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View Poll Results: Is SEPTA doing a great job in regards to bus, subway, and commuter rail overall??????
YES 7 53.85%
NO 6 46.15%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1101  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2015, 1:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan View Post
While riding on the trolley and the front car of the MFL yesterday from 30th to 15th Street, I had an idea on how a MFL station in Market West could be created with a possibly minimal relocation of utilities and drainage.

For anyone not familiar with the stretch of tunnel from 30th to 15th Street: after the El (or trolley) pulls out, there is a steep incline. This incline progresses until, presumably, the tunnel is under the Schuylkill. After this point, both the MFL and trolley lines ascend.

Another thing to consider is that the trolley line is below the grade of the MFL. This is especially apparent under 15th Street, where the trolleys circle around the foundation of City Hall, under the MFL, and over the BSL. Because the trolley line descends down the incline and passes under the MFL, why not create a new tunnel from the lowest point of the tunnel to 13th and Market? With the aforementioned solution, concrete could be poured on top of the new tunnel, creating a pad for a new bi-level 19th Street Station, with the upper portion for the MFL and the lower portion for the trolleys.

People familiar with engineering: could something like this be possible? I imagine that a solution like this would entail a minimal relocation of utilities and drainage. The only concern might come with the structural support columns of the tunnel.

EDIT: I probably should have posted this in the Transportation forum. Feel free to move that is post if this is the case.
Of course it's possible. Anything is possible. It's just a question of cost.
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  #1102  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2015, 9:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
This is actually a huge mistake on SEPTA's part of cutting off the 23 to South Phila and creating another route. While other transportation agencies are consolidating their surface routes (for example, the NYCTA had the former B40 and the B78 bus routes consolidated into the B47 via Ralph Ave from Kings Plaza to Broadway).

And what if trolleys were to come back on that route like the 15 did a few years back??? Splintering the 23 to make two bus routes is a very inefficient way of running the route (just like how SEPTA is inefficient), which is one of the busiest in the city. I was hoping the 23 came back in the form of a trolley from South Philly to Chestnut Hill, but like the ACC and the Mandeville, it's a project that's not likely to happen in the near future!!!
Most transportation types have long agreed the 23 needs to be split. The problem is that you've got a long and heavily-used route that actually functions more like three routes end-to-end-to-end. This meant that, due to frequent overcrowding, it also had cascade delays that affected less-busy South Philly. Anecdotally, I've found that the 23 was the most likely to bunch, which of course plays hob with frequency (no buses for an hour and then a bunch of four of 'em happened often enough to be irritating).

I don't agree with where they're splitting it, though -- Broad & Erie is a natural terminal and where most inbound riders from NW Philly transfer to the BSL; the section along 11th/12th and Germantown up to there functions more like a N-S core grid line.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan View Post
While riding on the trolley and the front car of the MFL yesterday from 30th to 15th Street, I had an idea on how a MFL station in Market West could be created with a possibly minimal relocation of utilities and drainage.

For anyone not familiar with the stretch of tunnel from 30th to 15th Street: after the El (or trolley) pulls out, there is a steep incline. This incline progresses until, presumably, the tunnel is under the Schuylkill. After this point, both the MFL and trolley lines ascend.

Another thing to consider is that the trolley line is below the grade of the MFL. This is especially apparent under 15th Street, where the trolleys circle around the foundation of City Hall, under the MFL, and over the BSL. Because the trolley line descends down the incline and passes under the MFL, why not create a new tunnel from the lowest point of the tunnel to 13th and Market? With the aforementioned solution, concrete could be poured on top of the new tunnel, creating a pad for a new bi-level 19th Street Station, with the upper portion for the MFL and the lower portion for the trolleys.

People familiar with engineering: could something like this be possible? I imagine that a solution like this would entail a minimal relocation of utilities and drainage. The only concern might come with the structural support columns of the tunnel.

EDIT: I probably should have posted this in the Transportation forum. Feel free to move that is post if this is the case.
It's possible, but I don't think the construction costs would pan out quite like that.

To begin with, inserting a new tunnel in an area already saturated with underground infrastructure isn't easy. Or cheap. While the tunnel corridor itself may be able to avoid other underground infrastructure, you'd still need a landing area and access tunnels, which probably cancels out the benefits.

The solution I came up with is to make a new concourse under the current tracks, and widen the tunnel between 19th and 21st into a new station box. What you do, then, is use the existing 19th St. carstop to access the new concourse on the east, and the sunken plaza between 2000 Market and the old AAA building (where the Wine & Spirits is) to directly access the concourse to the west. This solution would require the least amount of overall tunneling, although some utilities would doubtless have to be moved.

EDIT: Hey, cool, this "Move Posts" thingy does work.
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  #1103  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2016, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Most transportation types have long agreed the 23 needs to be split. The problem is that you've got a long and heavily-used route that actually functions more like three routes end-to-end-to-end. This meant that, due to frequent overcrowding, it also had cascade delays that affected less-busy South Philly. Anecdotally, I've found that the 23 was the most likely to bunch, which of course plays hob with frequency (no buses for an hour and then a bunch of four of 'em happened often enough to be irritating).

I don't agree with where they're splitting it, though -- Broad & Erie is a natural terminal and where most inbound riders from NW Philly transfer to the BSL; the section along 11th/12th and Germantown up to there functions more like a N-S core grid line.
I don't know who these transportation experts are, but I digress in this situation and say that the so-called transportation experts are full of it. The 23 is a historical route, from Chestnut Hill to South Philly, and if you can break up the 23, you might as well break up the 16, the 47, the 57, and all the other long surface routes in Philly's bus system.

Serious, this a big loss not just for SEPTA, IMHO, but for most commuters since most working and middle class people cannot afford to pay $4 each way via commuter rail in NW Phila (which really needs to be incorporated into the subway system, IMHO). You have to be upper middle class or rich to afford those rates.

Also, I don't understand why SEPTA hasn't brought back the 23 as a trolley like they did with the 15. I also believe that if we're going to compete with the likes of NYC, Boston, DC, Miami, Chicago, and SF, we need a much better transportation system than what we currently have because this system is very antiquated and stuck in the 1920's due to the fact that we only have two subway lines throughout the entire city when we could've had subway (heavy rail) coverage in NE, NW, and even SW Phila to parts of Montco, Buxco, and Delco.

I say this: fire all the bums that's running SEPTA now and replace them with people who know how to run and expand a system like the MTA and MBTA because this is getting ridiculous!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
It's possible, but I don't think the construction costs would pan out quite like that.

To begin with, inserting a new tunnel in an area already saturated with underground infrastructure isn't easy. Or cheap. While the tunnel corridor itself may be able to avoid other underground infrastructure, you'd still need a landing area and access tunnels, which probably cancels out the benefits.

The solution I came up with is to make a new concourse under the current tracks, and widen the tunnel between 19th and 21st into a new station box. What you do, then, is use the existing 19th St. carstop to access the new concourse on the east, and the sunken plaza between 2000 Market and the old AAA building (where the Wine & Spirits is) to directly access the concourse to the west. This solution would require the least amount of overall tunneling, although some utilities would doubtless have to be moved.

EDIT: Hey, cool, this "Move Posts" thingy does work.
I like your idea of widening the tunnels. I also believe that we need two new stations on the MFL on 18th and 22nd Sts. I also believe that we need to completely overhaul the MFL, add express service, replace the trains with the BSL trains, and make it compatible and even link the MFL to the BSL in CC as well as create more subway lines throughout this city!!!
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  #1104  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2016, 1:29 PM
Sgalla04 Sgalla04 is offline
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Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
I like your idea of widening the tunnels. I also believe that we need two new stations on the MFL on 18th and 22nd Sts. I also believe that we need to completely overhaul the MFL, add express service, replace the trains with the BSL trains, and make it compatible and even link the MFL to the BSL in CC as well as create more subway lines throughout this city!!!
Never going to happen to link the MSL to BSL. Unless someone decides to donate $250M. They run in opposite directions. It isn't all that bad they aren't connected, however I agree that more lines should be woven into the system and the different tracks shouldn't hinder that. Makes no sense there isn't a MFL stop in the CBD between 15th and 30th. And that the PATCO doesn't go to 24th St. Why are there PATCO stops every 3 blocks, but not west of Rittenhouse Sq? Other cities are adding metro lines and stops, Philly better invest before people leave.
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  #1105  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2016, 1:36 AM
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FRA presents expensive, alternative futures for Amtrak's Northeast Corridor

http://planphilly.com/articles/2016/...heast-corridor
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  #1106  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2016, 5:28 AM
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Originally Posted by summersm343 View Post
FRA presents expensive, alternative futures for Amtrak's Northeast Corridor

http://planphilly.com/articles/2016/...heast-corridor
Alternate 1 improves capacity with just a minor speed increases, and shaves 30 minutes between Boston and D.C. It's basically returning the NEC to a "state of good repair", and adding capacity where needed. The state of good repair includes refurbishing bridges and replacing the existing tunnels under Baltimore and under the Hudson River.
Alternate 2 and 3 build alternate routes in various amounts, both including building a tunnel under Philadelphia. I fail to understand why building a tunnel and two brand new Amtrak only train stations at considerable expense under Philadelphia helps? Haven't we learned that tunnels don't exist forever, and that tunnels are very expensive to maintain? Why must Amtrak build it when they already own the existing corridor. In my humble opinion, if Philadelphia wants to build two new train stations and a new rail corridor underground, let SEPTA do so. I feel SEPTA commuters will rather use them than 30th Street Station anyways.
It would be a mistake to send HSR passengers to these two new stations where there wouldn't be other local trains to move them closer to the final destination
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  #1107  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2016, 9:07 PM
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Not only is the tunnel a needless expense it actually moves the station further from the center of commerce and innovation in Philadelphia. The business district centers around 18th and Market and Penn and Drexel are already next to 30th Street along with the Science Center.
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  #1108  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2016, 9:14 PM
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Regarding the 23, I used to regularly ride this route to get to and from work in Chestnut Hill while living at Temple. What Summers said is true, most people who are on the bus in the North West get off and Broad and Erie. The remaining people almost all filtered off by the time the bus hits Girard Ave.

I believe SEPTA conducted a survey and discovered that about 100 people a day would be forced to make the transfer as they use the route right now. I expect that many of those people will now make the transfer to the subway or use the subway originally to reach South Philly.

If a portion of the route is brought back as a street car it would be the northern portion between Chestnut Hill and Broad Street. As a two way street Germantown Ave is less prone to double parking obstructing the route which was a major issue cited with the pervious arrangement, particularly in South Philly.
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  #1109  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2016, 7:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgalla04 View Post
Never going to happen to link the MSL to BSL. Unless someone decides to donate $250M. They run in opposite directions. It isn't all that bad they aren't connected, however I agree that more lines should be woven into the system and the different tracks shouldn't hinder that. Makes no sense there isn't a MFL stop in the CBD between 15th and 30th. And that the PATCO doesn't go to 24th St. Why are there PATCO stops every 3 blocks, but not west of Rittenhouse Sq? Other cities are adding metro lines and stops, Philly better invest before people leave.
I never understood why the MFL had to be completely different to the BSL when it came to rolling stock. I also never understood why the Route 100 to Norristown was never connected to the MFL and the Routes 101 and 102 heavy rail which could go to Media and Chester PA. I look at the MFL like this: to me, it's the ugly duckling in the SEPTA system.

It's useful, but it doesn't have any express service like the BSL, it doesn't go all the way to the NE and Bensalem, all the subway stations are unattractive and old, and inside the MFL trains, the seats are all cloth, which makes for a messy situation.

If the city planners at the turn of the century had any foresight, then what should've happened was to not only make the subway system into one type of rolling stock. In other words, the railroad gauge needs to be uniform. And I can agree that we need more subway lines in the city as well as the rest of the area!!!
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  #1110  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2016, 5:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
I never understood why the MFL had to be completely different to the BSL when it came to rolling stock. I also never understood why the Route 100 to Norristown was never connected to the MFL and the Routes 101 and 102 heavy rail which could go to Media and Chester PA. I look at the MFL like this: to me, it's the ugly duckling in the SEPTA system.

It's useful, but it doesn't have any express service like the BSL, it doesn't go all the way to the NE and Bensalem, all the subway stations are unattractive and old, and inside the MFL trains, the seats are all cloth, which makes for a messy situation.

If the city planners at the turn of the century had any foresight, then what should've happened was to not only make the subway system into one type of rolling stock. In other words, the railroad gauge needs to be uniform. And I can agree that we need more subway lines in the city as well as the rest of the area!!!
In short the issue is that the MLF is 5' 2.5" PA trolley gauge where as the BSL and NHSL are 4' 8.5" standard gauge. This difference arose because the routes were originally constructed and operated by different private companies.
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  #1111  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2016, 1:42 AM
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Not to mention, the MFL was constructed in the PA trolley gauge to eliminate the possibility of a major railroad company possibly buying them out. At least that's what I ready anyway. Pittsburgh's light rail system is entirely in PA Trolley gauge as well. I think the entire trolley system -- you know, before the city became incredibly stupid and ripped out the tracks, was that gauge.

With all this talk of trolleys. I was in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, and I noticed that there are trolley tracks that run along Germantown Ave. Why is that no longer in use???
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  #1112  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2016, 8:00 PM
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  #1113  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2016, 6:40 AM
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5 SEPTA Projects You Can Expect Progress on This Year

Septa Key
Concourse refurbishment
Elevators at Arrot (Margret Orthodox) and 40th Street
Improved "real time" info
Upgraded Frazer Yard
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  #1114  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2016, 3:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
Not to mention, the MFL was constructed in the PA trolley gauge to eliminate the possibility of a major railroad company possibly buying them out. At least that's what I ready anyway. Pittsburgh's light rail system is entirely in PA Trolley gauge as well. I think the entire trolley system -- you know, before the city became incredibly stupid and ripped out the tracks, was that gauge.

With all this talk of trolleys. I was in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, and I noticed that there are trolley tracks that run along Germantown Ave. Why is that no longer in use???
Just ask SEPTA!!!
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  #1115  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2016, 4:27 AM
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Lightbulb Ways to Improve SEPTA!!!

Hello, SSP forumers!!! I've opened up a new thread about SEPTA, and it seems like there's a lot of good ideas, as well as opinions, regarding SEPTA. I'm already aware that we already have a forum about Philadelphia Transportation, but I also wanted to open up a new thread about how SEPTA can be improved and more effectively operated through our fair city.

One of my pet peeves about SEPTA seems to be the fact that you have to pay an extra dollar just to get either a bus or train transfer, meanwhile NYC's transit agency, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, provides paying commuters on it's bus and subway system with free transfers. Other cities, like Boston, have bus to bus transfers which you pay, but is practically a lot cheaper than what SEPTA provides. The $1 transfer fee, along with the $2.25 base fare means that commuters who take SEPTA to and from work, have to pay, arguably, the highest transportation fares in the nation when it comes to cities!!!

Another of my peeves is that although SEPTA's subway system does do it's job transporting commuters to North, South, and West Philly, there's no subway service to much of NE Philly, as well as NW and SW Philly, as well as parts of Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks Counties that are closely adjacent to Philly. Cities like Chicago, DC, Boston, SF, and Miami provide service not only within their respective cities, but also adjacent communities. SEPTA's subway system only serves the communities of Millbourne and Upper Darby. It's arguable whether one can consider the Norristown High Speed Line a part of the subway system, since there's no free interchange between the NHSL and the MFL at 69th St, which is another peeve about SEPTA.

Another one is the fact that since NW Philly is served by Regional Rail to Chestnut Hill East and West and to Norristown, SW Philly is served by the Airport Line, and NE Philly is served by the Fox Chase and Trenton lines, there's no subway service in NE, NW, and SW Phila. The only routes in which you pay the base fare are the local bus routes. In order to use the Regional Rail lines, you must pay at least $4 each way. NYC was able to convert the LIRR Rockaway Line into subway service, Chicago was able to convert former railroad ROW's into the Orange Line to Midway Airport, and Boston plans to convert the Fairmount Line into another heavy rail line. Philadelphia can do the same!!!

I've always felt that converting some of the Regional Rail lines (with the exception of the Trenton line) into the subway system is a cost effective measure since people who live in the city and live close to the aforementioned lines will be able to use the lines more frequently, and by using the newly converted subway lines, will be a great windfall for not only SEPTA, but for the city of Philadelphia, since we'll have a subway system that's capable of reaching all parts of the city!!!

Even the bus system doesn't make any sense to me. There's one route, which operates every day, the 60 from Richmond and Westmoreland, but it doesn't go to Wissahickon Transportation Center but rather stops at 35th and Allegheny. Another route, the 26, starts from Chelten and Germantown and heads to Frankford TC, but that route goes all around Northeast Phila before it heads to Frankford TC. And finally, there's the fiasco with the 23 being split up into two routes. There's been differing opinions about the 23 and while a lot agree that the 23 needed to be split up, I felt that 47M, which served South Philly via 9th St, did the job that the 45 is currently doing!!! All SEPTA had to do was to maintain the 47M while restoring trolley service on the 23. It boggles my head why the 15 was restored to trolley service while the 23 was never restored into the original trolley service but split apart instead!!!

SEPTA, since 1964, was supposed to maintain the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad passenger service and maintain the PTC system, but in my opinion, I haven't seen any progress thus far and lines like the Bethlehem, Reading, and West Chester branches only remain as memories. I'd love to see all those lines come back just for the sake of traveling to and from those cities as well as maintaining viable links to those cities via Philadelphia. I say the only way for all this to happen is to completely reform SEPTA from the top down!!!
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  #1116  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2016, 7:32 AM
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Fire everyone who works for SEPTA on the higher levels.... Listen to Employees and Urban Planners and SEPTA would become the best system on the East Coast...
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  #1117  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2016, 3:19 PM
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It comes down to money. SEPTA gets 1/3 or so of the budget of comparable systems (WMATA, NYCTA, MBTA, etc.)

Despite this, they don't have safety issues or budget crises every year. The system is run excellently and well within its means.

Unfortunately, this means deferring sexy projects like the Boulevard subway, Schuylkill Valley Metro, what have you, until they can actually pay for them.

Neither Harrisburg nor the City seems willing to contribute dollars towards capital funding, so we're stuck with what we got right now, with slow incremental expansion.
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  #1118  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2016, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by donoteat View Post
It comes down to money. SEPTA gets 1/3 or so of the budget of comparable systems (WMATA, NYCTA, MBTA, etc.)

Despite this, they don't have safety issues or budget crises every year. The system is run excellently and well within its means.

Unfortunately, this means deferring sexy projects like the Boulevard subway, Schuylkill Valley Metro, what have you, until they can actually pay for them.

Neither Harrisburg nor the City seems willing to contribute dollars towards capital funding, so we're stuck with what we got right now, with slow incremental expansion.
Money is only part of the problem , the other is the management at SEPTA has always been disconnected with the community it services... I think that's more of a problem then lack of funding..
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  #1119  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2016, 2:15 AM
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Originally Posted by donoteat View Post
It comes down to money. SEPTA gets 1/3 or so of the budget of comparable systems (WMATA, NYCTA, MBTA, etc.)

Despite this, they don't have safety issues or budget crises every year. The system is run excellently and well within its means.

Unfortunately, this means deferring sexy projects like the Boulevard subway, Schuylkill Valley Metro, what have you, until they can actually pay for them.

Neither Harrisburg nor the City seems willing to contribute dollars towards capital funding, so we're stuck with what we got right now, with slow incremental expansion.
When Rendell became governor of PA, I was elated to have the one-time mayor of the largest city in the state become the commander-in-chief of the state. I believe Rendell could've done a lot more towards transportation issues like he did with casino gambling, the least I expected was to fix and restore the regional rail system to the Lehigh Valley, Berks County, and Amish Country, but that has yet to be realized. The city and the state needs to make this a binding issue, along with education, taxes, fracking, and the annual budget!!!

The Boulevard Subway can work, but my problem with it is the length of travel from Broad St all the way to Southampton and further along into Bensalem. It's too damn long and the only way to make the Northeast subway work is to link it with the MFL and overhaul the entire line, making it compatible with the BSL!!! We don't need another light rail system in SE PA, which is what the SVM is. Rather than worrying about "sexy projects" like the Boulevard Subway and the Schuykill Valley Metro, SEPTA should've been running the Regional Rail Line and keeping the destinations like Allentown, Easton, Reading, Lancaster, and West Chester intact in the system instead of cutting lines because SEPTA was too lazy to run RDG units when it's necessary!!!

I'll leave it to the Philly and PA born residents to figure this one out because I'm just tired of running my mouth and holding any hope for a dysfunctional system like SEPTA since somebody from NYC doesn't know a thing about running a transportation agency!!!
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