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Deucey

NYCDOT: What if we saved the subway by getting folks to use the other trains we have here???

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I don't like the idea at all.  Commuter trains are just that. They are NOT subways.  A lot of people in my neighborhood have stopped taking the (1) train and switched to Metro-North. Why? A more civilized comfortable ride where you don't have people packed on top of you and you can have a nice ride into work and home.  One of the things I complained about at the Metro-North meeting in Riverdale when they increased service for us was that some peak trains were far too crowded (just like subways).  For $9.25 to have to stand all the way to Grand Central is absurd.  I fixed that problem by taking another train but still.  

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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I don't like the idea at all.  Commuter trains are just that. They are NOT subways.  A lot of people in my neighborhood have stopped taking the (1) train and switched to Metro-North. Why? A more civilized comfortable ride where you don't have people packed on top of you and you can have a nice ride into work and home.  One of the things I complained about at the Metro-North meeting in Riverdale when they increased service for us was that some peak trains were far too crowded (just like subways).  For $9.25 to have to stand all the way to Grand Central is absurd.  I fixed that problem by taking another train but still.  

So let me get this straight: you want the comforts of commuter rail to be reserved for you and your friends?

I honestly don't care what something is supposed to be. If it can be used in more than one way, let it be so used. I think that the MTA doing a better job at providing transportation in NYC is a good thing. 

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9 minutes ago, RR503 said:

So let me get this straight: you want the comforts of commuter rail to be reserved for you and your friends?

I honestly don't care what something is supposed to be. If it can be used in more than one way, let it be so used. I think that the MTA doing a better job at providing transportation in NYC is a good thing. 

I'll get it straight for you.... The stations as they're currently configured are NOT set up to handle large crowds.  Is NYC ready to invest monies into all of these stations to allow that AND invest in trains that can hold such crowds?  It's nice that you support this but NYC doesn't even want to invest in the subways, so how in the hell do they have money to invest in converting commuter rail service for the suburbs and areas like mine that are suburban that don't have subways?  There's a lot that comes with this that people aren't thinking about.  Parking, congestion, quality of life issues, and so on.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I'll get it straight for you.... The stations are they're currently configured are NOT set up to handle large crowds.  Is NYC ready to invest monies into all of these stations to allow that AND invest in trains that can hold such crowds?  It's nice that you support this but NYC doesn't even want to invest in the subways, so how in the hell do they have money to invest in converting commuter rail service for the suburbs and areas like mine that are suburban that don't have subways?  There's a lot that comes with this that people aren't thinking about.  Parking, congestion, quality of life issues, and so on.  

Yeahhhh the stations can handle it. They have platforms which are generally as wide as elevated subway plats, and have staircases that meet the same criteria. I also don't expect some massive number of people to shift to commuter trains. Subway brings easier connectivity, so this reduced fare commuter rail system will only serve a subsegment of the commuting populations adjacent to commuter rail stations. 

In general, commuter trains in NYC have insane amounts of latent capacity. Yes, whichever train you take in the AM may not, but there are tens of thousands of unfilled seats during the rush hours. Both from a logical and financial perspective, it only makes sense to fill them. 

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I

9 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I'll get it straight for you.... The stations are they're currently configured are NOT set up to handle large crowds.  Is NYC ready to invest monies into all of these stations to allow that AND invest in trains that can hold such crowds?  It's nice that you support this but NYC doesn't even want to invest in the subways, so how in the hell do they have money to invest in converting commuter rail service for the suburbs and areas like mine that are suburban that don't have subways?  There's a lot that comes with this that people aren't thinking about.  Parking, congestion, quality of life issues, and so on.  

If the MTA ran more trains for the demand what more investment will solve the problem?

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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I don't like the idea at all.  Commuter trains are just that. They are NOT subways.  A lot of people in my neighborhood have stopped taking the (1) train and switched to Metro-North. Why? A more civilized comfortable ride where you don't have people packed on top of you and you can have a nice ride into work and home.  One of the things I complained about at the Metro-North meeting in Riverdale when they increased service for us was that some peak trains were far too crowded (just like subways).  For $9.25 to have to stand all the way to Grand Central is absurd.  I fixed that problem by taking another train but still.  

I've started taking the LIRR more and have basically avoided the QBL, it's generally a quicker and less stressful ride.

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2 hours ago, RR503 said:

Yeahhhh the stations can handle it. They have platforms which are generally as wide as elevated subway plats, and have staircases that meet the same criteria. I also don't expect some massive number of people to shift to commuter trains. Subway brings easier connectivity, so this reduced fare commuter rail system will only serve a subsegment of the commuting populations adjacent to commuter rail stations. 

In general, commuter trains in NYC have insane amounts of latent capacity. Yes, whichever train you take in the AM may not, but there are tens of thousands of unfilled seats during the rush hours. Both from a logical and financial perspective, it only makes sense to fill them. 

Uhh no it's not that simple. A lot of the platforms on the Hudson line are very short and would require changes, not to mention how are people going to get some stations that are quite isolated with very limited parking. 

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2 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

I

If the MTA ran more trains for the demand what more investment will solve the problem?

Invest in the subway, not in commuter rail service! Most commuter stations are out if the way. The subways serve the masses for a reason.

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So you're both concerned that too many people will try to use the service and that the stations are too far for people to actually use the service. Both statements can't be true at the same time.

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Let’s just say it: the top goal is keeping the riffraff off the premium services.

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12 minutes ago, CenSin said:

Let’s just say it: the top goal is keeping the riffraff off the premium services.

Nah, I think the concern is that if LIRR/MNRR solves the subway crisis, then it disincentivizes (MTA) from solving the subway problem and turns both railroads into the other subway.

Akin to how years ago, USMC heads were worried that using Marines on long-term land based deployments took the Corps out of its amphibious warfare role and was slowly turning it into “the other Army.”

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One idea: Could subways run on some of the local Metro North tracks? There could be a connection from SAS to perhaps the Harlem Line local tracks, and subways could stop there while Metro North trains run express. It could add lots of additional service to the area, and allow it to have a lower fare. However, I don't know if all Harlem/New Haven Line trains could run on two tracks, and then trains would skip Fordham, which is an important station. They could do renovations at Fordham though to fix that.

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25 minutes ago, W4ST said:

One idea: Could subways run on some of the local Metro North tracks? There could be a connection from SAS to perhaps the Harlem Line local tracks, and subways could stop there while Metro North trains run express. It could add lots of additional service to the area, and allow it to have a lower fare. However, I don't know if all Harlem/New Haven Line trains could run on two tracks, and then trains would skip Fordham, which is an important station. They could do renovations at Fordham though to fix that.

Nope. Subway cars can't run on Railroad tracks cause of the FRA, Also during rush hour all four tracks are needed for Metro North, 3 tracks are used in the peak direction while one track is used in the other.

Edited by trainfan22
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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Nah, I think the concern is that if LIRR/MNRR solves the subway crisis, then it disincentivizes (MTA) from solving the subway problem and turns both railroads into the other subway.

Akin to how years ago, USMC heads were worried that using Marines on long-term land based deployments took the Corps out of its amphibious warfare role and was slowly turning it into “the other Army.”

That’ll never happen. The LIRR/MNR’s cars and frequencies were never designed to facilitate high ridership density. Unless you’re gonna totally rethink commuter rail in the NYC region, you’ll probably load out at around 100k new commuter rail riders — and that’s with capacity increases on both LIRR and MNR. 100k riders is about 1/50 of NYC Subway ridership. 

Edited by RR503

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34 minutes ago, RR503 said:

That’ll never happen. The LIRR/MNR’s cars and frequencies were never designed to facilitate high ridership density. Unless you’re gonna totally rethink commuter rail in the NYC region, you’ll probably load out at around 100k new commuter rail riders — and that’s with capacity increases on both LIRR and MNR. 100k riders is about 1/50 of NYC Subway ridership. 

Mission Creep is a thing.

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All of this is pretty moot since Nowakowsi got fired yesterday. Helena Williams isn't coming back because she's now deputy County Executive of Nassau.

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8 hours ago, Deucey said:

Mission Creep is a thing.

Not denying that -- just saying that the two organisations exist on capacity scales too disparate for that to really be an issue. 

7 hours ago, NY1635 said:

All of this is pretty moot since Nowakowsi got fired yesterday. Helena Williams isn't coming back because she's now deputy County Executive of Nassau.

I'd argue that this makes it less moot than it has ever been. The LIRR is in many ways worse run than any other MTA subauthority. I can tell you from experience that every stereotype you've ever heard about people who's work there having sticks up their asses, god complexes, and an especial tendency towards condescension and introversion is an understatement. If an idea didn't originate from them or the governor, they'll automatically dismiss it for some BS reason. It literally is their way or the highway.

If some outside Byford type could come in and change some of that, we'd not only get some common sense things like this, but also a generally better run railroad. I sure hope that will be the case. 

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13 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

So you're both concerned that too many people will try to use the service and that the stations are too far for people to actually use the service. Both statements can't be true at the same time.

Both statements ARE true.  Just about all of the Metro-North stations along the Hudson line within City limits are in isolated locations, especially the two in my neighborhood.  The Riverdale station has platforms that are long enough, but certainly not enough parking and hilly narrow streets leading to the station and the Hudson River.  How are all of these people supposed to reach the station and how do you mitigate the issue of increased congestion and traffic?  When Metro-North gave us more service at both the Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil station, I asked at the hearing for bigger buses to cut down so many Hudson Raillink shuttle buses running throughout greater Riverdale, and the response was that the streets are too narrow and hilly to use regular buses, so I'm wondering how it would work.  The platform situation at the Spuyten Duyvil station is even worse.  Towards the New York side, it starts where the tracks curve away from the Hudson River, and it is much shorter, with only about four of the six cars being able to platform.  The short platforms continue at the Marble Hill, University Heights and Morris Heights stations, not to mention that stations like the Spuyten Duyvil stop already are some of the busiest along the Hudson Line within City limits.  The Riverdale stops already see their usage despite the high fares because residents can afford them, so the idea of having people coming off of the (1) train to use Metro-North is just absurd.  There would be severe overcrowding, not to mention the mess that the Harlem Line would become. 

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My two cents?

Within the municipal boundaries of this city, the railroads should be cheap enough to be a viable alternative. I mean, why even all the pushback? No it won't be something the (MTA) can use to put off improving subway service, because almost all would still need to use it at some point. On top of that, why VG8 thinks that platform size of all things means "it won't work" is  a mystery to me. He's making things up that ain't even a factor. And yes, I've used all those stations. It's perfectly doable. If crowding gets to be too much, increase service to those specific stations. 

Secondly, it's not something new. Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Japanese Railways, London, and host of other cities already do it. Within their cities borders, the commuter rail lines fares nearly match the subways. And in some cases, the commuter lines are used as express services. The new fare system would make it an easier switch because you can install card readers at stations. People tap in. Tap out when exiting. Really, the need for a conductor to check tickets after the implementation of the new Smart Card can honestly be put into question. 

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32 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

My two cents?

Within the municipal boundaries of this city, the railroads should be cheap enough to be a viable alternative. I mean, why even all the pushback? No it won't be something the (MTA) can use to put off improving subway service, because almost all would still need to use it at some point. On top of that, why VG8 thinks that platform size of all things means "it won't work" is  a mystery to me. He's making things up that ain't even a factor. And yes, I've used all those stations. It's perfectly doable. If crowding gets to be too much, increase service to those specific stations. 

Don't put words in my mouth.  I'm saying that additional crowds would mean that you would need to address crowding.  You can't just not make any changes and expect things to work out.  It's not a question of "if".  Crowding is already bad at the Spuyten Duyvil station because of the short platform on the NY side so changes would have to be made to accommodate the crowds.  

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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Crowding is already bad at the Spuyten Duyvil station because of the short platform on the NY side so changes would have to be made to accommodate the crowds.  

Spuyten Duyvil, though, probably wouldn't experience much of a ridership increase as a result of this program. It is commuter rail services which parallel crowded subway lines (LIRR Main line and Port Washington branch) or serve dense subway-less corridors (MNRR Harlem line, LIRR Atlantic Branch) that will see the largest increase in ridership if commuter rail services are made a viable intra-city transportation option. The Hudson line north of University Heights is neither of the above, and has an existing rider base that won't change much either way. 

As for platform length, that's hardly a dealbreaker to European-style regional rail services in New York City. Morris Heights and University Heights have room to be lengthened, as do Forest Hills and Kew Gardens on the LIRR as well as Melrose, Tremont, and Fordham on the Harlem line. I'm sure the study will take this into account, as well as the addition of infill stations - such as in Woodhaven and South Jamaica on the Atlantic branch, Corona on the Port Washington, and Morrisania/Claremont on the Harlem line. 

Here's the reality: transportation in the city needs to improve. While a large part of this does come from the subway and its need for rehabilitation and expansion, that is not cheap nor quick to execute. And as people are packing themselves into subway trains, there are other trains - LIRR and MNRR services - that are passing through the city with spare capacity. People in the city should be able to use that; there's absolutely nothing that says LIRR or MNRR trains are reserved for suburbanites.

 

Edited by officiallyliam
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6 minutes ago, officiallyliam said:

Spuyten Duyvil, though, probably wouldn't experience much of a ridership increase as a result of this program. It is commuter rail services which parallel crowded subway lines (LIRR Main line and Port Washington branch) or serve dense subway-less corridors (MNRR Harlem line, LIRR Atlantic Branch) that will see the largest increase in ridership if commuter rail services are made a viable intra-city transportation option. Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil are neither of the above, and have an existing rider base that won't change much either way. 

As for platform length, that's hardly a dealbreaker to European-style regional rail services in New York City. Morris Heights and University Heights have room to be lengthened, as do Forest Hills and Kew Gardens on the LIRR as well as Melrose, Tremont, and Fordham on the Harlem line. I'm sure the study will take this into account, as well as the addition of infill stations - such as in Woodhaven and South Jamaica on the Atlantic branch, Corona on the Port Washington, and Morrisania/Claremont on the Harlem line. 

Here's the reality: transportation in the city needs to improve. While a large part of this does come from the subway and its need for rehabilitation and expansion, that is not cheap nor quick to execute. And as people are packing themselves into subway trains, there are other trains - LIRR and MNRR services - that are passing through the city with spare capacity. People in the city should be able to use that; there's absolutely nothing that says LIRR or MNRR trains are reserved for suburbanites.

 

The city can't even afford to subsidize fares.  Where are they coming up with the monies to run more service, make infrastructure improvements, etc.?

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23 hours ago, RR503 said:

In general, commuter trains in NYC have insane amounts of latent capacity. Yes, whichever train you take in the AM may not, but there are tens of thousands of unfilled seats during the rush hours. Both from a logical and financial perspective, it only makes sense to fill them. 

This!!

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The city can't even afford to subsidize fares.  Where are they coming up with the monies to run more service, make infrastructure improvements, etc.?

Consider station platform lengthening, infill stops, and added frequencies as a second phase of commuter rail improvements. The thing that makes railroad improvement an attractive way to ease pressure on the subway and increase transport options within the city is the fact that the first phase would cost next to nothing.

The first phase could solely consist of reorganizing stopping patterns so that commuter rail services actually stop in the city. I understand keeping the longer-distance services from Poughkeepsie, Wassaic, or Speonk as expresses, but the local electric trains (originating at, for example, North White Plains, Croton-Harmon, or Huntington) should make all the inner-city stops. Melrose and Tremont should no longer get 1 tph off-peak; the reason for this poor service isn't that there aren't more than 1 tph through that area, it's simply that most of those trains aren't stopping.

Edited by officiallyliam
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