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Old Posted Sep 14, 2012, 2:25 PM
Alon Alon is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 219
I don't drive.

I last used the New York-area network 3 months ago. Commuted from New Haven to New York every day for a week. Before then I'd complained about the low frequency all the time, but this time I'd had so much experience with the MBTA's passenger-hate that I cherished the sometimes-half-hourly frequency. Tyranny of low expectations, I guess. Relative to other regions with unusably bad mainline rail, the New York area does swell, and it's not as if they ever bother to compare themselves with Paris or Tokyo or Munich or London or Berlin or Madrid or Seoul or Milan.

I counted all trains on the NJT and Amtrak timetables passing through the North River Tunnels. I wasn't just looking up station-to-station timetables. It's 24-25 tph, depending on the month. I'm going to just guess they don't deadhead anything in the peak hour in the peak direction, but maybe they do and they're just crying capacity to extort more money. It's certainly not necessary to deadhead in the daytime - just go to Grand Central and count trains on the subway and see how many are in service.

PATH comes too frequently for timed transfers. Ditto light rail. Secaucus isn't just a level change - it's two level changes, with faregates in between. Ask yourself why people transfer at Jamaica while around the Erie lines most people drive or take a bus instead of transferring at Secaucus. There are several really bad transfer penalties involved at Secaucus, and NJT is maximizing them instead of minimizing them. When I did take NJT, I didn't once hear anything about connecting trains at Secaucus - unlike on the LIRR, where there would be frequent announcements about changing across the platform at Jamaica for another destination. Not relevant to me since I was riding to JFK but it was there. In New Jersey, nothing that I remember.
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