Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:35 am

wawa is simply SEPTA's view of expansion, namely that putting up a parking garage a few miles down the railroad from the next parking garage represents the most effective form of regional rail service. this view is incorrect, there should be no wawa expansion only a west chester expansion with a wawa station any good line will hve a mix of parking lots and destinations, a good line will have a reasonably large destination on either end. restoring service to WC will be transformative for the media line by putting a lot more butts in seats at different times of the day. if you haven't done so already like their site
https://www.facebook.com/westchesterrail
the reality is there is money it's about priorities. they just dumped half a billion into widening the struggling 202 corridor and we've learned that you can't build your way out of congestion nor does it make financial sense. rail restorations like these tend to cost a lot less money since we're blessed to have a lot of useful right of way and towns built around railroads.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby nomis » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:58 am

You would still need a Wawa station and an expanded yard around Lenni in order to run adequate service on the line if it extended to WC. I'm sure that you would just complain if there wasn't enough trains that could serve during rush hour or reverse commute :-)
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:48 am

nomis wrote:You would still need a Wawa station and an expanded yard around Lenni in order to run adequate service on the line if it extended to WC. I'm sure that you would just complain if there wasn't enough trains that could serve during rush hour or reverse commute :-)


this is, of course, not true. there is no need for a station at wawa in order to make service to west chester functional. SEPTA likes to talk about both sides of their mouth. you ask one person and they will tell you that the plan is to build a one track, single platform terminal at wawa built with no plan to extend service to west chester. another will tell you that wawa is an incremental plan that helps WC. we should not care which version is true, there is no world in which the statement that wawa must happen as a separate project in advance of the west chester restoration is true. the reality is that once you get that TLM machine out there laying ties you may as well do all he work (it's just 9 miles from elwyn to WC). you're doing the engineering for the project, do it once. enough with the death by study BS, tell your engineering department to draw up the plans and develop cost estimates.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby nomis » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:29 pm

The inadequate size of the Media yard is an issue to increased service vs. just adding a station at Wawa.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:45 pm

nomis wrote:The inadequate size of the Media yard is an issue to increased service vs. just adding a station at Wawa.

then we agree, a yard at lenni is really a separate issue than a station at wawa. the last thing you'd want to do is build a station at wawa that required removing the two track bridge over baltimore pike. taht said we're not talking about building new right of way or hsr, there's no reason the project can't be rolled together.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby bikentransit » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:54 pm

Why can't they at least (for now) push the line up to Glen Riddle, the next stop? It's not that far and the tracks are in good enough shape to run trains over them. There's lots of condos around the station so it will get some walk up riders, and they have to turn the train around anyway. What's the big deal??
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:03 pm

bikentransit wrote:Why can't they at least (for now) push the line up to Glen Riddle, the next stop? It's not that far and the tracks are in good enough shape to run trains over them. There's lots of condos around the station so it will get some walk up riders, and they have to turn the train around anyway. What's the big deal??

I'm not sure that glen riddle would be a stop, fairly low density. even the stopped up dvrpc study only had cheyney, westtown, wcu, and downtown..or are you saying instead of wawa?
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby SCB2525 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:43 pm

My biggest concern with Wawa still is whether the station site will foul the Octaoraro/Chester Creek ROW.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby 25Hz » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:59 am

How many automobiles would get taken off the roads if extended to wawa..... to west chester? As much as i am an advocate for transit expansion, I do not see it being a big draw. Yes, it'd be great to have a transit alternative, but the numbers don't support it, i think.

Instead of going off on a 50 minute monologue, i'm just going to say this..... no amount of funding can fix SEPTA's backwards priorities of a super small, parking garage festooned system which is dedicated all most entirely to 9-5 commuters that leaves everyone else out in the cold literally and figuratively.

This state used to be a passenger rail powerhouse.... what an embarrassment we've become.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Clearfield » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:22 am

25Hz wrote:How many automobiles would get taken off the roads if extended to wawa..... to west chester? As much as i am an advocate for transit expansion, I do not see it being a big draw. Yes, it'd be great to have a transit alternative, but the numbers don't support it, i think.

Instead of going off on a 50 minute monologue, i'm just going to say this..... no amount of funding can fix SEPTA's backwards priorities of a super small, parking garage festooned system which is dedicated all most entirely to 9-5 commuters that leaves everyone else out in the cold literally and figuratively.

This state used to be a passenger rail powerhouse.... what an embarrassment we've become.


The object is to slow increase of the number of cars on the road. You probably won't take cars off the road but you will slow the increase.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby motor » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:28 pm

Suburban Station wrote:
bikentransit wrote:Why can't they at least (for now) push the line up to Glen Riddle, the next stop? It's not that far and the tracks are in good enough shape to run trains over them. There's lots of condos around the station so it will get some walk up riders, and they have to turn the train around anyway. What's the big deal??

I'm not sure that glen riddle would be a stop, fairly low density. even the stopped up dvrpc study only had cheyney, westtown, wcu, and downtown..or are you saying instead of wawa?


Some of those condos by Glen Riddle are >40 years old, on both sides of Glen Riddle Road. My father (RIP) and stepmother lived in one of those back then. At least one time, visiting them (I lived in Boothwyn with my mom then), I got a glimpse of a train pulling out of Glen Riddle inbound from my dad's complex's parking lot.

Sentiment aside, I doubt if reactivating Glen Riddle as a stop is absolutely necessary.

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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:36 am

25Hz wrote:How many automobiles would get taken off the roads if extended to wawa..... to west chester? As much as i am an advocate for transit expansion, I do not see it being a big draw. Yes, it'd be great to have a transit alternative, but the numbers don't support it, i think.

Instead of going off on a 50 minute monologue, i'm just going to say this..... no amount of funding can fix SEPTA's backwards priorities of a super small, parking garage festooned system which is dedicated all most entirely to 9-5 commuters that leaves everyone else out in the cold literally and figuratively.

This state used to be a passenger rail powerhouse.... what an embarrassment we've become.

West Chester actually has the ability to take cars off the road, wawa does not because it requires people to drive to the station. there aren't a lot of suburbs that offer the sheer number of people in walking distance of a station like west chester (actually there are none that don't already have rail service). to that end yes it would take cars off the road and yes it would cost far less than expanding roads which nobody really wants in their neighborhood either. I agree with your last point, the people in control are married to the idea of driving and parking to the total exclusion of anything else. they area also completely unable to learn new things. as someone at the chester county meeting pointed out, the parking problem is a product of poor pricing. the officials seemed to think that he was not understanding the situation but it was clear that the customer understood, they did not. despite having no parking jenkintown somehow added another 1000 rides a day
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby SCB2525 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:14 pm

I don't disagree completely with your sentiments, but do you guys live in modern society? How do you expect the vast majority of people, who live farther than 1 mi away from a train station, to get to said train station? I don't disagree that walk-ups should be thrown out the window nor TOD discouraged but the fact is that there are still a LOT of people outside walking distance of even a fully reactivated West Chester branch or every viable dormant branch in the metro area if they were reactivated. Even if you're not reducing the number of cars that left the driveway, you're still taking a nice dent out of total vehicle miles traveled by getting those who drove all the way to Philly into the parking lot and onto the train. The key is to reduce how long the drive was to the station, which I agree would be lower with a full reactivation.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby CComMack » Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:05 pm

It's true that a lot of people live beyond the reach of reasonably constructible transit, and that the houses they live in aren't going anywhere for the time being. But the reason why I focus so hard on walk-up traffic and TOD is simple: a walkable station will capture a much higher percentage of its target market than a park-and-ride-oriented station, because people in cars tend to stay in cars.

The lure of mere VMT reduction isn't going to cut it for a lot of people; once they're driving, they're driving all the way in, unless there's a very large obstacle to their doing so. On the other hand, in places where walkability is the rule, the more people who can walk up to the station, the more people are able to make long-term commitments to transit, i.e. owning fewer cars, which in turn puts transit on a stable base of fiscal and political support. So in an environment of extremely scarce capital funding, it makes more sense to maximize the extent to which those dollars are targeted at walkable areas instead of park-and-rides. That's not an absolute rule; park-and-rides have their role, but overinvestment in parking is considered harmful. And make no mistake, parking, especially structured parking, is very expensive.

To put the numbers in perspective, West Chester Borough has a population of just less than 19,000 as of 2013, according to the American Community Survey. According to PennDOT, US 1 has a daily traffic count of 27,000 at Wawa. US 322 carries about 23,000 more vehicles, and is a more direct route to Philadelphia that siphons away from US 1 just west of Wawa, so let's also count them. Of course, those 40,000 vehicles are being counted in both directions, so we have a target audience of about 20,000 drivers, of whom we can only capture as many as we can build parking for at Wawa. The effect I described above does not have to be very large at all to give West Chester a much higher potential ridership than Wawa, and that's before even considering things like reverse commutes.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Suburban Station » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:37 am

It is precisely because I live in modern society not 1992 that I see the importance of serving large, walkable places directly. It makes little sense to force the majority to drive to a station on traffic clogged roads if they can be served directly. Yes people can and do walk to train stations as well as get dropped off. Moreover by putting stations in the center of towns you not only get a larger share of local users (particularly off peak) but the economic benefit of the station is captured by the town rather than lost completely as it would be at wawa. Lastly, as joted, there are not a lot of west chester out there that are large enough to have their own demand and a very real problem with too many cars (more people that want to be there than space for both people and cars). I'd also add that once you get down RT1 the dominant commuting pattern shifts, people are commuting down to wilmington rather than into the city
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