If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit System..

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby peconicstation » Thu May 25, 2017 5:48 am

jonnhrr wrote:
world traveler wrote:But then when you factor in commuter rail, Boston's is a joke compared to Philly's system, so Philly comes out ahead there.
Boston's downtown is probably at least as dense as Philly's but is a lot smaller in area.
Boston is much harder to drive around than Philly so that might give transit a leg up here.
Jon


If there is a joke here it's SEPTA.

Our MBTA rapid transit lines actually go places outside of the city, the Red Line runs to Braintree in the south and Alewife to the north, the Orange Line runs to Malden in the north, and the Blue Line
operates east by northeast to Revere (given the issues that PATCO had had lately don't compare it to the Blue Line). Further the Red Line and Orange line extensions have all been completed in the
past 25 years, or so. How many Rapid Transit lines has SEPTA greatly expanded ???

Our commuter rail network also runs much farther into the 'burbs than SEPTA's longest routes such as Doylestown and Thorndale, which are barely over 35 miles from town.
The MBTA has reopened a number of lines, and expanded others, just how many has SEPTA re-opened ??? (the yet to happen, if ever, WaWa extension does not count).

The Boston HUB is actually far denser than Center City, with a larger day time employment population, and the list goes on.

As Bostonians we use our transit system regardless of our social ranking, and we defend it.

Lastly, we even have a famous song about it, Charlie on The MTA, what songs are there about SEPTA ??

Ken
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby rdgrailfan » Thu May 25, 2017 6:22 pm

In defense of SEPTA, they are a CITY agency with very little ( and I mean little) financial support from the surrounding counties. Montgomery county benefits with bus and rail but the donation to SEPTA is a blink.
SEPTA does nothing to change the situation. Montgomery, Bucks and Chester would do well to do a regional tax or just turn the whole mess over to the state and have a single agency run transportation for the state.
SEPTA does get state dollars, but they lobby the legislature like street beggars on a corner.
The new SEPTA regime is at least presenting plans but line expansion always gets a new power point slide with a new date. It is only going to get worse with the reduction of federal programs for rail and related services.
So we need to buckle up for the next few years, do the best we can.
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby KIG » Thu May 25, 2017 8:51 pm

peconicstation wrote:
Lastly, we even have a famous song about it, Charlie on The MTA, what songs are there about SEPTA ??



Since the main lyric is about a place you *can't* get to on the Frankford El (because it goes straight to Frankford) I'll claim this response is on topic :-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgqXdMCp81c

I'll grant this was not nationally famous. But this was later referenced by the Hooters in "Beat Up Guitar", a deep track from a reasonably commercial, national touring and MTV-video heavy 80's act:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_oO73f8F6E
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri May 26, 2017 8:00 am

rdgrailfan wrote:In defense of SEPTA, they are a CITY agency with very little ( and I mean little) financial support from the surrounding counties. Montgomery county benefits with bus and rail but the donation to SEPTA is a blink.
SEPTA does nothing to change the situation. Montgomery, Bucks and Chester would do well to do a regional tax or just turn the whole mess over to the state and have a single agency run transportation for the state.
SEPTA does get state dollars, but they lobby the legislature like street beggars on a corner.


SEPTA actually is a state agency, like most transit systems. It is not a city agency. It was created by the state legislature, a third of its board is appointed by the state, and it receives a significant portion (most?) of its operating and capital funding from the state (e.g. Acts 44 and 89 funding).
Call me Connor or DTP

Railfan & Roadgeek from the North Shore of Mass.
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby leviramsey » Fri May 26, 2017 8:43 am

leviramsey wrote:*: it should also be noted that a certain amount of the apparent advantage to Boston in subway/light rail is at the expense of the commuter rail system: had the Highland Branch of the B&A not become the Green Line D Branch, it would likely be a prototypical example of SEPTA-style service and the single-track Old Colony and Haverhill lines near the terminals are that way precisely because of rapid transit conversion.


Indeed, basically all the expansion of Boston's rapid transit since the first World War has been a story of the BERy, MTA, and then MBTA buying abandoned and in-service railroads and converting all or part of the right of way to rapid transit. The only arguable exceptions are the Red Line's Northwest Extension (where the extension was truncated more or less where the conversion would begin) and the Orange Line Southwest Corridor relocation (arguably not an expansion and one could definitely argue that it reduced the ex-New Haven capacity to some extent).
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby JeffK » Fri May 26, 2017 10:27 pm

peconicstation wrote:what songs are there about SEPTA ??

A few possibilities (OK, a bit arcane - from my jazz & blues collection):

- Waitin' for the Train to Come In
- Slow Freight
- I Can't Get Started
- Sleepy Town Train
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby jonnhrr » Wed May 31, 2017 2:42 pm

peconicstation wrote:
jonnhrr wrote:
world traveler wrote:But then when you factor in commuter rail, Boston's is a joke compared to Philly's system, so Philly comes out ahead there.
Boston's downtown is probably at least as dense as Philly's but is a lot smaller in area.
Boston is much harder to drive around than Philly so that might give transit a leg up here.
Jon


If there is a joke here it's SEPTA.

Our MBTA rapid transit lines actually go places outside of the city, the Red Line runs to Braintree in the south and Alewife to the north, the Orange Line runs to Malden in the north, and the Blue Line
operates east by northeast to Revere (given the issues that PATCO had had lately don't compare it to the Blue Line). Further the Red Line and Orange line extensions have all been completed in the
past 25 years, or so. How many Rapid Transit lines has SEPTA greatly expanded ???

Our commuter rail network also runs much farther into the 'burbs than SEPTA's longest routes such as Doylestown and Thorndale, which are barely over 35 miles from town.
The MBTA has reopened a number of lines, and expanded others, just how many has SEPTA re-opened ??? (the yet to happen, if ever, WaWa extension does not count).

The Boston HUB is actually far denser than Center City, with a larger day time employment population, and the list goes on.

As Bostonians we use our transit system regardless of our social ranking, and we defend it.

Lastly, we even have a famous song about it, Charlie on The MTA, what songs are there about SEPTA ??

Ken


Boston's Commuter rail has nowhere near the frequencies. When I lived in Delaware County and went to ride the R3 I just showed up and took the next train, they ran every half hour even off peak and were clock facing times. In Boston you definitely need a schedule with only 10 or 12 trains per day on most lines if that, and big gaps at some times of the day.
Avatar Photo - P&W local from Gardner to Worcester at Morgan Rd., Hubbardston
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby octr202 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:19 am

I'd just like to re-emphasize that last point about MBTA commuter rail. Living on the Haverhill Line for 8 years, the service was basically useless outside of weekday commuting. If your schedule meant staying in the city late, or going in on weekends, it just made sense to drive (either all the way or to a rapid transit station). This probably helps promote off-peak subway use, as it's so much more convenient than using commuter trains which run at times only every 2-3 hours. On weekends, you basically need to plan your whole day around the train schedule on many lines (i.e., Haverhill, with a mere six (6!) round trips Saturday and Sunday. While the Merrimack Valley is pretty far out (25-30 miles), this low frequency also impacts closer-in towns like Reading, Wakefield and Melrose, which compare very favorably to so many suburban towns on SEPTA's railroad lines.

Worth remembering that in the 1970's the general belief was that the entire commuter rail system would fade away to nothing.* Rapid transit would expand out to Route 128 (like the Riverside and Braintree Lines), and beyond people would just drive. That ran up against both the high cost of rapid transit expansion while money was diverted into a highway project you may have heard of, but also the sprawl of the suburban commuter-shed out to I-495 and beyond.

*At it's low point, the currently second-busiest Framingham/Worcester line was down to just about three rush-hour round trips by the 1970s. Despite what SEPTA's gone through, I don't think any SEPTA rail line of that size ever fell that far.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby leviramsey » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:52 am

It should be noted that the Haverhill and Old Colony/Greenbush are the lines that are the worst in terms of off-peak service (that these, along with Needham, are the ones that are the most single-tracked is perhaps not coincidental). The other lines offer somewhat better off-peak service, though not SEPTA level. Of course, it's a basic fact of geometry that, for a given level of investment (and SEPTA and the MBTA are roughly comparable in their level of investment in FRA rail), distance and frequency are inversely correlated: service extensions imply (ceteris paribus) frequency reductions.

So it's reasonable in some sense to consider SEPTA and MBTA as two extremes on a continuum for full-spectrum agencies. The MBTA has a more extensive subway/rapid transit system and runs over distances that correspond to about the SEPTA RRD expansion wishlist*, but both of those pretty much make SEPTA RRD frequencies a pipe dream. Be careful what you wish for and all that.

*: the MBTA's expansions are also somewhat a product of a different relationship between the MBTA and its Commonwealth vs. SEPTA's relationship with its Commonwealth**: legislators are extremely willing to fund commuter rail extensions, but have no real interest in the effect of those extensions on frequency. Again, be careful what you wish for...
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby lefty » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:02 pm

peconicstation wrote:Lastly, we even have a famous song about it, Charlie on The MTA, what songs are there about SEPTA ??

Ken


John Phillip Sousa wrote "March of the Mitten Men" for Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co.

Double Dutch Bus too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Dutch_Bus
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Re: If Philly Had A More Extensive Subway/Rapid Transit Syst

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:16 pm

Forgot all about that march. The local classical-music station played a recording of it on the air awhile back, and the announcer gave some of the background.
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