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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #121
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But Metra is the 2nd most ridden commuter rail in North America, its not like the irrelevant services like the Coaster or RailRunner.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #122
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But Metra is the 2nd most ridden commuter rail in North America, its not like the irrelevant services like the Coaster or RailRunner.
Its the 4th , after LIRR , NJT and MNRR it slipped last year...
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Old January 6th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #123
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TheKorean is partly correct, NJT, Metro North and LIRR all serve the same city (New York), making New York's commuter rail the most heavily ridden in the USA, and Chicago (with Metra and South Shore Line) second.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 02:28 AM   #125
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It would be cool if MARC expanded to Wilmington, MBTA to Warwick, RI, and Shore Line East to Warwick, Commuter rail from New Hampshire all the way to Fredericksberg, VA
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Old January 8th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #126
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I agree in principle, but MARC only needs to go to Newark to make the SEPTA connection. Besides, a Newark terminus should attract a fair share of college students (the University of Delaware is located there) whereas Wilmington's downtown's relatively...dead.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 04:54 AM   #127
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If posts could be thanked on this forum, I would thank this one thousands of times.
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I agree in principle, but MARC only needs to go to Newark to make the SEPTA connection. Besides, a Newark terminus should attract a fair share of college students (the University of Delaware is located there) whereas Wilmington's downtown's relatively...dead.
You have Duany Plater-Zyberk in your sig. I like you.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 06:59 AM   #128
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If posts could be thanked on this forum, I would thank this one thousands of times.
OMG yes, why is he even here. I mean someone who hates this kind of stuff and spends all their time reading about it has got to be some kind of masochist. And does he have to keep making the same point over and over and over again. We get it, you do not like government funded transportation.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 02:26 AM   #129
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I just ignore him if I were you. I find the anti-public transportation/pro-car people like him to be just as annoying as anti-car crowd IMO.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #130
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More of my videos i thought id share....

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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:45 PM   #131
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Some videos of the T.F Green Airport train station (which just opened recently).

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Old January 15th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #132
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Old January 16th, 2011, 04:44 AM   #133
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Some videos of the T.F Green Airport train station (which just opened recently).

Amazing how MBTA can connect rail with TF Green but somehow can only put a crappy bus service to Logan.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 07:18 AM   #134
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Amazing how MBTA can connect rail with TF Green but somehow can only put a crappy bus service to Logan.
Yeah, considering how close Logan is to the Blue line you would think they would either build a spur to the terminals or build a people mover system to the "T".
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #135
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http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/loca...031d25afc.html

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Quakertown to miss the train

Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:41 am | Updated: 7:36 am, Wed Apr 27, 2011.
By Hilary Bentman Staff Writer | 0 comments
The plan to restore passenger rail service between Upper Bucks and Philadelphia is heading down a new track.
And there's no stop in Quakertown.

The best chance to secure federal funding for the project, say transportation officials, is to extend the electric rail line eight miles north from Lansdale to Pennridge.

Passengers could board in Pennridge, in an area around Routes 309 and 152, and travel straight to Philadelphia without having to transfer trains.

But the option, estimated to cost $182 million and take about 10 years to complete, would not include extending train service north to Quakertown, as had been discussed in the past.

The reason is money, said Valarie Discafani, senior project manager with Jacobs Engineering, the consulting firm on the project. Discafani was on hand Tuesday at a meeting in Hatfield Township to update the public on changes to the rail project.

The 2007 option of restoring diesel rail service to Quakertown did not meet Federal Transit Administration requirements and would not be eligible for federal funding, said Discafani. And the revamped plan, with a price tag of $245 million, carries a low FTA rating, making it more difficult to secure funding.

Meanwhile, extending electric rail to Quakertown, estimated to cost $391 million, is not financially feasible considering the capital improvements needed to the power system. It, too, carries a relatively low FTA rating.
"It is very competitive nationally to get this money. We have to be realistic," said Discafani.

But Discafani stressed that the Pennridge-Philadelphia option does not preclude extending rail service to Quakertown in the future. It is also possible that TMA Bucks could run shuttles between Quakertown and the Pennridge station, she said.

After learning that the 2007 plan would not qualify for federal dollars, officials with TMA Bucks and other agencies began reworking the idea and came up with five new alternatives.

The best of the bunch is extending electric rail service to Pennridge, which would carry a "medium-high" FTA rating, giving it a better chance of securing federal money.

Under the plan, which is still only considered the preferred option at this time, there would be four stations: Pennridge (north of Telford), Telford, Souderton and Hatfield. These stations would feature raised platforms and waiting areas but no major structures. No specific sites have been identified for stations yet.

"This is all still a concept," said Steve Noll, deputy director of TMA Bucks.
There would be 14 round trips daily between Pennridge and Philadelphia's Suburban Station, with trains running on a 30-minute frequency during peak hours and two-hour off peak.

It would take 70 minutes to make the trip. Officials estimate 5,200 riders daily by 2035. The trains would be electric so there would be no need to transfer in Lansdale to get through Philadelphia's tunnels.

Besides the $182 million capital costs associated with the plan, there would also be $5 million in annual operational/maintenance costs.

The goal would be to fund the project with a split of federal and state money. Depending on the ability to secure funds and the studies and design phases still needed, it could take about 10 years before a train ever pulled into a Pennridge station.

Souderton resident Steve Panning liked what he heard Tuesday night. His wife works in Center City and she would definitely consider commuting by train, he said.

"We always said (regarding train service) 'please come back,'" said Panning.
Passenger rail service to Upper Bucks was discontinued in 1981. Almost immediately officials began discussing its restoration. But it's been a long process. Cost and scope of the project have been major hurdles.

The next step is to gather more input and conduct environmental studies, which could take 18 to 24 months. This study would consider everything from land use, noise, vibrations, historical sites and air quality. Funding would be needed for this leg of the work. The design phase could take another two years.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #136
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LOL , septa fails again when compared to other agencys. 10 years to rebuild 8 miles of track , that would take NJT 6 months......
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Old April 28th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #137
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LOL , septa fails again when compared to other agencys. 10 years to rebuild 8 miles of track , that would take NJT 6 months......
It isn't Septa's fault; they just can't get the federal money to complete this project. The tracks do exist and are used regularly by Norfolk and Southern so adding diesel service would have been an easy task. But because diesel trains can't run in Center City tunnels, it was decided that the only option was to electrify the line if service were to be restored despite the lower cost of diesel service.

Look at it another way: it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to restore service by 2035. Projected daily ridership is 5,200. That is a few hundred thousands dollars per rider for something that will take 25 years to finish. America is big; there are obviously higher priority rail projects out there. Even within SEPTA's network there are higher priority projects that could use the money. I don't think this project would generate new riders either; if the extension were completed, people who live north of Lansdale and take the train to Philly from there would just drive to a station closer to there home. In other words, ridership would merely shift from Lansdale to the other stations.

I don't think it's fair to compare SEPTA to NJT either. The Philly area doesn't have the ridership nor the tax revenue NJ has. And being next to NYC gives NJT a huge leg up when applying for federal funds. If more people worked in Philly (70% of jobs in the Philly area are outside Philly where cars reign dominant) I can see the state and federal government giving a second look at modernizing SEPTA's various transportation networks. In the mean time, we will be stuck with this 19th century network.

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Old April 29th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #138
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Also remember: NJT makes money. SEPTA doesn't. And SEPTA's management culture is not geared towards expansion--to the point where my suggestion is to put expansion projects in the purview of some other agency (SEPTA would remain as the line operator).
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Old April 30th, 2011, 05:29 AM   #139
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http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20...n_station.html

Quote:
SEPTA, Philly get money for Wayne Junction station

By Paul Nussbaum
Inquirer Staff Writer

Under a decaying ceiling in the ticket office, next to peeling paint and not far from a collapsed roof, SEPTA and local officials collected $4 million from the Obama administration on Thursday to help rebuild the 110-year-old Wayne Junction rail station in Germantown.
Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff handed over a mock check for $3.98 million, saying the Wayne Junction project was "long, long overdue."

"To attract new riders, transit needs to be clean, safe, reliable, and desirable," Rogoff said. The dilapidated Wayne Junction station, once a stop for the Reading Co.'s Crusader train to New York City and the Baltimore & Ohio's Royal Blue express to Washington, is none of the four. Windows are boarded up, the north entrance is closed because of a fallen roof, pedestrian tunnels are awash in rainwater, and stairs and facades are crumbling.

Ancient signs still direct passengers to trains for Bethlehem, Pa., and New York, destinations that have not been served in 30 years.

SEPTA will start construction late this year on a $30 million project to rebuild Wayne Junction, with elevators, high-level platforms, restored passenger tunnels and stairways, new lighting and signage, and a new heating and cooling system.

Wayne Junction, which is a hub for five SEPTA Regional Rail lines, two bus routes, and one trackless trolley line, serves more than 190,500 riders a year.

Rogoff said the Wayne Junction reconstruction is the type of project the Obama administration wants to see more of. He said the FTA's "state of good repair" budget for fixing existing facilities is proposed to increase by 300 percent in the next budget year, even as money for building new projects is frozen or eliminated.

"We're making a very aggressive statement with this budget," Rogoff said in an interview. He said repairing and rebuilding existing transit facilities was vital if public transit is to attract motorists beset by high gasoline prices.

"My hope would be to bring members [of Congress] to stations like this one," he said. "If we're going to hold onto riders and attract new riders, we need to reinvest in our core assets."

The Wayne Junction project was one of 22 projects cut by SEPTA after state capital funding was cut by 25 percent last year. But with the federal cash and $23 million in borrowed money, the agency resurrected the project this year and hopes to complete construction by 2014.

Rogoff was joined at Thursday's ceremony by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), State Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D., Phila.), and SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey.
My family's from Germantown; you can see the old neighborhood from the station. But Wayne Junction has to be the ugliest gateway into any neighborhood in Philly. It feels like 1945 Germany; old and dilapidated as if a bomb went off.

When I used to work in Center City, I saw few people get on and off Regional Rail trains here; I guess it's because it's cheaper to get into the city via bus. But as a transportation center, I think Wayne Junction is a perfect example of what's wrong with rail transit in the US. I live in Japan now. Here, train stations serve a much bigger role than just a place where you get on and off trains. They are commercial and business hubs. The station and surrounding areas are filled with shops, restaurants and businesses. They also plan neighborhoods around them with dense high-rises near the station followed by smaller apartment buildings and single homes. In the US, urban planning and transportation seem to be treated separately. Stations are far from places people want to go and are ringed with parking lots. It's so one dimensional; in other countries, like Japan, railway groups make a lot of money in real estate. They plan neighborhoods around the station, thereby creating ridership and a community centered around the station. I think Wayne Junction has the potential to be like this. Instead it's a huge slab of crumbling concrete hovering over Germantown Ave. Why can't US transit agencies see the value of real estate and commercial development around stations? And why the lack of cooperation between planning and transportation?
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Old April 30th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #140
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Why can't US transit agencies see the value of real estate and commercial development around stations? And why the lack of cooperation between planning and transportation?
Unless there is significant blight and decay, the power of the State (in the broader sense) to use eminent domain as a "public realtor" have been severely limited by laws and Supreme Court decisions since the late 1970s.

Moreover, Japan has 1/3 of US population concentrated in 1/15 of its area. Different realities. In US you need massive parking lots if you are to succeed with transit projects. But money is usually tight, so instead of multi-story underground facilities you end up with sprawling surface parking.
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