Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  • 186 posts
  • 1
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  by Wayside Observer
 
I'd be surprised if it runs again next year. The ridership levels averaged 200 on a train that could seat over 1000. Time will yell.
  by Terrapin Station
 
Wayside Observer wrote:I'd be surprised if it runs again next year. The ridership levels averaged 200 on a train that could seat over 1000. Time will yell.
That's not a valid measure of success. First, the train cannot hold 1000 people from east of NYP because the train becomes a revenue NJT NEC train west of NYP. So the train also has to hold all of the "normal + gameday" riders who board at NYP wb and detrain at NYP eb. Second, that says nothing about how many people the planners expected to ride the train, as well as how many people are needed to make the service either cost neutral or to incur only some specifically allowed/defined loss.
  by Tommy Meehan
 
Terrapin Station wrote:Second, that says nothing about how many people the planners expected to ride the train...
That's a good point but I'm not sure the MTA ever did say how much ridership they expected. I could never find it at any rate. But I think that is maybe too narrow a view of this.

Because what they did say was that the future challenge is to implement inter-regional service across agency lines. That the football specials were a "good way to get our feet wet." To get Metro-North and New Jersey Transit working together on a joint service. One MTA official said that they had "proved it could be done."

What I really wonder is, do you think in 2061 people will still be as dependent on the private automobile as they are today? If they aren't then the MTA planners are right, operating service across agency boundaries will be the challenge facing the planners of the future.

[edited for typo]
Last edited by Tommy Meehan on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Terrapin Station wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Apparently, no one has told the Wall Street Journal about the train's demise:
No one has told us yet either.
Was this, or was this not a pre-planned two-year experiment?

-otto-
  by Terrapin Station
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Apparently, no one has told the Wall Street Journal about the train's demise:
No one has told us yet either.
Was this, or was this not a pre-planned two-year experiment?

-otto-
Some people here claim it was a pre-planned two-year experiment. But either way, that doesn't necessarily mean the train's fate for next year is one way or the other.
  by Terrapin Station
 
Tommy Meehan wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:Second, that says nothing about how many people the planners expected to ride the train...
That's a good point but I'm not sure the MTA ever did say how much ridership they expected. I could never find it at any rate.
Thanks.

No, I've never seen public documents containing ridership projections. That's one reason why it doesn't make sense that people here are coming to the conclusion of "low ridership". They have nothing valid to compare against.
  by MNR's #1 Conductor
 
Steamboat Willie wrote:Speaking of lack of advertising, Yankee Stadium service was advertised on the score board in the stadium as well as frequent ads on 880am. Meadowlands service hasn't enjoyed the same promotion, although advertisements onboard trains were done.
This is exactly what I said is the reason why the Meadowlands service did not take off the way it really should and could have.....piss poor advertising!! Had a more detailed advertisement, be it by paper, radio/TV news media, online ads at the MTA website, etc. had been done at least 6 or 7 months in advance to give the potential ridership a heads-up about such a service being run, how it will run, how much rides cost, eyc., I think it would all have worked out much better.

Also the scheduling was a little screwy too!! Had all 3 of the original trains been scheduled, each, about a half hour earlier than when they were originally run, with all 3 trains getting people to New Jersey and eventually onto the Meadowlands Station and the stadiums well before the 1 PM games (unlike how the very last of the 3 trains originally ran, got to New Jersey and the stadium right about at kickoff time!!), I think the ridership would have played out much better. When riding the train the time I rode it last year, many people stated how they never even knew of this train until the start of the football season!! Much earlier advertisement would have definitely made the difference, along with better scheduling.
  by DutchRailnut
 
The real reason is not to many fans in Connecticut, and those who are like to tailgate
  by Clean Cab
 
Despite what some have said, ridership determines what trains run and don't run. The jury is still out about this service bring revived for another year. But considering how strapped all 3 states are for money these days, I'd guess the odds are quite low.

As to how well advertised this service was, I'd say MN did a good job. All last fall I kept hearing this announcement at GCT..........

"Let Metro-North take you to the end zone. Metro-North now provides direct service to Jets and Giants games at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Pick up a brouchure or visit www.mta.info".
  by Tommy Meehan
 
I think one problem was the fact there was no service to the 4 PM games. I'm sure there were operating reasons for that but it probably hurt ridership.

Announcements in GCT are fine but spot ads on sports radio stations like WFAN or ESPN radio would've been better.

As I have mentioned previously, the Giants-Jets sell a combined 90,000 season tickets to all eight regular season games. That's a lot of people and they know where the people live. As an NFL fan I don't believe for one second the two teams don't have a huge following in Fairfield County CT.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Clean Cab wrote:Despite what some have said, ridership determines what trains run and don't run. The jury is still out about this service bring revived for another year. But considering how strapped all 3 states are for money these days, I'd guess the odds are quite low.

As to how well advertised this service was, I'd say MN did a good job. All last fall I kept hearing this announcement at GCT..........

"Let Metro-North take you to the end zone. Metro-North now provides direct service to Jets and Giants games at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Pick up a brouchure or visit http://www.mta.info".
There was ZERO mention of it in the New Haven Line timetables! Even the New York Central and the Penn Central used to run an ad targeted to Giants fans in the Harlem Line timetable when they ran "Football Specials" to Melrose and then bus connection to Yankee Stadium (yes, pre-Giants Stadium)... No mention of Meadowlands service in the last couple of New Haven Line timetable issues. Metro-North did the bare minimum to promote this service, and everyone got what they wanted. Next.

-otto-
  by Clean Cab
 
It seems that these trains will run for yet another season. The MN crews who qualified between New Rochelle and Penn Station have begun to take head end rides on Amtrak trains to maintain their qualifications. I did my two round trips last week.
  by Terrapin Station
 
MNR's #1 Conductor wrote:
Steamboat Willie wrote:Speaking of lack of advertising, Yankee Stadium service was advertised on the score board in the stadium as well as frequent ads on 880am. Meadowlands service hasn't enjoyed the same promotion, although advertisements onboard trains were done.
This is exactly what I said is the reason why the Meadowlands service did not take off the way it really should and could have.....piss poor advertising!! Had a more detailed advertisement, be it by paper, radio/TV news media, online ads at the MTA website, etc. had been done at least 6 or 7 months in advance to give the potential ridership a heads-up about such a service being run, how it will run, how much rides cost, eyc., I think it would all have worked out much better.

Also the scheduling was a little screwy too!! Had all 3 of the original trains been scheduled, each, about a half hour earlier than when they were originally run, with all 3 trains getting people to New Jersey and eventually onto the Meadowlands Station and the stadiums well before the 1 PM games (unlike how the very last of the 3 trains originally ran, got to New Jersey and the stadium right about at kickoff time!!), I think the ridership would have played out much better. When riding the train the time I rode it last year, many people stated how they never even knew of this train until the start of the football season!! Much earlier advertisement would have definitely made the difference, along with better scheduling.
Maybe the advertising could have been better. But it's not like they didn't advertise it at all. It was advertised.

As for the scheduling, how do you know that the trains could have even been run 30 minutes earlier? There are strict parameters on number and times of trains that can go through the North River Tunnels on weekends. Furthermore, the portion from NYP to SEC is a regularly scheduled train. You're saying they should adjust the schedule of regularly scheduled trains just so the fans can get there 30 minutes earlier? Why couldn't the fans who want to get there earlier just take an earlier train?
  by Terrapin Station
 
DutchRailnut wrote:The real reason is not to many fans in Connecticut, and those who are like to tailgate
No, that's your guess. You have nothing to substantiate either of those claims. You also have not even stated just how many people did ride, and how this number compares to what was expected.
  by Terrapin Station
 
Tommy Meehan wrote:I think one problem was the fact there was no service to the 4 PM games. I'm sure there were operating reasons for that but it probably hurt ridership.

Announcements in GCT are fine but spot ads on sports radio stations like WFAN or ESPN radio would've been better.

As I have mentioned previously, the Giants-Jets sell a combined 90,000 season tickets to all eight regular season games. That's a lot of people and they know where the people live. As an NFL fan I don't believe for one second the two teams don't have a huge following in Fairfield County CT.
Yes, the teams know where the season ticket holders live (or at least where they get their mail). However, many season ticket holders do not attend all games and give/sell their tickets to some games to other people who may not live in the same place they do. So when planning for how many people will ride, you can't just go by the addresses of season ticket holders. There's more to it.
  • 1
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13