Thursday, September 12, 2013

SEPTA's Proposed Service Cuts

SEPTA has announced that without more funding in the near future that it will cut nine of the 13 regional rail lines, the Broad Ridge Spur, and replace trolleys with buses, which will also be reduced.  Preliminary reports like this tend to be "worst case scenarios" with cuts made in the worst possible places.  Nonetheless, even if just a few rail lines are shut down those people will either be on the road or won't be able to travel.  There will be more unemployment if people can't get to their jobs, and the roads (and bridges) will have to absorb the additional traffic.

When I drive in instead of taking the train the roads I'm on are already packed.  More train people added to the load will significantly slow down already slow rush hour traffic.  The wear and tear and the roads will mean either more money spent on repair and more emergency vehicles as the increased traffic will surely lead to an increase in accidents.

Public transit is an economic plus.  Getting people from their homes to existing or potential jobs increases employment opportunities.  Train time increases productivity.  People on the train are often doing something, writing, computer work, knitting, doing crossword puzzles.  Employers of people doing work on the train are the recipients of that additional time.  Train time is community building time.  People see their neighbors and others who take the same train on a regular basis.  Friendships are formed.  Acquaintances are made.

We need the trains.  I'm hoping this will work out.

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