View Post
We knew this guy who worked for SEPTA ... some called him "SEPTA John" others referred to him as "Septic Tank John."


Personally, I think SEPTA does a wonderful job of getting people around the area. What I don't like about SEPTA are a lot of the people who ride it. I know, I'm an elitist. It's gonna be sad when I have to rely on SEPTA one day.
I've relied on SEPTA to get me around the area ever since I moved here 36 years ago.

I've seen many of the characters you refer to, and I can't really fault you too much for your attitude.

But many of them you can simply tune out. The squalling babies, when you encounter them, excepted.

Good books or magazines to read and headphones or earphones help.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
I will add this to the general topic:

I'm posting this right now from the home of a dear friend of mine in Bloomfield, N.J.

Said friend reports on transportation for The Record (nee The Bergen Record, it's now the main rival of the (Newark) Star-Ledger as the leading newspaper covering North Jersey. Gannett owns it, as it does the Courier-Post on our end of the state).

What he's been digging up on New Jersey Transit Corporation's management and practices makes SEPTA's look like the gold standard.

And as was the case with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority in the opposite direction, the termites eating the house away weren't really discovered until a serious train wreck brought them into the light.

Takoma, 2006. Hoboken, 2016. Both revealed truly incompetent management and/or awful operating cultures (in Washington's case, one where safety took a back seat to covering one's a** when something went wrong) in their aftermath.

Contrast this with 30th Street, 1993. That turned out to be a mere (if "mere" can properly be used here) issue of aging equipment.

SEPTA certainly could be better run. But it's not all that badly run now, as far as it goes.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:41 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Tony View Post
We knew this guy who worked for SEPTA ... some called him "SEPTA John" others referred to him as "Septic Tank John."


Personally, I think SEPTA does a wonderful job of getting people around the area. What I don't like about SEPTA are a lot of the people who ride it. I know, I'm an elitist. It's gonna be sad when I have to rely on SEPTA one day.
I ride it just about everyday because it's free for me. I ignore "the people who ride it". And believe me, I'm a much bigger snob than you are.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:45 AM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I will add this to the general topic:

I'm posting this right now from the home of a dear friend of mine in Bloomfield, N.J.

Said friend reports on transportation for The Record (nee The Bergen Record, it's now the main rival of the (Newark) Star-Ledger as the leading newspaper covering North Jersey. Gannett owns it, as it does the Courier-Post on our end of the state).

What he's been digging up on New Jersey Transit Corporation's management and practices makes SEPTA's look like the gold standard.

And as was the case with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority in the opposite direction, the termites eating the house away weren't really discovered until a serious train wreck brought them into the light.

Takoma, 2006. Hoboken, 2016. Both revealed truly incompetent management and/or awful operating cultures (in Washington's case, one where safety took a back seat to covering one's a** when something went wrong) in their aftermath.

Contrast this with 30th Street, 1993. That turned out to be a mere (if "mere" can properly be used here) issue of aging equipment.

SEPTA certainly could be better run. But it's not all that badly run now, as far as it goes.
Sandy, there are probably folks who don't know what you mean by "30th St, 1993".
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Sandy, there are probably folks who don't know what you mean by "30th St, 1993".
Let me fill them in, then. I happened to be on a subway-surface trolley to work the morning it happened, too. I got the year above wrong, though, based on this New York Times account of the crash:

Shortly after leaving 15th Street station shortly before 8:20 a.m. on March 8, 1990, a bolt that held a mounting bracket in place under a traction motor on the fourth car of a six-car Market-Frankford Line consist failed, causing the bracket to give way and the motor to drop onto the tracks. The train proceeded westward to 30th Street, the operator unaware that three cars behind him, a motor was ripping up crossties.

That motor managed to throw the switch at the facing (in the direction of train travel) crossover just west of the platforms at 30th Street subway station. The rear wheels of the fourth car headed for the eastbound track as the train proceeded westward.

The fourth car got impaled by one of the tunnel support columns as a result, and the fifth car also derailed into the columns. Three people were killed and another 150 or so were injured, some critically, in the worst wreck ever to occur on SEPTA's rapid transit system.

In the aftermath of the wreck, it was determined that its main cause was metal fatigue due to the age of the cars (29 at the time; they had never been overhauled), and that routine inspections failed to catch signs of stress. SEPTA responded by having yard crews inspect every MFL train's motors before it left the yards every day and accelerating its plans to order new cars to replace the existing fleet.

This worst fatal wreck in the history of Philadelphia rapid transit was also only the second in its 83-year history up to that point. The only other fatality accident on the system occurred in 1961, before the MFL cars involved in the 1990 crash were ordered; that accident involved a southbound Frankford El train that approached the 45-degree curve heading into York-Dauphin station at too high a speed. The train jumped the tracks and crashed through the railing, but did not fall to the street. However, a passenger standing in the front car's open front door was thrown out of it and killed.

Contrast that with the three accidents that killed riders (one of them involving a train that filled with smoke when tunnel ventilation fans malfunctioned), several others that killed workers, and several more that caused injuries on the Washington Metro system in the 43 years from the opening of the initial segment in 1976 up until now. (I also moved the Takoma crash three years up, as I moved the one at 30th Street three years later: that wreck occurred in 2009.)
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:39 AM
 
141 posts, read 234,401 times
Reputation: 122
I've always felt the way SEPTA operates is pretty backwards compared to the rest of the transit agencies. SEPTA has made improvements (operating the system 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights, the SEPTA Key, cleaner subway stations, newer buses, the recent Regional Rail expansion back to Coatesville). However, if you still have to use the subway and bus, you have to pay extra for a transfer, which is a major inconvenience, the bus system needs to be overhauled because the buses make too many turns rather than staying on a straighter, more direct route (the H, XH, 26, and 31 are prefect examples), not enough subway lines, especially in the NE, NW, and SW, and our regional rail system doesn't reach the regional cities like Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:52 AM
 
Location: Philly, PA
363 posts, read 276,118 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
I've always felt the way SEPTA operates is pretty backwards compared to the rest of the transit agencies. SEPTA has made improvements (operating the system 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights, the SEPTA Key, cleaner subway stations, newer buses, the recent Regional Rail expansion back to Coatesville). However, if you still have to use the subway and bus, you have to pay extra for a transfer, which is a major inconvenience, the bus system needs to be overhauled because the buses make too many turns rather than staying on a straighter, more direct route (the H, XH, 26, and 31 are prefect examples), not enough subway lines, especially in the NE, NW, and SW, and our regional rail system doesn't reach the regional cities like Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster.
Allentown , and Reading I'm sure politics played a role into that...but when SEPTA took over some of those older lines from the Reading Company and others those lines had tons of issues, poor ridership, poor infrastructure and SEPTA being what their budget was back then had no choice. I'd love to see them extend to Allentown, Reading, or Bethlehem...but today politics is all in the way of that i feel.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:35 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
I've always felt the way SEPTA operates is pretty backwards compared to the rest of the transit agencies. SEPTA has made improvements (operating the system 24 hours on Friday and Saturday nights, the SEPTA Key, cleaner subway stations, newer buses, the recent Regional Rail expansion back to Coatesville). However, if you still have to use the subway and bus, you have to pay extra for a transfer, which is a major inconvenience, the bus system needs to be overhauled because the buses make too many turns rather than staying on a straighter, more direct route (the H, XH, 26, and 31 are prefect examples), not enough subway lines, especially in the NE, NW, and SW, and our regional rail system doesn't reach the regional cities like Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster.
Mnior nit: The SEPTA system has always operated 24 hours, 7 days a week. The rapid transit lines haven't since the early 1990s, when their hours were cut back to 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. (start of first trip to end of last trip) as a cost-saving move. But when the subway-elevated lines aren't running, Nite Owl buses take their place. The advance was to restore 24/7 subway-elevated service on the weekends; I actually argued against that in a Phillymag essay I wrote in 2013, saying the money would be better spent adding more 24-hour bus routes to the all-night network to serve parts of the city without such service.

As for extending Regional Rail service beyond the five Southeastern Pennsylvania counties, saying "politics" keeps this from happening is true, sort of, but not in the way Sammy215267 probably meant it. Keep in mind that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has the authority to operate service only in the five counties that comprise its service territory. Other agencies are charged with providing transit service in Lancaster (Red Rose Transit), Reading (Berks and Reading Transportation Authority), and Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority). SEPTA can't simply extend service outside its own territory without having someone else agree to pick up the operating subsidies, as the State of Delaware does for Regional Rail service in New Castle County. That would have had to happen had the "Schuylkill Valley Metro" proposal the agency considered in the early 1990s advanced past the idea stage as well.
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