Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Urban Dispatch: SEPTA’s Quiet-Car-Pilot A Big Success; Should Spawn Sibling Bar-Car-Pilot IMMEDIATELY

bar car on train from new york to atlantic city
Shots on a train!

So yeah, Quiet Cars. Great. About time. Welcome to 2009.
A SEPTA spokesman says the "QuietRide" pilot program is only the first step in what will be a "wide-ranging customer-service initiative promoting etiquette and basic common courtesy." That's part of SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey's welcome campaign to improve customer service overall.
So there are more rider improvements to come? Ok. We’re listening…
As more and more people crowd onto trains because of gasoline and other price spikes, this is the perfect time for SEPTA to explore ways to make the ride more comfortable for everyone.
Ways to make the ride more comfortable? That’s easy.

Two words for you geniuses: bar car.

The new train from NYC to AC — Atlantic City Express Service (ACES) — is rocking one, and to great effect. (And by “great effect” we mean: it makes us want to ride it.)
The train will run nine round trips each weekend, with seating for 300 in four double-decker cars, and will take about 2 hours 45 minutes each way. The [three casinos that finance the service], the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, spent $19.5 million outfitting two trains to operate the service. They feature leather seats, small bars and a lounge.

But many passengers spent little time in their seats, congregating in the small bars at the back of three cars, where they gripped handholds and sipped cocktails.
Sounds, well, it sounds effing awesome.

And shocking that the train's bar cars are full of riders.

Septa, we’ll make you a deal — if the Quiet Cars occupy the first car of the PM rush hour trains, you can even put the bar cars all the way in the back so as to not disturb the fun-haters up front.

K? Super.

Bottoms up.

By Rail From New York to Atlantic City, Minus Chips [ New York Times ]
Editorial: SEPTA's "Quiet Cars" [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]
Atlantic City Express Service (ACES) Train [ Official Site ]

Breaking: Septa To Offer Free Rides To Promote New Late Night Regional Rail Service

[ Photo via New York Times ]

* Also, we realize this will never happen on SEPTA, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't.


Ian Freeman said...

In a perfect world...

SLS said...

Well, let's just start with enough seats for everyone.

And then maybe a BYOB car?