• SEPTA Rebuilding for the Future Updates

  • 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/.
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/.

Moderator: AlexC

  by rcthompson04
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:20 pm In closing there needs to be an initial effort by SEPTA to preserve the RRD system as it now stands.
One of the most interesting factors I noticed was the pronounced ridership loss over the last two years
since "The Problem" began - this needs to be dealt with directly to keep the RRD system stable - and
before any talk of expansion begins - building ridership back should be SEPTA's #1 priority forward.
MACTRAXX
Expansion talk is a joke as long as we don't get ridership back to 75% of pre-COVID levels. I think that is doable, but it is going to require some work.
  by mcgrath618
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:04 pm
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:20 pm In closing there needs to be an initial effort by SEPTA to preserve the RRD system as it now stands.
One of the most interesting factors I noticed was the pronounced ridership loss over the last two years
since "The Problem" began - this needs to be dealt with directly to keep the RRD system stable - and
before any talk of expansion begins - building ridership back should be SEPTA's #1 priority forward.
MACTRAXX
Expansion talk is a joke as long as we don't get ridership back to 75% of pre-COVID levels. I think that is doable, but it is going to require some work.
Ridership overall is currently at 80% of what it was pre-pandemic. IIRC Regional Rail in a vacuum was somewhere around 60%.
  by PHLSpecial
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:04 pm
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:20 pm In closing there needs to be an initial effort by SEPTA to preserve the RRD system as it now stands.
One of the most interesting factors I noticed was the pronounced ridership loss over the last two years
since "The Problem" began - this needs to be dealt with directly to keep the RRD system stable - and
before any talk of expansion begins - building ridership back should be SEPTA's #1 priority forward.
MACTRAXX
Expansion talk is a joke as long as we don't get ridership back to 75% of pre-COVID levels. I think that is doable, but it is going to require some work.
I would prefer we reopen the inside city limit stations again. I agree with Mactraxx post that we need include both the 9-5 commuter but also we need to include the within the city limits commuter. Philadelphia is doing a decent job of building more housing. So lets continue this trend and build around rail stations.

Rcthompson04 when you say "work" do you mean adjusting the fare policies and adding infrastructure like high platforms/flyovers for more frequency?
  by rcthompson04
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:20 pm Rcthompson04 when you say "work" do you mean adjusting the fare policies and adding infrastructure like high platforms/flyovers for more frequency?
No. I am talking about adding new routes and extending existing routes. SEPTA needs the money to improve what it has and just operate at this point.
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:20 pm
rcthompson04 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:04 pm
MACTRAXX wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:20 pm In closing there needs to be an initial effort by SEPTA to preserve the RRD system as it now stands.
One of the most interesting factors I noticed was the pronounced ridership loss over the last two years
since "The Problem" began - this needs to be dealt with directly to keep the RRD system stable - and
before any talk of expansion begins - building ridership back should be SEPTA's #1 priority forward.
MACTRAXX
Expansion talk is a joke as long as we don't get ridership back to 75% of pre-COVID levels. I think that is doable, but it is going to require some work.
I would prefer we reopen the inside city limit stations again. I agree with Mactraxx post that we need include both the 9-5 commuter but also we need to include the within the city limits commuter. Philadelphia is doing a decent job of building more housing. So lets continue this trend and build around rail stations.

Rcthompson04 when you say "work" do you mean adjusting the fare policies and adding infrastructure like high platforms/flyovers for more frequency?
In other parts of the world, commuter rail and regional rail are one integrated system.
We've just been behind the rest of the world, with a 9 to 5 weekday mindset, for years.
  by Literalman
 
"(NewARK, DE instead of New-WORK, NJ)": I lived in Newark, NJ, when I was young and later in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties for much of my life. I always heard Newark pronounced "Nork." :smiley:
  by PHLSpecial
 
Figured a people know about this already but might as post.

https://planning.septa.org/projects/reg ... ect-goals/

Septa release 3 scenarios how to improve the RR.

Image
Scenario 1: 30 minute all day RR service from 5:00 am to 1:00am

Image
Scenario 2: High frequency metro style service on the busiest lines. Silverline 15 minute headways all day. 30 minutes then 60 minutes for the furthest distance

Image
Scenario 3: All day express service combined with Amtrak
  by PHLSpecial
 
As my thoughts, I think it's possible to do all three.

Short term: Allow Amtrak/NJT and Septa to Sell tickets for each other systems. Therefore a septa commuter can use a keystone or Northeast Regional train now
Medium term: Implement Scenario 2 with the Sliverline concept.
Long term: All day 30 minute service for all lines. But that requires major infrastructure investments to get rid of grade crossings and double track some lines.

With the link posted above they did mention possible expansion.
More importantly is possible infill stations inside the city of Philadelphia.
Image

Also we should shift around stations if we have money. For example like this idea from twitter.
Get rid of the current Onley station.
Build two new stations one at Onley shopping center and the other at 5th street.
Image
  by MACTRAXX
 
PHL and EVERYONE - VERY ambitious plan for the **TRANSITIZATION** of Regional Rail...

FIRST and FOREMOST - The ridership losses as a result of "The Problem" over the last two years and two months
**MUST** be dealt with BEFORE the thought of increasing ANY service levels on Regional Rail - SEPTA's **HIGHEST
PRIORITY** is to rebuild RRD and Transit ridership with the confidence that the system is safe to use on all levels...

It should be mentioned that WFH no matter what any transit system anywhere can offer is going to be perhaps
permantly the proverbial "800 Pound Gorilla" in the room in the way of mass transit ridership recovery...

The first three maps show high frequency Regional Rail service increases - **IF** riders return to the system...
Right now RRD ridership is NOT sufficient to support service increases to the transitization levels mentioned...

Remember that increased service means more cost - and until SEPTA gets stable subsidies (a 5 county regional
sales tax could help matters - something that no one has ever been able to exactly agree on) they will have to
rely on farebox revenues meaning that larger percentage fare increases can drive away what already is an
unstable ridership base because of "The Problem"...One only needs to look back to the first half of the 1980s
to see the problems that high percentage fare increases and service cutbacks did to the SEPTA System...

As for ticketing NJT and SEPTA already have some interline ticketing - I do NOT see Amtrak becoming
involved outside of the Keystone services between 30th Street - Paoli - Thorndale which is a possibility...

The infill maps shows four lines that are possibilities for new RRD stations in a transitization scenario...
1-Darby to University City/Penn Medicine - 11, 13, 34, 36 trolleys serve this area
2-30th Street to Overbrook - 10 trolley serves area
3-RDG Trunk - Market East/Jefferson Station to Temple University - extra RRD stops are NOT needed here.
4-North Philadelphia to Bridesburg - MFSE serves at least half of this area - bringing back the long-closed
Frankford Junction and Frankford Stations - is just not a necessity to take ridership away from MFSE...

The replacing of the less-than 20 year old Olney Station on the Fox Chase Line by two stations at 5th Street
and in back of the One/Olney Shopping Center makes little if any sense to me...Who among them knows
the area and actually rides the Regional Rail Fox Chase Line is my question to those message board users...

In closing SEPTA **MUST** be able to work with what they have NOW before there is ANY thought of
increased service in what is basically another RRD transitization effort...MACTRAXX
  by PHLSpecial
 
Mactaxx

What is the strategy here? "The Problem" is going to be here forever and the next problem looms in the distance.
What you are saying is wait for the ridership to return to pre-covid levels before doing any type of reform?

WFH is hurting everyone except driving. Stop making public transit serving the 9-5 commuters, it's not coming back. It has to be an all day service. If Septa is built for the 9-5 commuters we might as well close down the RR system now. Let's transition into the VRE rail model 6 morning trains into the city, 6 evening out of the city. I'm sure that's going to drive ridership for the commuters.

Sure Septa has a budget and a very small budget the Septa city division is very much underrepresented. The regional rail can't be just servicing the suburban people anymore. It needs to service the whole regional and added TOD to the stations. This notion of waiting for the riders to recover is not going to work. Investment is need like how it was needed in the 1980s. Biden give us some infrastructure spending with a second round still looming. Like any business to attract market share investment is needed to attract said customers.
  by MACTRAXX
 
PHLSpecial wrote:Mactaxx

What is the strategy here? "The Problem" is going to be here forever and the next problem looms in the distance.
What you are saying is wait for the ridership to return to pre-covid levels before doing any type of reform?

WFH is hurting everyone except driving. Stop making public transit serving the 9-5 commuters, it's not coming back. It has to be an all day service. If Septa is built for the 9-5 commuters we might as well close down the RR system now. Let's transition into the VRE rail model 6 morning trains into the city, 6 evening out of the city. I'm sure that's going to drive ridership for the commuters.

Sure Septa has a budget and a very small budget the Septa city division is very much underrepresented. The regional rail can't be just servicing the suburban people anymore. It needs to service the whole regional and added TOD to the stations. This notion of waiting for the riders to recover is not going to work. Investment is need like how it was needed in the 1980s. Biden give us some infrastructure spending with a second round still looming. Like any business to attract market share investment is needed to attract said customers.
PHL: 1-For riders to return to mass transit they must be confident that the system is **SAFE AND SECURE** not
just because of "The Problem" - that means **ALL PROBLEMS** such as criminal activity in the SEPTA System...
Remember that SEPTA needs not only POLITICAL - but needs FINANCIAL support for any increases in service...

2-There HAS to be a **BALANCE** between the needs of the "Traditional 9 to 5 Weekday Commuter" which is
and has been the primary RRD ridership group - and the needs of passengers riding at other times of day...
There can NOT be an "US VERSUS THEM" mentality used to provide RRD services or ANY favoritism...

3-The SEPTA City Transit Division is far and away the largest SEPTA operating division...
There already IS a significant number of RRD stations within the City and County of Philadelphia...

Development around SEPTA stations is NOT controlled by SEPTA - local governments depending on the
location control zoning and other changes necessary to construct TOD at any given location...

Politically Philadelphia has benefitted from some of President Joe Biden's transport policies for infrastructure.
This may change if the Republicans take control after the 2022 Elections on both the Federal and State levels...

I remember reading - and agreeing with - the mention that having the 5 counties that make up SEPTA
Regional Rail being the unification factor - that the system is more likely to have PA political support
than if the City went out alone for PA state subsidies - without a absolute secure funding plan in place...

Let's make sure what we have NOW in the way of the SEPTA System is secure before we consider new
and increased services - as said that should be SEPTA's Priority #1 going forward at this time...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu May 12, 2022 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by rcthompson04
 
I am going to come out against most of these ideas. As MACTRAXX said, SEPTA needs to be realistic about its financial situation and having a sustainable service. The current schedule seems to be functioning okay with the current level of ridership and staffing. Trains aren't full, but they seem to be keeping time better and they are filling up a little bit more every week. As someone going back to the office some, I am more pleased with the service as it is now than I was pre-COVID. I hear a lot less complaining about delays.

Some of these maps really don't make sense though. There are some obvious problems including:

1. Excluding in process extensions (Wawa looks like it is on the maps (not on the maps and it opens in less than two months), Coatesville is under construction (not on the maps), and Phoenixville is seriously in play (not on the maps)).

2. This is really City, Delaware County and Montgomery County focused (offering worse levels of service to Bucks and Chester Counties than pre-COVID seems to be a great way to get them to not pony up more money and they are the most likely to balk at it). I am very pro-transit and I would oppose more money coming from Chester County for worse service.

3. Would substantially adding stations make service slower? I have a hard time seeing stops being added in the City in particular helping what I see as the biggest problem encouraging people coming to Center City that can work from home... the time it takes to commute.

4. Some of the choices seem quite random... Radnor for 15 minute service when Villanova (new interlocking) and Wayne (destination station) seem more obvious choices over what is basically an office park (Radnor)? Media for 15 minute service when it has a trolley line? Lansdale having 30 minute service while Malvern has 60 minutes? Having hourly service on both the West Trenton and Trenton lines?

5. I hate to say it, but adding infill seats in some areas is going to scare riders away. Unless the security situation is markedly improved, you might start scaring existing ridership away.

Ultimately the people pushing these maps seem to have no understanding of the region's politics.
  by scratchyX1
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:43 pm

3. Would substantially adding stations make service slower? I have a hard time seeing stops being added in the City in particular helping what I see as the biggest problem encouraging people coming to Center City that can work from home... the time it takes to commute.
If the stops are high level platforms, and automatic doors, they may not add that much time, if the train has to go slow through interlocks, anyway.
4. Some of the choices seem quite random... Radnor for 15 minute service when Villanova (new interlocking) and Wayne (destination station) seem more obvious choices over what is basically an office park (Radnor)? Media for 15 minute service when it has a trolley line?
Lowish hanging fruit, redirecting the Trolley south down orange street, so it connects to the RRD route.
I imagine it would be faster reaching some of the stops on the media route, by taking RRD to media, and then back on it's private ROW, for some.
5. I hate to say it, but adding infill seats in some areas is going to scare riders away. Unless the security situation is markedly improved, you might start scaring existing ridership away.
Yes have more security, but also, the more people at the station, the less chances of someone pulling something.
Last edited by nomis on Mon May 16, 2022 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: fixed quotes
  by MACTRAXX
 
Scratch - High Level Platforms everywhere ($$$) and automatic doors - which in case you do NOT know the Silverliner Four cars already have - can be used to maybe speed up train stop time periods...

Have you actually ever been to Media? The area between the Orange Street ending of #101 and the Media RRD Station is very hilly - the line would have to go down hill to the station at a grade percentage the LRV cars may not be able to adequately handle - and be treacherous in Winter when the grade is icy...

Security at infill stations is going to cost major money for the Police presence and surveillance cameras that stations in questionable or high crime areas will require for riders to be confident that they are safe...
It is that simple...MACTRAXX
Last edited by nomis on Mon May 16, 2022 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: removed immediate quote
  • 1
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 14