SEPTA is starting the transformation of Regional Rail, asking you to come up with your perfect schedule News

If you’ve used Regional Rail more than a few times, you’ve probably worried about the service more than a few times. The transit administration says it is listening – and wants to hear more.

SEPTA has just launched a survey to find out what real people need and want from the rail system that connects Center City to the outer parts of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, so it can incorporate feedback into a planned system transformation.

The main question is whether SEPTA should prefer trains to run more consistently, more often or faster.

Several, perhaps, close people are starting the survey:

“Sarah’s shift starts at noon, so she commutes to work because the noon train schedule is inconvenient.”

“Marie gets on a bus from Chester to 69th Street and then gets on the MFL to University City, although the regional rail would be faster because a trip on the MFL is cheaper.”

“Felix lives in Angora and works in Konshahoken. If their train is late, they miss the transfer and have to wait an hour, so they started going. ”

This survey and promised future improvements are part of a larger event called SEPTA Forward. The project aims to make public transportation options in the Philadelphia area better suited to the needs of people who use – or will use, if not existing problems – buses, trolleybuses, subways, the Norristown high-speed line and regional railways.

The regional railway has been isolated from the rest for various reasons, according to a recent SEPTA report: transfer between buses and rail is difficult, many stations are bad for people without cars, fares are not integrated between different modes of transport, the schedule is difficult to understand, trains are unreliable and unreliable.

In general, the regional railway was designed to serve “suburban passengers from 9 to 5”, – SEPTA leaders admitted at a public meeting on Wednesday night. The mission now is to change.

“Low-income people and people of color, off-peak travel and non-working trips make up a small proportion of the total number of passengers on regional railways,” the regional report said, “despite the fact that regional railways serve areas where there are many such trips. This is the result of past decisions to focus on commuter travel. ”

Another factor is the changing nature of work, said Ryan Judge, director of strategic planning and analysis at SEPTA. Due to the fact that more people work remotely or on a flexible schedule, planning primarily traditional commuting trips for white-collar workers just doesn’t make sense.

On Wednesday, SEPTA presented three options for how it should prioritize its investments to make changes by asking users (or potential users) to choose between three scenarios:

Maintenance every 30 minutes at each station

Provide more frequent service (every 15 minutes) at the stations with the greatest demand

Providing express services – when some trains miss some stops to achieve faster trips – all day long

At a public meeting on Wednesday night, officials and consultants made it clear that SEPTA ultimately wants to do all three of these things.

They also gave an overview of what transit might look like if there were better connections between the regional railway and other modes of transport, or if SEPTA was integrated with Amtrak on the Trenton line.

“The project offers a long-term vision of a regional railway. However, it is important that this is not a distant plan in the future without significant changes, ”said SEPTA planning analyst Claudia Alif. “So we approach this by identifying short-, medium- and long-term changes that we can make and that we can take advantage of.”

The first group of changes could happen over the next 3-5 years, the judge said.

It will take time to implement other changes, he added. For example, it will take an increase in the number of cars, and this is in the medium term, more than 5 years.

This is what sets him apart from previous, never-implemented improvement plans, according to the judge, and what may be the key to his success. He said long-term repairs tend to be “put off the shelf” when people don’t see rapid progress, but those efforts are aimed at starting with smaller goals that can actually be achieved.

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