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  1. #1
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    Default NJT - 30th St. to Penn Station?

    Septa provides rail service to Delaware.

    Jersey Transit goes into Manhattan from Trenton.

    Jersey Transit already serves 30th Street, for its Atlantic City line.

    Hamilton is a madhouse because of all of the Bucks County commuters who drive there to catch the train to Manhattan.

    I don't understand why Jersey Transit and Septa don't have some kind of one seat ride from 30th Street to Penn Station. Philly would really benefit from having a more useful cheap alternative to Amtrak to get to and from New York City. It would really increase ridership on the line, and it would really increase property values around places like North Philly and Bridesburg stations. The infrastructure is already in place, and there is already duplication of service. The only remaining thing to be worked out is the cost and revenue sharing. Why not?

    There are alot of jobs along the Route 1 Corridor in New Jersey. My neighbor across the street is a very intelligent, very well educated medical equipment guy, and he walks to the R8, goes one stop to North Philly, takes the R7 to Trenton, and takes NJT to New Brunswick, where he works. It takes about 2.5 hours each way, and the only reason he does it is because it would be even worse to drive.
    Last edited by billy ross; 03-30-2009 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross View Post
    I don't understand why Jersey Transit and Septa don't have some kind of one seat ride from 30th Street to Penn Station. Philly would really benefit from having a more useful cheap alternative to Amtrak to get to and from New York City. It would really increase ridership on the line, and it would really increase property values around places like North Philly and Bridesburg stations. The infrastructure is already in place, and there is already duplication of service. The only remaining thing to be worked out is the cost and revenue sharing. Why not?
    DelDOT pays SEPTA. Amtrak used to run the service to AC, NJT took it over because no one rode it. Amtrak makes money to pay for infrastructure from NY-Philly. NJT wouldn't pay the premium to run such a service and neither woudl SEPTA. The pricing problem is twofold. Amtrak doesn't capture the RE benefit (like the Pennsy used to) and the benefit woudl really be to Philly. Second, there's really no reason Amtrak couldn't run the service themselves (PA already pays Amtrak to run reasonably priced service to Harrisburg). there you have it. inertia. You have three agencies doing what one company (Pennsy) used to. It's a great idea and you'll find my threads on it scattered all over PS and PB. PA pays Amtrak to run the Keystone to Harrisburg from NYC, why not lower prices all the way to NYC and keep them unreserved? I think if you knocked 25% off the monthly fare to NYC that woudl be reasonable (It's something like $500 mo on NJT/SEPTA isn't it?)

  3. #3
    NE19149 is offline (^!^)
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    It's always got to be complicated, eh?
    Simplification is too easy.
    The way it is now, the pubic (me included) has to sit on layover (R7/NJT) in stinky dirty Trenton station waiting to get to NYC.
    Is that nice?
    They don't care, it's all about money and greed.

  4. #4
    billy ross is offline Senior Member
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    Even if the trains are perfectly co-ordinated, the switchover in Trenton is disruptive (preventing napping or becoming engrossed in your work, for instance) and it takes time. I agree that PA would need to pay NJT for running this, but PA already pays SEPTA to do the same thing - what would the difference be to the agencies? PATCO already took over a subway line in Philly, causing the Ridge Avenue Subway to become a dead-end spur, so there is precedent for this, and with new fare-collecting technologies it shouldn't be a seamful as the PATCO / Septa disconnect. If SEPTA is afraid of turf issues, maybe it and NJT could run the entire line (alternating trains), with each agency getting it's take of the revenues, which would surely be much larger than they are now, due to increased ridership, especially on the SEPTA portion.
    Last edited by billy ross; 03-31-2009 at 07:24 AM.

  5. #5
    desolate's Avatar
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    It really shows how backwards the US approaches rail.


    Washington to Boston should be the pinnacle of the system in terms of efficiency and speed.

    Sadly I think it still is the best example and that isn't saying much.


    Dozens of regional entities cobbled with Amtrak.

  6. #6
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by desolate View Post
    It really shows how backwards the US approaches rail.


    Washington to Boston should be the pinnacle of the system in terms of efficiency and speed.

    Sadly I think it still is the best example and that isn't saying much.


    Dozens of regional entities cobbled with Amtrak.
    bingo. in the US, passenger rail (freight is actually pretty well run) has become a bunch of bickering government agencies. on the NEC, they broke up the Pennsy which ahs been replaced by MEtro North, MBTA, NJT, SEPTA, DART, and MARC plus Amtrak. PRobably the best solution would be for Amtrak make the NEC a wholly owned subsidiary and absorb the commuter lines on its right of way, operating them and scheduling them. They already run trains though, why not commuter trains too?
    Quote Originally Posted by billy ross
    I agree that PA would need to pay NJT for running this, but PA already pays SEPTA to do the same thing - what would the difference be to the agencies?
    perhaps the point you are missing is this. The tracks are owned and maintained by Amtrak. Amtrak woudl want to be compensated for the lost revenue, this is the increase that SEPTA and NJT wouldn't want to pay. Moreover, theoretically, Amtrak should be able to run the service more cheaply because unlike SEPTA/NJT, they don't switch crews at Trenton. What I proposed was for PA to pay for the WHOLE Keystone train rather than just the Philly-Harrisburg segment. There are already ten trains a day that ply this route from NY to Harrisburg. That's not to say SEPTA and NJT couldn't runa service, but it would have to be more expensive than simply adding the two fares together. I do agree wholeheartedly that there's a missing level of service. I don't see PATCO as a good example. They basically took an underutilized line. It's quite different.

  7. #7
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    I posted somewhere, either here or a while back, that extending the R7 to Penn Station NYC could be really useful. Maybe even just one round trip each day to start.

    For NJ residents, it would provide express service from Trenton to NYC. For PA residents, it could be a one-seat ride from their usual station to NYC.

    NJT could run an express from Trenton to 30th Street. PA residents could get an express to 30th. NJT riders would get a one-seat ride from their usual station to 30th.

    These should be extensions of regularly scheduled service stopping at the usual stops for each line's route. It would balance out at since each line would have non-over lapping express service.

    If Amtrak could do it cheaper, why don't they already? The SEPTA/NJT combo is much cheaper than Amtrak, although with fewer stations to service, Amtrak would seem to be less expensive to operate between 30th and Penn Station NYC.

  8. #8
    desolate's Avatar
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    You would need almost Presidential level directive to solve this.

  9. #9
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoats View Post
    If Amtrak could do it cheaper, why don't they already? The SEPTA/NJT combo is much cheaper than Amtrak, although with fewer stations to service, Amtrak would seem to be less expensive to operate between 30th and Penn Station NYC.
    It'll be a cold day in hell before SEPTA runs an express train to Penn station, trust me. Are you asking me why Amtrak's prices or costs aren't lower?
    Amtrak not only has fewer stations but it doesn't change crews.
    The only answer I have to your question is politics, bureaucracy. There's really no good reason. Amtrak considers a Keystone to be a Regional once it is north of Philadelphia, even though it's clearly not. As far as I can tell, it's $534 to get to Trenton monthly and Amtrak is about $500 more per month. to me a fair monthly price would be about $750/mo, maybe $800. a 25% fare cut would also make it about $68 RT for a singe ride. Not great, but more reasonable than $90. I don't know what fair is, but certainly something along the lines of $50 RT seems a reasonable premium price...esp for leisure travel. you should email amtrak with your complaint otherwise, try desolate's solution for your other idea.

  10. #10
    Illiniwek's Avatar
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    I don't want to ride a SEPTA train all the way to NY. The seats are beat up and it's hard for someone my size to get comfortable. I wouldn't mind going the whole distance in an NJ Transit train that didn't stop anywhere in SEPTAland other than the three CC stops.

    As it is, I split the difference when I go to NY. I drive to Hamilton and catch the NJT train there. That saves me a lot of time and discomfort of be a SEPTA rider going all the way to the end of the line.

  11. #11
    thunda is offline Local celebrity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illiniwek View Post
    I don't want to ride a SEPTA train all the way to NY. The seats are beat up and it's hard for someone my size to get comfortable. I wouldn't mind going the whole distance in an NJ Transit train that didn't stop anywhere in SEPTAland other than the three CC stops.

    As it is, I split the difference when I go to NY. I drive to Hamilton and catch the NJT train there. That saves me a lot of time and discomfort of be a SEPTA rider going all the way to the end of the line.
    I find the majority of SEPTA's Regional Rail cars are equal or better than NJT's fleet in terms of general "niceness" . It's only the oldest cars that have visibly worn seating and interiors, and in any case, NJT doesn't provide any greater leg room than SEPTA.

    As an anecote, I had a job interview in Stamford, CT a few years ago and had to take SEPTA, NJT, PATH, NYC Subway, and Metro-North to get there. Only the newish Metro-North cars were more pleasant than the R7.

  12. #12
    Illiniwek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunda View Post
    I find the majority of SEPTA's Regional Rail cars are equal or better than NJT's fleet in terms of general "niceness" . It's only the oldest cars that have visibly worn seating and interiors, and in any case, NJT doesn't provide any greater leg room than SEPTA.

    As an anecote, I had a job interview in Stamford, CT a few years ago and had to take SEPTA, NJT, PATH, NYC Subway, and Metro-North to get there. Only the newish Metro-North cars were more pleasant than the R7.
    What was my bad luck? I kept ending up on a crappy bench seat with half the springs shot.

    While the new NJT cars do not offer a wealth of leg room, I am able to slouch more comfortably in their seats. Of course, on the ride home from Hamilton, I'm able to recline the seat and stretch out the leg room -- assuming K is driving, that is.

  13. #13
    raider.adam is offline Senior Member
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    Every month or so I have to go to NY for work. About two years ago I finally got my employer to pay for Amtrak (not Acela).

    Driving takes way too long and horribly stressful (sure it is quick driving up to NY, but once you hit the Tunnel and have to drive in Manhattan, forget about it).

    SEPTA to NJT takes too long mainly because the layovers are horribly timed. Why would they have schedules where people coming in from Philly would need to wait 20 or so minutes to get on the train to NY? Granted no transfer is even better, but that 20 or so minute layover pretty much kills any time efficiency. (But it is a relatively cheap ticket.)

    Now, as for a non stop between Philly and NY, I would think what was touched on earlier may be the solution. Amtrak take over all service on the NE Corridor and let SEPTA and NJT pay Amtrak for respective services and subsidizing certain ticket prices. You would think there would be some significant cost savings that could be attained.

    As for the above comment about "money and greed", of course it is about money. Unicorns and rainbows don't maintain steel rails.

  14. #14
    Sharkfood is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE19149 View Post
    It's always got to be complicated, eh?
    Simplification is too easy.
    The way it is now, the pubic (me included) has to sit on layover (R7/NJT) in stinky dirty Trenton station waiting to get to NYC.
    Is that nice?
    They don't care, it's all about money and greed.
    I'm guessing you haven't been to Trenton station lately. (In the final stages of a massive renovation project)

  15. #15
    Sharkfood is offline Senior Member
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    I think realistically the most we can hope for is that SEPTA starts running an R7 express designed for people heading up to New York (or people heading down from New York to Philadelphia). SEPTA did this on an experimental basis during the Flower Show. Let's hope it becomes permanent.

    Since NJ Transit stores its trains in a yard in Morrisville, PA, for a while, there was talk of a NJ Transit station on the Pennsylvania side of the river, but it never materialized.

    It would be great if SEPTA opened a station in Morrisville on the R7. It would save a lot of people time if they could catch a SEPTA train for one stop from Morrisville to Trenton and didn't have to cross the river into Trenton or Hamilton to pick up NJ Transit.

  16. #16
    eldondre is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
    I think realistically the most we can hope for is that SEPTA starts running an R7 express designed for people heading up to New York (or people heading down from New York to Philadelphia). SEPTA did this on an experimental basis during the Flower Show. Let's hope it becomes permanent.

    Since NJ Transit stores its trains in a yard in Morrisville, PA, for a while, there was talk of a NJ Transit station on the Pennsylvania side of the river, but it never materialized.

    It would be great if SEPTA opened a station in Morrisville on the R7. It would save a lot of people time if they could catch a SEPTA train for one stop from Morrisville to Trenton and didn't have to cross the river into Trenton or Hamilton to pick up NJ Transit.
    why doesn't morrisville build the station and ask either SEPTA or NJT (which has a yard there) to stop at it?

  17. #17
    desolate's Avatar
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    A morrisbille station is a good idea.

    An express Septa train isn't. It's well used as a local train (packed)

    With limited "times" Septa can run trains on the NEC taking a local slot that bypasses the city seems like a waste and a limited umber of cars and trains needed to move the inbound rush in the AM.

    Riding the R7 to Trenton for about 2 years that train is pretty much empty by Cornwells Heights outbound in the PM.

    Anyone like to add to that?

    How many are getting off at Trenton in the afternoons from the R7?

 

 

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