NotYou wrote: ↑Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:11 pm
My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
NY: The ridership drop in ALL of SEPTA's Commuter Rail services back in 1980-1981 was after -THREE-
fare increases over the course of 1980 totalling about 50 percent. The result was the Summer 1981 rail
cutbacks - service on the former RDG routes to Reading-Pottsville and Bethlehem-Allentown ended.
Berks, Schuykill, Northampton and Lehigh Counties refused to subsidize and/or save the two routes.
There was a short interim service to Pottstown and Quakertown that Montgomery and Bucks Counties
refused to further fund leading to the full discontinuance of these two services.
The Newtown service was turned into the ill-fated "Fox Chase Rapid Transit Line" for about 19 months (1/83)
which was SEPTA's unsuccessful attempt to "transitise" a commuter rail line. Another was the name change
of the SEPTA Commuter Rail system in 1983 to "Regional High Speed Lines" which was used until June 1985.
Each year during that era SEPTA would request PA state funding on a "hat-in-hand" basis not knowing what
will get approved dealing with politicians that were sometimes openly hostile to Philadelphia and SEPTA.
SEPTA's biggest problem then was the lack of any dedicated or steady funding revenue source.
Conrail was the contract operator of SEPTA's Commuter Rail service for six years and nine months of both
the former RDG and PC routes (April 1, 1976-December 31, 1982) and was required by law to exit operating
all contracted passenger service in the Northeast region.
When SEPTA took over direct operation of the Commuter Rail system at the beginning of 1983 the plan was
to cut employee wages and benefits to the equivalent of City Transit Division levels - which was the primary
reason for the resulting 108 day rail strike that year.
Ridership on SEPTA RRD would finally bottom out to its lowest level in 1984. The opening of the Center City
Commuter Connection in November 1984 was a major change that started a steady increase in RRD ridership
over more than three decades until the 2020 losses began as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
The first half of the 1980s can be referred to as SEPTA's rail services "Bad Old Days" under GM David Gunn.
This is going somewhat off-topic but relevant to this subject's past history...MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS