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Delaware, SEPTA, and the stimulus

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http://www.dartfirststate.com/information/programs/wilm_newark/crip_summary_082108.pdf

 

Some group created a map of "stimulus ready transit projects" and I was surprised to see Delaware on the map (and not Philly). The idea is to extend SEPTA service that now exists in Newark, DE (my college town). Because of right of way issues there is very little service since it conflicts with Amtrak and the train line by the (soon to be closing Chrysler plant).

 

The plans funded by DART First State or maybe some Federal money is to add a third track lane northeast of Newark and to move the station away from the Mopar factory to minimize conflict with the freight line. This would increase train access to both Wilmington (for catching the Acela even though it's more expensive than it should be from DE) and to Philly. When traveling alone, I use SEPTA to get to Philly and then take a Chinatown bus to NYC and the hours of service on SEPTA in Newark end at about 5 or 6 pm. I think this expansion would be great and hopefully add to the rail culture in DE which is a very minimal park and ride to Philly one.

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A very nice thing to see, especially as I was talking about how bad public transportation is in some parts of Delaware. I took the :septa: R2 myself on Monday, and it was a nice trip along the :nec: to Wilmington. But it sucks for the right of way and Septa trains between those two stations have no right of way, especially to completely not have service to Newark on Sundays in the summertime which is where a lot of people travel.

 

PS: you do know these buses take you from Wilmington directly to New York, right? :cool:

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A very nice thing to see, especially as I was talking about how bad public transportation is in some parts of Delaware. I took the :septa: R2 myself on Monday, and it was a nice trip along the :nec: to Wilmington. But it sucks for the right of way and Septa trains between those two stations have no right of way, especially to completely not have service to Newark on Sundays in the summertime which is where a lot of people travel.

 

And (less pro-train ideological) commuters don't like the station. My friend's mom drives to Marcus Hook (Southern PA) with its Park and Ride to catch the :septa: R2 driving 20 miles rather than half that to Newark or any of the other stations in between. So, we have the problem of right of way and how to make it convenient for people to use the train. With crappy bus service the answer is having a good Park and Ride system.

 

And I hate the lack of Weekend hours. No trains come to Newark on the Weekend and limited trains go to Wilmington on Saturday. It makes it difficult to visit the museums on the weekend if you don't have a car let alone anything you'd want to do in Philly during the night. A night R2 train would probably save a few drunk driving accidents from UD students going up to Philly.

 

PS: you do know these buses take you from Wilmington directly to New York, right? :cool:

 

I had heard there was a bus between the two but never really looked into it since I figured taking the train to Wilmington or taking it to Philly was about the same (especially since I enjoy my train rides). And, apparently I saved about $5 doing that and put the money towards trains rather than buses. I'm just dreaming of a day when it will be more affordable to take the train up like it can be with the TGV where I live now.

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And (less pro-train ideological) commuters don't like the station. My friend's mom drives to Marcus Hook (Southern PA) with its Park and Ride to catch the :septa: R2 driving 20 miles rather than half that to Newark or any of the other stations in between. So, we have the problem of right of way and how to make it convenient for people to use the train. With crappy bus service the answer is having a good Park and Ride system.

 

And I hate the lack of Weekend hours. No trains come to Newark on the Weekend and limited trains go to Wilmington on Saturday. It makes it difficult to visit the museums on the weekend if you don't have a car let alone anything you'd want to do in Philly during the night. A night R2 train would probably save a few drunk driving accidents from UD students going up to Philly.

 

Yes, I agree, sometimes they replace trains between Newark and Wilmington with connecting DART Bus service which is almost never on time when it comes to inter-city or inter-county rides which I use the most.

 

I had heard there was a bus between the two but never really looked into it since I figured taking the train to Wilmington or taking it to Philly was about the same (especially since I enjoy my train rides). And, apparently I saved about $5 doing that and put the money towards trains rather than buses. I'm just dreaming of a day when it will be more affordable to take the train up like it can be with the TGV where I live now.

Those buses are pretty cheap, and I never knew there was any when I always took Amtrak which of course I prefer over any way of transportation, but their prices are just waaaaay out of the roof. The buses are just near the train station in Wilmington at Market St & 4th St if you can see where that is, it costs $20 one way, and $35 both ways, instead of Amtrak which is minimum that I have seen $52 one way if you get the early hours (not even talking about weekends or holidays when the prices get high). What company do you use from Philly for Chinatown buses?

Yes, rail transportation in Europe is very advanced, I remember in France the TGV only took 3 hours from Paris to Marseille, where I have family living. Also very affordable, I hope that comes true in the US some day..

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There is more than enough space to expand the ROW there. As a whole :septa: has a long ways to go to where it should be. You could have passenger service on the web of rails in delaware.

 

You could have stops at pennyhill, newport, and ogletown on the R2.

 

septa-map-v3.1.gif

 

The R2 to newark could connect to a DE rail transit agency using those freight lines after claymont and wilmington if they added a second or 3rd track with catenary.....

 

- A

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Expanding all the way out to Allentown or Reading would be great for some of the commuters out there. Hope some of this gets done... as well as connecting SEPTA to MARC (although, that's MARC's job).

 

But, we've got to remember that all/any of those new routes without proper service doesn't do much good. SEPTA will never be big in DE if it doesn't expand its hours. I realized I ommitted a huge part of why mom friend's mom doesn't like Newark or Wilmington station. Because, if you get stuck late at work you don't have a ride back to DE. Marcus hook has trains operating until midnight and that's why people use their park and ride so they are sure not to get stranded.

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Expanding all the way out to Allentown or Reading would be great for some of the commuters out there. Hope some of this gets done... as well as connecting SEPTA to MARC (although, that's MARC's job).

 

But, we've got to remember that all/any of those new routes without proper service doesn't do much good. SEPTA will never be big in DE if it doesn't expand its hours. I realized I ommitted a huge part of why mom friend's mom doesn't like Newark or Wilmington station. Because, if you get stuck late at work you don't have a ride back to DE. Marcus hook has trains operating until midnight and that's why people use their park and ride so they are sure not to get stranded.

 

Yea totally. At least have a cross-honoring for amtk or something so people don't get stuck there. You don't get a seat unless one is open, and if none are open, you stand wherever you can or sit in the luggage area.

 

MARC has a good thing going and indeed needs to connect to :septa: in DE. That way you can at least be safe and warm/cool (depending on time of year) vs out in the middle of nowhere at like 2 am.

 

Also :septa: needs WAY more TVM's. I am tired of being limited by station office hours. It's a good recipe to get stuck somewhere. I think the main reason people don't ride :septa: trains more often is the prospect of being stuck somewhere. Even with (NJT) :nec: at least most of the stations have somewhere to go overnight, or are not unsafe. I'd not hugely mind being "stuck" at princeton jct overnight, or even hamilton, but yea. They need to being their stations up to modern standards. These stations are no longer used for long haul passengers, so you need an enclosed area to protect from wind and precipitation. Train info & bus info wouldn't be horrible either.

 

If the stations were modernized, with due respect to historic issues such as PRR concrete walls with keystone logo etc i think it would attract more riders and the whole situation would snowball more income more funding more improvements. Right now it's going the other direction.

 

- A

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I had heard there was a bus between the two but never really looked into it since I figured taking the train to Wilmington or taking it to Philly was about the same (especially since I enjoy my train rides). And, apparently I saved about $5 doing that and put the money towards trains rather than buses. I'm just dreaming of a day when it will be more affordable to take the train up like it can be with the TGV where I live now.

 

Yeah, I live in Delaware, and there's a bunch of ways I get to NYC. There's a chinatown bus right on 4th street in Wilmington. That takes you straight to NYC, and it's like 40 dollars round trip. Taking the Chinatown bus out of Philly adds up to about 35 bucks. I used to drive up to Marcus Hook (because I used to come back on Sundays, and you know Delaware sucks transportation wise on sundays.) Or if I feel like riding the train the whole way, I'd take the R2 to Philly and then the R7 to Trenton, and hop on the NJT. That's around 40 bucks also. All ways are pretty cheap.

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Yeah, I live in Delaware, and there's a bunch of ways I get to NYC. There's a chinatown bus right on 4th street in Wilmington. That takes you straight to NYC, and it's like 40 dollars round trip. Taking the Chinatown bus out of Philly adds up to about 35 bucks. I used to drive up to Marcus Hook (because I used to come back on Sundays, and you know Delaware sucks transportation wise on sundays.) Or if I feel like riding the train the whole way, I'd take the R2 to Philly and then the R7 to Trenton, and hop on the NJT. That's around 40 bucks also. All ways are pretty cheap.

 

AA Chinatown Buses from 4th Street are $35 round trip, but I just looked more into the whole train trip from Wilmington to New York and I don't understand why a Zone 4 ticket costs $4.75 off peak one way, but the total from Wilmington to Trenton when I looked on the website's trip planner said only $9.00?! NJT to NY is $12.50

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A train can hold 1200 people. A bus can hold.....?

 

- A

 

That's my point, but trains these days are much more expensive, which for a lot of people turns their options for taking a bus.

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That's my point, but trains these days are much more expensive, which for a lot of people turns their options for taking a bus.

 

Well i guess we need that funding so fares can be reduced hm?:cool:

 

- A

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