• 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
 
Fascinating how the “transit advocacy” community is pretty opposed of going to West Chester. Maybe Chester County shouldn’t support “Reimaging Regional Rail” as it doesn’t offer a benefit for the county and those advocates don’t want to support efforts helping the county expand service.

As a stop gap measure, has anyone every talked about better bus service from West Chester to Exton, Malvern or Paoli? It would seem a limited bus from West Chester with maybe a stop or two along the way to a train station would be a good proof of concept.
  by PHLSpecial
 
If you are projecting a daily ridership of 1000-1200 a day, it wouldn't be high on the list. While I agree West Chester needs a RR station one day. The infill stations for RR would benefit the system more.
Like the KOP rail it shouldn't be that high of a priority on the list. The boulevard BSL extension or the Navy Yard extension would have way more impact on the region.
  by ExCon90
 
The lack is not of a railroad station but of a more direct route. I don't see how the traditional meandering cowpath of a route via Media is ever going to cut it. It would be far better, if it's even possible now, to restore the branch that once ran northward to hit the Main Line west of Paoli (Frazer?) with a duckunder at the junction for westbound movements. Some morning expresses making only Paoli en route to 30th St. and Center City might attract enough ridership to justify the expense, but I have no idea what physical obstacles stand In the way.
  by JeffK
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:52 pm Like the KOP rail it shouldn't be that high of a priority on the list. The boulevard BSL extension or the Navy Yard extension would have way more impact on the region.
The political and business reality is that project-grant money isn't arbitrarily fungible. Competition for New Starts $$$ isn't among multiple SEPTA projects, it's among specific projects across the whole country that meet similar criteria.

At this point KoP Rail is much farther along than either Roosevelt Blvd. or the Navy Yard. If KoP's downgraded its possible funding can't simply be transferred to either of those other projects inside SEPTA. Instead the dollars go back into the national bucket where they're allocated among project(s) in other cities that are at similar planning stages to KoP.

On top of that, DC-world puts time limits on how long a project can be downgraded or put on hold. I don't remember exactly how the "expiration date" regulations work, but the takeaway from various planning meetings I've attended is that if KoP is lowered in priority, some / most of the existing plans can't pick up later from where they left off. Instead they have to be restarted from earlier function points to account for changes (political, environmental, etc.) that may have occurred while those plans were suspended. I.e. the project clock doesn't just stop but actually goes backwards.
  by scratchyX1
 
ExCon90 wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:37 pm The lack is not of a railroad station but of a more direct route. I don't see how the traditional meandering cowpath of a route via Media is ever going to cut it. It would be far better, if it's even possible now, to restore the branch that once ran northward to hit the Main Line west of Paoli (Frazer?) with a duckunder at the junction for westbound movements. Some morning expresses making only Paoli en route to 30th St. and Center City might attract enough ridership to justify the expense, but I have no idea what physical obstacles stand In the way.
The ROW is mainly intact, into west chester, but there are some mansions that it'd be running close to, who I'm sure would mount an extensive legal battle against it. It is kinda a meandering route, too.
  by PHLSpecial
 
JeffK I was not saying cancel the project. My point is if we can do the KOP extension why can't Septa focus on the BSL extension? Septa's leaders actively choose to push the KOP line not the BSL line. I'm saying Septa needs to focus in on the city limits because that's where most of the ridership comes from. The suburbs gets the KOP extension meanwhile the trolley modernization effort is still not moving forward. Again the trolleys still have more ridership than the KOP rail.
I understand the KOP rail is going to happen but seriously to favor that over the BSL extension or trolley modernization simply underinvesting in the city, sure suburbs need investment but when is the city going to be thrown a bone or some scraps.
  by MACTRAXX
 
PHL: First you have to remember that there is only so much $$MONEY$$ to go around for transit projects...
Jeff mentions well how this Federal money will most likely be allocated to SEPTA...

The KofP Project is to primarily benefit lower-income residents from the City of Philadelphia and close-in
Delaware County (Upper Darby and vicinity) to access jobs in the KofP/Valley Forge area...

A BSL extension to the Navy Yard area will be very costly because of the tunneling necessary...
A BSL line into the Northeast via the Roosevelt Boulevard corridor has been talked about for decades...
NIMBY opposition to ANY BSL extension into NE Philadelphia has blocked advancement of any BSL project...

This should second JK's good reply post...MACTRAXX
  by PHLSpecial
 
Part of the reason why this project is going through is from the claims of reduced VMT, supposedly. Again I'm not saying cancel the project. Septa is going to most likely award the project because of the "reduced vmt" at the cost of 1 billion per mile.
Again my point is if the federal government is awarding transit projects to reduce vmt why not the BSL extension to the NE? They fought the rich nimbys in KOP and well sort lost but the project is going forward anyways. Why can't there be a push to build inside the city limits. Most of the project over the years have benefited the suburban towns, again its great.
Septa put effort to make the KOP rail with a projected ridership of 4500 riders a day happen. Meanwhile the BSL extension doesn't even get any money for a study or the trolley modernization has the 18th study saying how good it is to modernize it.

If you want to talk about cost, the kop rail is 1 billion per million total cost $3 billion
BSL extension to the navy yard cost about $1.6 billion in a inquire article written in 2019

TLDR, Don't cancel kop rail($3 billion), Put in effort for trolley modernization($700 million) and BSL extension (Navy: $1.6 billion, boulevard: $10 billion)
  by rcthompson04
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:49 am
ExCon90 wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:37 pm The lack is not of a railroad station but of a more direct route. I don't see how the traditional meandering cowpath of a route via Media is ever going to cut it. It would be far better, if it's even possible now, to restore the branch that once ran northward to hit the Main Line west of Paoli (Frazer?) with a duckunder at the junction for westbound movements. Some morning expresses making only Paoli en route to 30th St. and Center City might attract enough ridership to justify the expense, but I have no idea what physical obstacles stand In the way.
The ROW is mainly intact, into west chester, but there are some mansions that it'd be running close to, who I'm sure would mount an extensive legal battle against it. It is kinda a meandering route, too.
From the Main Line up to 202 the right of way would be easy to put back into service. It is pretty undeveloped except a few hours backing up to it. It would need to follow 202 into West Chester because west of 202 there is a lot of development.

I think the bigger issue going back to West Chester that way is the grade coming down from Morstein to the Main Line is quite steep. Could the Silverliners even make it up that hill?
  by rcthompson04
 
KOP is an obvious hole in the system without an easy way to get there. NHSL extension seems like the more viable option compared to Regional Rail coming off the Norristown Line going via the Trenton Cutoff.

The "transit advocacy" derision towards "exurban" projects is just asking for suburban areas to tell the "transit advocacy" to stuff it. The SEPTA maps being floated around give me pause as it seems like the "transit advocacy" community cannot even include relatively easy things like the Wawa extension that is opening in August, Coatesville in 2024, and the various Phoenixville schemes.
  by JeffK
 
My point about possibly lowering the KoP extension's priority is that New Starts rules are a bit like Yoda - "Do or do not", etc.. Lowering the priority of a project effectively gives up its place in the queue. If an agency has to go back later and reapply for funding along with redoing parts of the already crazy-complex planning process it could easily find itself under political pressure to abandon the whole thing.
rcthompson04 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:45 pm KOP is an obvious hole in the system without an easy way to get there. NHSL extension seems like the more viable option compared to Regional Rail coming off the Norristown Line going via the Trenton Cutoff.
That's correct. An RRD extension was part of the early grab-bag of possible options to fill in the KoP transit hole, but didn't make it past the first round. Among other reasons:

- Extending a heavy-rail RRD line would be a lot more expensive and disruptive than adding to the light-rail NHSL. It would need heavier trestles, a more-substantial ROW, and installation of catenary.

- As MACTRAXX notes, using the NHSL will tap into places that currently don't have ready access to the KoP job market.

- The NHSL is designed for service with single cars / single operators off peak, while the RRD is mandatory two-car trains with separate operators and conductors. Again, a cost savings.

- The NHSL is also really good at providing the flexible, short-headway service needed by an area with a combination of businesses and 10 am - 9:30 pm shopping. The RRD, not so much.

- It's definitely suboptimal, but the extension does provide a quasi link to the Norristown RRD in the form of tripper service through the wye near Hughes Park. The tripper would take maybe 8 minutes versus ~20 minutes for the 99 bus.

Now if there were only some way to invent a time machine and prevent the El from being built with broad gauge...
  by PHLSpecial
 
I don't think transit advocacy really matters in this context since the KOP rail is moving forward along with the Wawa and Coatesville extension.

Phoenixville is at least getting bus service but still far away from rail service no thanks to NS.

I'm going to shift my position here, if we are building these rail projects let's upzone the area around the stations, connect it with buses and more bike parking. Park and rides need to go away in favor of mixed use TOD. The renderings for KOP rail seem to support parking around the stations and makes it difficult to walk or bike to the office parks since there is no sidewalks and bike paths. KOP rail is happening but I'm commuting out to KOP by rail I would love to be able to walk to my office without fear of getting hit by a speeding pickup truck.
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:42 am I don't think transit advocacy really matters in this context since the KOP rail is moving forward along with the Wawa and Coatesville extension.

Phoenixville is at least getting bus service but still far away from rail service no thanks to NS.

I'm going to shift my position here, if we are building these rail projects let's upzone the area around the stations, connect it with buses and more bike parking. Park and rides need to go away in favor of mixed use TOD. The renderings for KOP rail seem to support parking around the stations and makes it difficult to walk or bike to the office parks since there is no sidewalks and bike paths. KOP rail is happening but I'm commuting out to KOP by rail I would love to be able to walk to my office without fear of getting hit by a speeding pickup truck.
I'm not the only one who noticed that KOP seems to still be of the park and ride mindset.
The Wawa station, doesn't look that connected to the neighborhood, or the Rt 1 bus, that it crosses.
  by rcthompson04
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:30 pm
PHLSpecial wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:42 am I don't think transit advocacy really matters in this context since the KOP rail is moving forward along with the Wawa and Coatesville extension.

Phoenixville is at least getting bus service but still far away from rail service no thanks to NS.

I'm going to shift my position here, if we are building these rail projects let's upzone the area around the stations, connect it with buses and more bike parking. Park and rides need to go away in favor of mixed use TOD. The renderings for KOP rail seem to support parking around the stations and makes it difficult to walk or bike to the office parks since there is no sidewalks and bike paths. KOP rail is happening but I'm commuting out to KOP by rail I would love to be able to walk to my office without fear of getting hit by a speeding pickup truck.
I'm not the only one who noticed that KOP seems to still be of the park and ride mindset.
The Wawa station, doesn't look that connected to the neighborhood, or the Rt 1 bus, that it crosses.
The Wawa station will have a path to Toll Brothers' Franklin Square development. https://www.tollbrothers.com/luxury-hom ... ity%20Link
  by PHLSpecial
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:21 pm
scratchyX1 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:30 pmI'm not the only one who noticed that KOP seems to still be of the park and ride mindset.
The Wawa station, doesn't look that connected to the neighborhood, or the Rt 1 bus, that it crosses.
The Wawa station will have a path to Toll Brothers' Franklin Square development. https://www.tollbrothers.com/luxury-hom ... ity%20Link
Yeah the riders will have to navigate a parking garage before walking to the single family houses.
This just highlights my point of how bad park and rides are. While we do need parking at the station a low-rise apartment could have fit there first. Coatesville does not look much better either but at least the town is built around the railroad.
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