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Old 12-03-2018, 10:01 AM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I will now, with a stat that should surprise everyone here:

The total route-miles for SEPTA's and the MBTA's heavy-rail rapid-transit networks are just about the same. Boston edges out Philadelphia by 1.3 route-miles: 38 vs. 36.7. The preceding figure includes the Norristown High-Speed Line as well as the city rapid transit lines. Add PATCO's 14-mile-long Lindenwold Line and the mileage figure tips in Philadelphia's favor: 50.7 vs. 38.

These figures do not include the light rail networks in either city.
Sure, it's not going to include Boston's Green Line, which functions more like heavy rail. Ultimately, it's how these lines operate that matters more to me as a rider than gauges and car type.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:08 AM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I rarely do this, but:

Snowflake.

Yeah, the break dancers on the Broad Street Line get old, as do the panhandlers on the El after traffic gets light (MFL cars are too narrow for break-dancing in the aisle and too crowded during the day for panhandlers to work them).

But if you're a regular on these lines, you learn how to tune them out. I use the BSL every day (except those Sundays when I don't go into Center City).

Okay, I do understand what you're talking about, though that business about looking at strangers is really no different on a crowded bus IMO, and I don't see what's so creepy about that. But buses are highly inefficient when it comes to moving large numbers of people all at once. That's why we have the subways and elevateds instead.
I don't think the differentiater is the seating configuration. I think it's the customers. And I heard two guys talking about it the other day during my ride on the CHE line.

Friendly Passenger: How are the hours on this line?
SEPTA Employee: Hours change a lot, which is different from when I worked on the El. These hours change daily, and I get a call later at night to give me the hours for the next day.
Friendly Passenger: Wow, that sounds kind of tough. How do you like working this line?
SEPTA Employee: It's really great. No comparison. There's a whole different brand of customer on these lines and I don't miss working the El.

And I tend to agree. You can call people "snowflakes" all you want, but the average middle-class person is most often going to prefer to ride with others that are polite, clean, quiet, and safer to be around. The El is my least favorite of Septa's lines, not having ridden a large number of the bus routes that go through troubled neighborhoods. I, personally, can't freaking stand riding it due to the frequent service interruptions and the "brand of customer" that you often get. And this isn't a race issue, it's a drunken, drugged, rowdy, sloppy, smelly, loud-music-playing, nasty people issue. Anyone getting off at Allegheny feels the same way.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:19 AM
 
2,994 posts, read 3,145,785 times
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To answer the question of the thread, I have one answer: Philadelphians. They are the most negative local populace on the planet. To them, everything Philadelphia stinks or is substandard -- except for their beloved Eagles (pronounced Iggles), and they're now even turning on them in their post Super Bowl slump.

Fact is, SEPTA is one of the top 4 or 5 transit networks in the nation -- and I could make an argument that, overall, it is bested only by New York and, maybe, D.C. For one thing, every mode of generally accepted mass transit modes is run by SEPTA (or PATCO or NJ Transit within the Philly area), save cable cars.

The regional rail network structurally America's only system compatible with Euro systems like Paris' RER and Germany's extensive S-Bahn metro networks in that SEPTA regional rail is both fully electrified and unified with the Center City tunnel. No other USA system is like that.... And SEPTA Regional Rail serves much of the City itself as well as suburbs deep in the region, including some rural areas. The rail system also is a base for Acela, the closes thing America has to HSR.

Yes the system is old and has significant maintenance issues and, yes, regional rail is both: a) too infrequent, esp off peak, and b) lacks high-platform boarding overall, which slows overall travel speeds considerably... Regional Rail also needs to continue to upgrade rolling stock to focus mainly on self-propelled, multi-unit cars while dong away with the antiquated/clunky 19th Century conductor-ticket system. Conductors should become a thing of the past replaced with the more modern Proof of Payment system. Currently SEPTA is installing a key card system to allow fare cross transfers between the railroad and City transit divisions... a move in the right direction.

... but those things are relatively minor in the larger scheme of American transit which, in itself, stinks overall. But SEPTA is a network that is a worthy competitor on the world stage. Most American cities can't say that.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
I don't think the differentiater is the seating configuration. I think it's the customers. And I heard two guys talking about it the other day during my ride on the CHE line.

Friendly Passenger: How are the hours on this line?
SEPTA Employee: Hours change a lot, which is different from when I worked on the El. These hours change daily, and I get a call later at night to give me the hours for the next day.
Friendly Passenger: Wow, that sounds kind of tough. How do you like working this line?
SEPTA Employee: It's really great. No comparison. There's a whole different brand of customer on these lines and I don't miss working the El.

And I tend to agree. You can call people "snowflakes" all you want, but the average middle-class person is most often going to prefer to ride with others that are polite, clean, quiet, and safer to be around. The El is my least favorite of Septa's lines, not having ridden a large number of the bus routes that go through troubled neighborhoods. I, personally, can't freaking stand riding it due to the frequent service interruptions and the "brand of customer" that you often get. And this isn't a race issue, it's a drunken, drugged, rowdy, sloppy, smelly, loud-music-playing, nasty people issue. Anyone getting off at Allegheny feels the same way.
I know it's not a race issue. Remember, I lived off Oxford Circle for 18 months. What do you think I rode into Center City?

Edited to add: Where the seating configuration - and more importantly, the car dimensions - make a difference is in the kinds of disruptors you get on each line. As I said above, MFL cars have aisles that are too narrow for the breakdancers to do their thing, so they're confined to the wider and longer BSL equipment. And not even the panhandlers can work an MFL train during most of the daytime hours, given how full they usually run.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 12-03-2018 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,216 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
Yes the system is old and has significant maintenance issues and, yes, regional rail is both: a) too infrequent, esp off peak, and b) lacks high-platform boarding overall, which slows overall travel speeds considerably... Regional Rail also needs to continue to upgrade rolling stock to focus mainly on self-propelled, multi-unit cars while dong away with the antiquated/clunky 19th Century conductor-ticket system. Conductors should become a thing of the past replaced with the more modern Proof of Payment system. Currently SEPTA is installing a key card system to allow fare cross transfers between the railroad and City transit divisions... a move in the right direction.

... but those things are relatively minor in the larger scheme of American transit which, in itself, stinks overall. But SEPTA is a network that is a worthy competitor on the world stage. Most American cities can't say that.
SEPTA used nothing but EMUs on Regional Rail until the late 1980s, when it acquired its just-retired AEM-7 and ALP-44 "Swedish Meatball" locomotives and unpowered Bombardier passenger coaches. The bulk of the Regional Rail fleet remains EMU today, though SEPTA just ordered a bunch of new Siemens electric locos to pull both those unpowered coaches and a new fleet of unpowered bi-level passenger cars it's getting from a Chinese firm.

I don't know why they didn't opt for bilevel EMUs, though I can think of only one city where I've seen such creatures: Chicago.

SEPTA could have implemented a POP system for Regional Rail along with the SEPTA Key technology, but chose not to. I think they were fixated on not having to use paper at all. SEPTA Key is all but fully implemented - and the agency chose to keep its existing fare structure, including its lack of transferability between Regional Rail and transit unless you hold the right kind of pass, as it was. The funny thing is, to avoid issuing paper, the agency chose to turn the central Regional Rail stations into rapid transit stations anyway.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:36 AM
 
2,994 posts, read 3,145,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenses & Lights. View Post
Those are the tracks I was speaking of. I believe that they can be greatly utilized. As the city continues to grow, and spread outwardly from the core, then these things will surely be needed. Even light rail line similar to the Sharon Hill line, if they cannot use commuter trains, or existing El/Subway types of cars.
I also wonder why there is no Regional Rail line station at the Philadelphia Zoo at Girard Ave which, not only would serve the Zoo, but also the crowded neighborhood along Girard to the west. This elevated rail section is the Northeast Corridor Amtrak/SEPTA trunk line... Further north, across the Schuylkill River, this line diagonally cuts through the busy Strawberry Mansion neighborhood -- again with no stops. This section of Philly is totally devoid of any rapid transit line as neither subway line nor any subway-surface trolleys, serve this area... SEPTA should explore at least one Regional Rail stop here served by the Trenton and Chestnut Hill West lines.
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,520 posts, read 10,848,867 times
Reputation: 5443
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Sure, it's not going to include Boston's Green Line, which functions more like heavy rail. Ultimately, it's how these lines operate that matters more to me as a rider than gauges and car type.
You could also make the case that SEPTA's trolleys stations from 37th to 13th street functions more like heavy rail. It's one of the reasons why I think Philly has the 2nd best downtown transportation in the country.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:48 PM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
You could also make the case that SEPTA's trolleys stations from 37th to 13th street functions more like heavy rail. It's one of the reasons why I think Philly has the 2nd best downtown transportation in the country.
I like the trolleys, but they definitely don't function as efficiently as the Green Line in Boston. Ultimately, I think Boston's Transit it's a little more refined. But they also get a lot more funding.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:38 PM
 
10,273 posts, read 5,934,396 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
I don't think the differentiater is the seating configuration. I think it's the customers. And I heard two guys talking about it the other day during my ride on the CHE line.

Friendly Passenger: How are the hours on this line?
SEPTA Employee: Hours change a lot, which is different from when I worked on the El. These hours change daily, and I get a call later at night to give me the hours for the next day.
Friendly Passenger: Wow, that sounds kind of tough. How do you like working this line?
SEPTA Employee: It's really great. No comparison. There's a whole different brand of customer on these lines and I don't miss working the El.

And I tend to agree. You can call people "snowflakes" all you want, but the average middle-class person is most often going to prefer to ride with others that are polite, clean, quiet, and safer to be around. The El is my least favorite of Septa's lines, not having ridden a large number of the bus routes that go through troubled neighborhoods. I, personally, can't freaking stand riding it due to the frequent service interruptions and the "brand of customer" that you often get. And this isn't a race issue, it's a drunken, drugged, rowdy, sloppy, smelly, loud-music-playing, nasty people issue. Anyone getting off at Allegheny feels the same way.
You didn't see a single septa cop during your "experiences" on the El, right? Sigh....

How can the 15th St/City Hall project be completed without some service disruptions?
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:26 PM
 
5,351 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
You didn't see a single septa cop during your "experiences" on the El, right? Sigh....

How can the 15th St/City Hall project be completed without some service disruptions?
Rarely. The couple of times I remember a cop, they jumped on at City Hall and hopped off before we were out of Center City.

I had similar experiences with the El before the 15th Street renovations. And some of it is a capacity issue, which is well-known. But they should do something to improve it IMO.
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