SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

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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SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby zebrasepta » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:55 pm

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/s ... 80329.html
It drives up home values in the suburbs, reduces the need for parking in the rapidly growing city, and powers a $3 billion segment of the state’s economy. What’s not to love?

SEPTA on Thursday laid out its case to reporters for how essential mass transit is to the well-being of the Philadelphia region and the state. The pitch came as a warm-up to a fairly large ask. The public transit agency is seeking $6 billion over the next 15 years from state and local agencies for ambitious improvements.

“We’re handling 53 percent more riders than we did in the ’90s, without adding track or cars,” said SEPTA general manager Jeff Knueppel during a morning news conference. “We’re constantly running near capacity, and that’s tough on equipment. We’re worried about being able to keep supporting the economic activity in the region.”

Among SEPTA’s big priorities for the next decade: expanding Market-Frankford Line trains from six cars to eight; modernizing trolleys to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and able to carry more passengers; updating Regional Rail lines to replace “231 cars dating from the Nixon era”; adding a second set of tracks north of Ardsley on the Warminster Line; and extending the Norristown High Speed Line to King of Prussia.

The study was paid for by SEPTA so there might be some bias, idk.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:44 pm

ZS: Yes - good Regional Rail train service enhances real estate prices.
One of the best examples is Jenkintown Borough, Wyncote and nearby areas of Cheltenham.
In Philadelphia Chestnut Hill and Fox Chase are examples of neighborhoods with desirable
real estate and good rail service. East Falls and Manayunk deserve mention also.

The beef that I will pick with SEPTA is about the Silverliner Four car fleet - in which the original
order of 130 cars for PC service and 14 RDG cars (9018-9031 originally) began delivery in 1974.
Former President Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974 so in this case-barely. The more
accurate mention would have been when Gerald R. Ford became President (8/8/1974-1/20/77)
which was the era when both orders of Silverliner Four cars - and the similar NJDOT Arrow Two
MU cars were built by GE. These cars were ORDERED while Nixon was president.

SEPTA Regional Rail has come a long way from bottoming out in the early to mid 1980s and what
actually surprises me is how much ridership has grown from as recently as the 90s. This shows
how important the rail system is to the entire region as a whole. When some including me look
back to those "bad old days" and remember that the system could have been lost altogether it
shows that good decisions - the Center City tunnel including Market East Station was one of the
best examples unifying the PC and RDG commuter rail systems - back then even in the face of
declining ridership and infrastructure. It was a cornerstone incentive to restore the system.

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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby mcgrath618 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:03 am

While the SLV IVs are a Philadelphia hallmark, I admit that they are at the twilight of their useful service careers.
Also interesting how they want to make the Warminster line double track again. Could we finally be seeing a SEPTA that expands?
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby tgolanos » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:13 am

mcgrath618 wrote:Also interesting how they want to make the Warminster line double track again.


There's still available ROW from Ardsley to just past Bradfield Road at Roslyn to fit a second track, as far as I know. I haven't been in that areas for a few years now, so I can't say if much has changed. Having grown up in Roslyn and knowing the area well, I doubt much has, though, and the ROW that SEPTA originally removed the track from is still available.

Same is true for the Willow Grove station area - last time I was in the area there was room for a second platform there, so my guess is SEPTA woud look at adding that and extending the second track that's already just north of the station to Old York Road.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby glennk419 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:12 am

I find it very ironic that they are talking about double tracking the Warminster line when they just cut it back by a half mile two years ago. LYNN interlocking used to be right at the station and now sits about 1000' south of Bradfield Road. That portion of the ROW remains untouched. At one point, there was talk of high level platforms at Roslyn and the extended straightening of the ROW was the justification for relocating the interlocking. Back in the 50's, the line was double track through Willow Grove with GROVE SOUTH interlocking just north of the Welsh Road overpass. There is still plenty of room for double track through Hatboro where the storage tracks once laid when that was the end of electrification. While I agree that double tracking the line would definitely be advantageous, especially since Newtown is never coming back, it would require a fair amount of eminent domain and ROW widening for that to occur.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby rdgrailfan » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:17 am

Relocation of the Willow Grove train station presentation by SEPTA will take place this Monday at the township building at 7:00PM

note from agenda published for meeting

"Presentation by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) on the proposed relocation of the Willow Grove Train Station"
(attachments)
.FYI some of the Former SEPTA ROW was sold to the county many years back in the Station area....looks like they will need to buy it back
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby tgolanos » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:27 pm

Hey Glenn, where was that picture taken? I don't recognize the second set of tracks to the left of the pic.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby glennk419 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:40 pm

tgolanos wrote:Hey Glenn, where was that picture taken? I don't recognize the second set of tracks to the left of the pic.


That photo is from the old bridge on Old Welsh Road between Old York and Easton Roads which felt like you were going to land on the tracks below every time you crossed it. The tracks on the left were for the PTC Route 6 trolley line to Willow Grove Park. They crossed over the railroad parallel to the road bridge and then actually ducked under Welsh Road to the point you see in the picture. Route 6 ran on a dedicated ROW in several places after leaving Ogontz Avenue at the city line at Cheltenham Avenue. Service ended above the city line in 1957.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby NorthPennLimited » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:11 pm

Another area where the population is sprawling is along the former RDG Perkiomen Branch in Arcola and Collegeville. It's amazing the amount of housing development and corporate/pharmaceutical centers that have sprung up in the last decade where people choose to live close to work. Much like people who have moved to Phoenixville / Chesterbrook area to live close to King of Prussia / Malvern corporate centers.

There is definitely a plus when shopping for new homes in an area close to work, or where your commute is less than 30-40 mins, but you still have a good community / school system to raise a family.

I'm surprised the state doesn't also push to look at partnering with NJT to study the effects of real estate inflation / population boom (and tax revenue growth) and conduct detailed economic feasibility studies to get service back to Scranton from NYC or Hoboken. A 90 minute train ride to NYC could spur big real estate growth in Scranton / Wilkes Barre.

Back to the topic.....

I think some of SEPTA's ridership increases over the last 2 decades has been a result of numerous factors:
(1) This is a rare time in history where we have 3 generations active in the work force. Baby boomers, Generation X'ers, and Millenials. They all have to commute to work. They strain our transportation network during rush hour.
(2) Since the 90's there has been a renaissance in corporate land development around Penn Center starting with Blue Cross, Bank of New York, etc. After Y2K, Comcast and University of Penn started the second boom. This put a large strain on I-76 even after construction was completed on the Blue Route, and 202 and 309 were expanded. People became frustrated sitting in traffic.
(3) Between 1996 and 2014, gasoline prices were skyrocketing (or wildly fluctuating with supply volatility) making the long commute to center city by automobile unbearable AND expensive (not to mention parking availability and obscene prices in center city).

The financial sector challenged the city's oppressive business and wage taxes when UBS, Merrill Lynch, Vangaurd et Al moved out to the burbs and planted their flags in Malvern, Conshohocken, and King of Prussia. This further chocked our turnpikes and highways, forcing the center city commuters to explore other options (regional rail) to travel to and from the burbs.

Rush hour train service has adequate service frequencies on the Reading side, the problem is seats on the trains. It would seem (to me) the easiest way to tackle ridership growth is to continue 15 minute service during rush hour, but run longer trains. Adding more trains only taxes the current physical plant infrastructure and increases labor costs. More cars added to rush hour trains seems like a no-brainer coupled with bus service that connects the bedroom suburb communities to train service and train stations to corporate development complexes in the burbs with reverse commuters who live in the city.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby zebrasepta » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:43 pm

I wonder how the NIMBY's would react to this
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby bikentransit » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:49 am

30 minute service and later service would be great on the Warminster line. Hopefully it gets double tracked soon!
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby bikentransit » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:08 am

Another thought: It would be great to extend the Warminster line north to Ivyland since parking at Warminster is difficult at times and there's lots of jobs there now currently served by the MTA shuttle bus.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby glennk419 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:44 am

bikentransit wrote:Another thought: It would be great to extend the Warminster line north to Ivyland since parking at Warminster is difficult at times and there's lots of jobs there now currently served by the MTA shuttle bus.


There have actually been suggestions of extending the line to Ivyland in the past. The biggest impediments to that are that there is virtually no space for parking as commercial and residential properties extend right up the the tracks, even beyond Bristol Road, and the fact that NHIR has a relatively healthy freight presence in Ivyland which would create the need for additional yard space for freight operations and car storage.
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:50 am

Glenn and Everyone:

To me the biggest impediment to add a second track to Warminster would be the Crestmont Cut.
Has there been any mention about what would be needed to add a second track there?

Where will a new Willow Grove Station be relocated to knowing how close the current one is to
the current shopping complex that includes Willow Grove Park mall?

For a central Bucks County extension would there be NIMBY opposition to contend with?
Would the majority want new rail service options knowing what the benefits can be?

There are many exurban areas that lost train service that have seen significant development.
The problem is restoring or extending rail service to places that will support it in the face of
NIMBYs or other opponents that will not for a variety of reasons. MACTRAXX
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Re: SEPTA RR stations in suburbs increases values of homes?

Postby ChrisinAbington » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:31 pm

Has SEPTA left any crumbs for us to follow in their capital budgeting as far as the double-tracking north of Ardsley?
Is there any sign of what the plans actually are?
I could find nothing in the latest TIP doc from DVRPC..
https://www.dvrpc.org/TIP/pafinal/2017/paprogram.pdf
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