Cynwyd limited operation

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Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:13 pm

Despite rail being the best option for getting around in inclement weather, when SEPTA runs a snow schedule, there is no service to Cynwyd. Given it's proximity to City Ave and the heavy volume on the 65 bus for riders going to 69th Street, Cynwyd trains should be a winner. SEPTA should advertise the line more (the only place you can get a hand schedule is at 1234 or Suburban office) and make it transpass friendly and run more frequently including Saturdays. Otherwise, why bother to operate it?
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby mcgrath618 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:02 pm

They Cynwyd line DESPARATELY needs more service. I can't tell you how often my girlfriend and I have wanted to take the train into the city only to find out that our only option wasn't coming until 4:30 PM. With all the development currently underway and in store for Main Street, I'd have to hope that they at least have weekend service planned.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:22 pm

The current schedule seems very wasteful of manpower. The train crews essentially do a trip to Cynwyd, sit there for 20 mintes, ride back, sit for another 20 minutes at Suburban, then head back to Cynwyd and sit there for 15 minutes. That is probably based on the time cushion needed for trains to pass at 52nd Street. Then there's that weird mid-day trip out of nowhere that probably carries very few riders but exists in case someone has a half day at work. The line can support 30 minute service, so why not advertise and run it that often throughout the day? After spending all that money on welded rail, PTC and the new 52nd street connection, why use it sparingly and make it the first line that gets cut during parades and snowstorms? Makes no sense. They hide the schedules for it so no one knows it exists.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby ChesterValley » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:39 pm

bikentransit wrote: After spending all that money on welded rail, PTC and the new 52nd street connection, why use it sparingly and make it the first line that gets cut during parades and snowstorms? Makes no sense. They hide the schedules for it so no one knows it exists.


That's the SEPTA way. Spend a bunch of money on a project before trying to kill it off, like Ivy ridge high level platforms, the trolley buses in North Philly which the FTA threatened to make SEPTA refund millions of dollars. You would think SEPTA would at least try to give it the old college try, advertising the line, expanding service before throwing their hands up.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:44 pm

It wouldn't be the first time, I know things happen but c'mon guys, it's your job!
A classic example of what could have been Cynwyd is the failed Newtown high speed (ha) operation. They took the line over sometime in '81, put money into rehabbing the track and a (very) few station ammenities, then killed the service 13 months later. I'm sure Cynwyd is in no such danger, but I fail to see why more of an effort isn't being made to fill the trains. Reminds me of the senior citizens and key cards. Most didn't know they had to get the card until January then all of the sudden the deadline appears and there's thousands of seniors sitting in the basement of 1234. Advertise guys!
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby JeffK » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:31 am

SEPTA seems blind to the fact that despite being the only transit game in town, it needs to act like it has competition - because it DOES, in the form of cars, ride-sharing, etc. I almost never see any kind of promotion when new routes are started or old ones changed. Nor is there even self-congratulation when e.g. a station is upgraded, which leaves the old "dirty and smelly" impression in many people's minds. Admittedly it was a while ago but out here in the 'burbs, when Route 123 was established to offer direct service between K of P and Upper Darby there was ZERO local fanfare. The only "announcement" was an almost-unreadable blue on black route number pasted on a couple of shelters.

Private industry's not that much different either. I worked for a big computer firm that spent over a million bucks upgrading our offices with new lighting, desks, etc. ... and within 8 months shut down the facility. The work wasn't in anticipation of the sale, either, as the new tenants gutted the place and trashed most of the upgrades. Another company redid our whole R&D floor - new walls, partitions, etc. - and half a year later moved us to a different location. The old floor, of course, got yet another re-do.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby train2 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:43 pm

Could anyone post some photos of the new connection? I have yet to see any photos.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:35 pm

SEPTA is concerned about its dropping bus ridership, and supposedly will be looking to make changes later this year. The system is great for rush hour commuters when everything runs frequently, not so much nights and weekends.
Uber, Lyft and bicycles are the future of short haul trips, and most of us who go long haul stick to the car. It would be wise for SEPTA to better capitalize on its rail system and use the buses as feeders. Why do they have bus routes that take over an hour and a half to get from one end of the line to the other?
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby JeffK » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:09 am

bikentransit wrote:Why do they have bus routes that take over an hour and a half to get from one end of the line to the other?
Some reasons I can think of:

• Compared to many other large cities Philly's subway network is pitifully thin. Decades of no money, no will.
• Buses are trapped in the same congestion as every other road vehicle.
• Not all riders may be taking long routes from end to end but are instead using them for intermediate trips.
• Until SEPTA stops charging for transfers, some bus riders will be reluctant to use buses as feeders. See known problems with the C bus versus the BSS.
• SEPTA is both unwilling and unable (due to community opposition) to stop at alternate intersections as is common practice in many other cities.

My 2¢ is that ride-hailing may not be the panacea that many are forecasting. What happens when say 40% of the people currently on buses are in Ubers? What will the footprint of those cars be versus the transit vehicles that used to carry them? Will the Uber trips be spread out enough that congestion won't increase markedly? Or will they just add to the gridlock that's already slowing everything? Time will tell.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby ChesterValley » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:26 pm

I agree with Jeff on the ride sharing. They have been taking a bite out of SEPTA's bus division and even the regional rail after the 2016 "we can cheap out on subcontractors" episode which legalized Uber in the first place. That being said, the main issue is Uber is operating at near loss levels with stupid cheap rides, I think its only 2.50 for a ride around center city, on par if not cheaper than the bus. Once either gas prices or Uber's costs go up, SEPTA will see another explosion in ridership like in 2009.

Using the buses as feeders would be a brilliant idea, if SEPTA could get rid of the stupid transfer fee. Hopefully the SEPTA key will facilitate that, but 1234 market street is more concerned every last dime. It would be the best of both worlds, the volume capacity of regional rail combined with the last mile problem of Rail Road stations. I could take the bus instead of having to park at the Regional Rail stations using my Trail pass. I will concede there are several problems with that, namely the transfer. The less people's butt's move, the better like with the P&W extension into KOP that needed to be built 40 years ago.

However as someone who did not start using SEPTA until recently, I have to say I never thought of SEPTA as a reliable source of transportation. My experience with SEPTA has been an unreliable transit system that crap's the bed when it needs to work best, such as the 2008 world series, popeageddian, or most recently the super bowl. I understand the problem with a service crunch, but It seemed like SEPTA RR curled up into the fetal position instead of stepping up. On the other hand, SEPTA is efficient at getting your butt into and outta center city at rush hour on weekdays by Subway, Rail Road, or Trolley. The BSL and MFL are the most reliable, followed by the route 100 and regional rail in my experience, I cannot speak to the buses as I have not used them enough to comment.

The last point about the Subways rings true. If we had any the the other lines like in A. Merritt Taylor's plan shown here: viewtopic.php?t=29392, it would be a major catalyst to this cities growth outside of center city. Actually having a half decent subway system that isin't just along the main corridors would be magical, the MFL and BSL are already the workhorses for SEPTA comprising of nearly 300,000 trips a day, more then 10 times the most heavily used regional rail line of Paoli Thorndale. Maybe not even subways, build elevated lines, something! First they could use the Cynwyd line as a test, see if increased service coupled with aggressive advertising would increase service and work from there, the tracks, the ROW, the trains, the signals, the political will is there in Cynwyd.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:41 pm

It would help if there was any "will" at SEPTA to get things done the right way. I doubt we'll ever see an inch of new subway built, but it sure would have helped had they not rolled over and played dead with their abandoned rail lines being converted to trails. They're not coming back either despite the heavy growth in the Quakertown, 422, and Lower Bucks markets. For Pete's sake, they still can't get to Wawa!
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby NorthPennLimited » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:24 pm

bikentransit wrote:It would help if there was any "will" at SEPTA to get things done the right way. I doubt we'll ever see an inch of new subway built, but it sure would have helped had they not rolled over and played dead with their abandoned rail lines being converted to trails. They're not coming back either despite the heavy growth in the Quakertown, 422, and Lower Bucks markets. For Pete's sake, they still can't get to Wawa!


Instead of constantly complaining about SEPTA on blog site, why don't you redirect your negative energy towards creating a movement to drive the political will necessary needed to fund these BILLION DOLLAR infrastructure improvement projects to restore passenger service where you see the need?

Start by reading up on the state's annual budget, deserving social programs and pension funds that are constantly starving for money and resources. Then figure out how to redirect those funds without cutting other programs or raising taxes to build your railroad, and then pitch your ideas to the county commissioners and elected state representatives in town hall meetings to gain public support.

Who knows, you might actually accomplish something in life other than people rolling their eyes at your constant whining and acrimony towards a bankrupt city transit system on the Internet.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:02 pm

NorthPennLimited wrote:
bikentransit wrote:It would help if there was any "will" at SEPTA to get things done the right way. I doubt we'll ever see an inch of new subway built, but it sure would have helped had they not rolled over and played dead with their abandoned rail lines being converted to trails. They're not coming back either despite the heavy growth in the Quakertown, 422, and Lower Bucks markets. For Pete's sake, they still can't get to Wawa!


Instead of constantly complaining about SEPTA on blog site, why don't you redirect your negative energy towards creating a movement to drive the political will necessary needed to fund these BILLION DOLLAR infrastructure improvement projects to restore passenger service where you see the need?

Start by reading up on the state's annual budget, deserving social programs and pension funds that are constantly starving for money and resources. Then figure out how to redirect those funds without cutting other programs or raising taxes to build your railroad, and then pitch your ideas to the county commissioners and elected state representatives in town hall meetings to gain public support.

Who knows, you might actually accomplish something in life other than people rolling their eyes at your constant whining and acrimony towards a bankrupt city transit system on the Internet.


Oh look, the hater is back. I should have figured sooner or later you'd start harassing me again.
So I have no interest in politics or activism. The powers that be have already decided that transit will continue to be starved in favor of what encompasses the local/state/federal budget. Why would I take time away from making money for such a fruitless endeavor? This forum is for discussing SEPTA rail and I'm doing just that. Not a rant or complaint, nor hatred towards the agencies or government, just observations on how things could have been better.

Since you seem to have all the answers as to why the region is lacking in more rail service, why haven't you figured this all out instead of wagging your finger at others?

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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby ChrisinAbington » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:35 am

bikentransit wrote:Oh look, the hater is back. I should have figured sooner or later you'd start harassing me again.

Sigh.. Bike, you certain excel at bringing it on yourself. Your ratio of negative to positive (or constructive) observations is pretty slanted, but that may just be your worldview. This is your topic so feel free to go off on whatever suits you I guess.

EDIT: By the way, this topic would be an excellent question to bring up to SEPTA at one of their open meetings. I suspect the lack of present ridership is the sole justification for cutting back service on the dinky, but it would offer some insight into the operational planners' mindset.
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Re: Cynwyd limited operation

Postby bikentransit » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:23 pm

I made a suggestion about improving existing Cynwyd service and lamented SEPTA's unwillingness to do so and you guys get in a tizzy.
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