The best commuter agency

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby NorthPennLimited » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:14 pm

1. Chicago Metra
3. NJT

SEPTA would get a door prize, but their trains look like subway cars, and you have to pee in a coffee cup because they don't believe in toilets on trains.
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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby jonnhrr » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:18 pm

Between the 2 I am most familiar with I would rank SEPTA over MBTA, based on frequency of service and the presence of the CC Commuter Tunnel.

However I would add one thing which is that historically Boston has always been more oriented toward Rapid Transit where Philly more toward the commuter rail. This is evident when you compare the 2 rapid transit systems, Philly is about the same size as Boston for a considerably larger metro area.

Historically Boston has focused more on rapid transit extensions and allowed the commuter rail to atrophy, this trend only started to reverse around the 1980's when MBTA started taking a more active role, but by then key parts of the RR infrastructure had been lost e.g. the takeover of most of the Old Colony right of way for the Red Line extension making revival of commuter rail there more difficult and hampering more service frequency.

My impression in Philly OTOH was a perception only inner city residents used the rapid transit (except for Patco) and there was a perception of it being unsafe, commuters tended to stick to the commuter rail. This attitude may have contributed to the lack of any significant extensions to the rapid transit system e.g. no Roosevelt Blvd subway.

So this has to be kept in mind when comparing the 2 systems.
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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby BandA » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:47 pm

Chicago didn't wastefully tear down their elevated to replace it with a bus, so they have a leg up over the MBTA.
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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby deathtopumpkins » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:08 pm

BandA wrote:Chicago didn't wastefully tear down their elevated to replace it with a bus, so they have a leg up over the MBTA.

The predecessors to the MBTA didn't have that many elevated lines to begin with, and they were, to my knowledge anyway, largely replaced by sometimes relocated subways. The only example I can think of of an area notably losing service would be Roxbury losing the Washington St elevated in the 80s when the orange line was relocated off of it and into the Southwest Corridor, but even here it's not like rapid transit service was eliminated, just relocated.

What specifically are you referring to?
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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby 4400Washboard » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:44 am

Of the 5 Commuter RRs I've had the fortune (And misfortune) of dealing with, here's my list (1 best, 5 worst)

5. SEPTA (Not the most pleasant conductors, tiny ticket stubs)
4. LIRR (Sick of the ads, diesel equipment could stand a good maintenance check, best conductors I've met, though)
3. MARC (Good, fast and clean commuter RR, just too boring)
2. MNRR (Best RR in terms of passenger-railroad relationship, best in general employees, I'm starting to question their safety, though).
1. NJT (Passenger-Conductor relationship is meh, but they've got their rolling stock in top condition, lots of history to it-not saying that other commuter RRs don't have a history-pretty safe and pretty good OTP)
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Re: The best commuter agency

Postby peconicstation » Wed May 07, 2014 1:28 pm

Of the commuter lines that I have used in the east, here are my 2 cents.

MBTA: Reopened a number of closed lines, and has expanded service on several others.
Most lines have good, full day, 7 day a week service, targeting far more than commuting business people.
Several routes push into the higher growth, further out suburbs.
Center seats in each car with a table get my vote !

SEPTA: Has only closed lines since 1981 with the exception of the Airport line.
2 of the closed routes were electric (West Chester, Manayunk), no valid reason for this to me.
Routes do not operate into many growth areas.
No restrooms on the trains.

LIRR: Continues to ignore the only growth area on the Island (the South and North Forks).

NJT: Trip times too lengthy on their longer routes, adversion to express trains.

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