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Let's Talk about Mass Transit

Do you like it? Do you use it? Do you wish your city had more of it? Do you prefer cute little trollies, big thrusting trains, or sturdy old buses?

And if you've used it overseas, what are some of your favorite transit systems or stations?

by Anonymousreply 34June 22, 2022 3:20 PM

When I lived in ATL I rode MARTA most days.

I chose to ride to work with MARTA mainly because my company gave employees free monthly passes to avoid clogging the freeways with single-occupant personal cars.

For this companies got a tax break from the City.

This was especially handy in winter on dark rainy days. Traffic would be crawling out the windows of my train as we sped by at 45 MPH.

by Anonymousreply 1June 20, 2022 2:43 PM

Strong supporter, and of spending the money over time to keep them well maintained (unlike in DC a number of years ago) and providing convenient and reliable service.

Love metro systems in general.

by Anonymousreply 2June 20, 2022 3:42 PM

The roads in my city are absolute garbage so I hate driving with a passion. I walk/take mass transit as much as possible but we never had the foresight to go underground through the city core, so it takes much longer to get through downtown than it should. It's still only @40 minutes from home to the airport though so can't beat that.

The bigger problem with ours is that the buses and trains have turned into mobile homeless shelters so people feel less safe taking it.

I spend a lot of time in SF and always laugh at the amount of complaining about Muni. I'd love to have transit as "inefficient" as people complain Muni is.

by Anonymousreply 3June 20, 2022 5:12 PM

Public transportation is convenient, but I hate taking it. I live in Germany and am stuck commuting to work on the bus through the rest of June. Even if public transportation is more common here than in the US, it is far from perfect.

My morning commute is fine because it is early. However, my evening commute is a nightmare. From the mentally ill old men who seem to favor the route, to the refugees talking nonstop and playing loud music, I’m often left wishing I could drive. Also, bus routes in this area only run ever 1-2 hours, so a lot of time is wasted by arriving way too early to destinations. Oh, and now that it is summer there are lots of smelly people packing into stuffy vehicles.

The only time I like taking public transportation is when it’s the ICE/high-speed trains…mostly because you can buy a first class ticket and not have to deal with obnoxious people. However, the cost of tickets, first or second class, is outrageous.

by Anonymousreply 4June 20, 2022 5:54 PM

By the way, my favorite country for public transportation has been South Korea. I’ve been to 50+ countries and it was by far the best—although I suspect the gold standard for public transportation systems is Japan’s.

In Europe, Copenhagen and Helsinki have great public transportation.

by Anonymousreply 5June 20, 2022 6:01 PM

I don't have a car, so yes I do use mass transit.

by Anonymousreply 6June 20, 2022 6:06 PM

Bought a ticket the other night...

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by Anonymousreply 7June 20, 2022 9:58 PM

I lived in the UK (South Ken) and loved the Underground system and its usually easy connections to the rail system. I appreciated its history and its quirkiness, although one sees less of the history as updates continue. Paris Métro is fine and sometimes deluxe, but I stay central. Same with the U-Bahn in Berlin. Tokyo and Seoul both have tremendous systems, if you don't mind being a speck among specks in the works, but my experience was limited and I wouldn't dare venture solo.

SF and Boston have been fine. Maybe it was just my experience but Atlanta was not helpful and the vibe was bad. I had fun in Cleveland getting around, oddly. Limited system. Such views of blasted areas. Chicago - I skip it. Not as bad as NYC but it's for locals. And there's nothing quaint, pleasant, easy or aesthetic about an elevated system like that one. Denver sucks, but then everything about Denver sucks. People I know love to use the systems in Seattle and Portland, but I've never been on them.

Not being a New Yorker, I have no love for the subway system there. Like those non-working escalators lead into the Hellraiser universe. My work has taken me into prison environments and psychiatric facilities, but the subway in summer is worse. The filth and heat. Inexcusable. I hire a car.

DC is shit. Absolute shit. Dangerously built stations. Crowded. Bad security on the lines.

The rules seem to include: 1.) If the central and/or elite areas are poorly served, the entire system will be bad. 2.) If the system relied on pitching "serving underserved areas" for its initial funding, the system will be poorly routed and expansion will be problematic. 3.) New systems are twee.

by Anonymousreply 8June 20, 2022 11:32 PM

I mostly take the bus around the edges of the city. Not perfect, but they keep live schedules online so I can plan. Love SF Muni/Oakland Bart, London Tube and Paris Metro, and think NY subway is the worst thing about the city. It's a shame.

by Anonymousreply 9June 20, 2022 11:42 PM

Paris and London have the best metro systems, followed by NYC and SF. Japan has the best trains. I don’t use public transit unless I’m on vacation. I don’t use busses. Ever.

by Anonymousreply 10June 20, 2022 11:43 PM

The MARTA in Atlanta is downright scary.

by Anonymousreply 11June 20, 2022 11:44 PM

I haven't owned a car in ten years and take the bus everywhere. It often requires much greater planning of my day.

I don't mind it, though. I like to think it keeps me humble.

by Anonymousreply 12June 20, 2022 11:44 PM

Good for the environment and bad for the psyche of those who use it.

by Anonymousreply 13June 20, 2022 11:46 PM

r11 who could forget this?

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by Anonymousreply 14June 20, 2022 11:46 PM

You can get gang banged in trains

by Anonymousreply 15June 21, 2022 12:06 AM

Is this that group that has different lead singers fill in since they don’t have one of their own and Tracey Thorn worked with them while Ben was recovering from his near death experience?

by Anonymousreply 16June 21, 2022 12:19 AM

I live in a suburb of SF where there is only spotty bus service very locally only. The BART is a disgusting mess these days, but I don’t have easy access to it where I am. If they paid to keep it safe and clean, it’d be a great option for folks in the Bay Area.

When I lived outside NYC, I LOVED the clean subway system and the trains to CT and Long Island. One of the easiest cities to get around.

Barcelona’s mass transit was awesome and very clean. It’s much easier to get around in Europe.

In the US, some cities just won’t put the money into maintaining their mass transit in terms of cleanliness and safety. That is a huge problem.

by Anonymousreply 17June 21, 2022 12:26 AM

I used BART back when I lived in San Francisco. Some days it sucked with weird people, but most of the time I liked taking it. I have Railrunner here in New Mexico for trips to Santa Fe from Albuquerque and it was pretty clean when I used it pre-pandemic.

by Anonymousreply 18June 21, 2022 12:31 AM

Mass transit in the US is a funny thing.

In Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago and to a slightly lesser extent DC and SF, affluent people use mass transit regularly. That means that the most desirable suburbs are the ones with their own stations on the commuter train lines (that is what the "Main LIne" in Philadelphia refers to)--a commuter train line) and all the more expensive NYC burbs are on train lines as well.

Outside of those areas though, public transit is for the Poors and people are embarrassed to say they take public transportation and fight to ensure that it does not come their way as they are convinced it will bring down property values.

To wit, I have been informed on multiple occasions by people who did not initially strike me as particularly racist that "MARTA" stood for :"Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta"

by Anonymousreply 19June 21, 2022 12:49 AM

BART had a reputation for decades for cruising (and more) in the end car (of 10)

by Anonymousreply 20June 21, 2022 12:51 AM

I bristle at some criticisms of my hometown Philadelphia, but their public transit system is awful. And with the new pass system, it’s unnecessarily complicated. Plus, there’s too many crazy people riding the buses. I Uber or walk when I can help it.

by Anonymousreply 21June 21, 2022 1:16 AM

Time, tide and trolley wait for no man. Let her go, motorman!

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by Anonymousreply 22June 21, 2022 5:28 AM

[quote]think NY subway is the worst thing about the city. It's a shame

This is absurd r9. In spite of it's issues the New York subway system is affordable, one of the most extensive mass transit systems in the world and it is one of the few subway systems on earth that runs 24 hrs. A lot of these cities people are touting have trains that shut down by midnight. Given traffic, the subway often is the best way to get around the city.

by Anonymousreply 23June 21, 2022 1:22 PM

Yeah, you are ridiculous R9. NYC has one of the best mass transit systems in place.

by Anonymousreply 24June 21, 2022 1:27 PM

The NYC system is efficient and broad, but for tourists, it's an awful presentation. The stations are cramped and often dirty, with low ceilings, narrow stairs, and lots of blind spots.

Granted, it's far too late to rebuild stations underneath so much development, but to someone who's seen London, Paris, or Washington subway stations, NYC looks like an awful place to stand.

by Anonymousreply 25June 21, 2022 1:29 PM

The few areas of America that are truly urban have people that are used to mass transit r19. Most of America is just highways and strip malls, and yes in those car dependent areas people look down on mass transit.

by Anonymousreply 26June 21, 2022 2:02 PM

Here in Miami they recently eliminated a lot of bus stops, including the one right in front of my building.

by Anonymousreply 27June 21, 2022 2:07 PM

R27 Miami recently redesigned their bus system, building new stops and removing old ones. They realigned routes to better match where more people are starting and ending their trips in 2021-2022. It's pretty standard to do this every decade or two, especially in fast-growing cities like Miami, where the place can look vastly different in a single decade. In most cases, this results in a more sensible and efficient network, but it also means that some people lose their stops (particularly people living in low-use areas). Sorry to hear you lost your stop.

by Anonymousreply 28June 22, 2022 1:48 PM

It would be smarter if Miami invested in gondolas, the way things are going climate change wise.

by Anonymousreply 29June 22, 2022 3:07 PM

I thought the title said Miss Transit.

by Anonymousreply 30June 22, 2022 3:10 PM

Maybe you meant “Miss Turnstiles”

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by Anonymousreply 31June 22, 2022 3:13 PM

I hate mass transit. I always feel like an automaton, getting on and off and waiting for what THEY decide to take me anywhere. And carrying everything with me. I love to drive, I like having a car to keep things in, a coat, a package of bottled water, an extra pair of shoes, etc. Coming and going when I please. Owning my means of transportation, not having to depend on schedules.

by Anonymousreply 32June 22, 2022 3:15 PM

[quote] In spite of it's issues the New York subway system is affordable, one of the most extensive mass transit systems in the world and it is one of the few subway systems on earth that runs 24 hrs

Thats a good point. NYC metro is a mess, but it is one of very few that run 24 hours, which makes a HUGE difference.

by Anonymousreply 33June 22, 2022 3:16 PM

R32 is an AAA lobbyist, the number one organization that is responsible for shooting down and underfunding most federal mass transit legislation.

by Anonymousreply 34June 22, 2022 3:20 PM
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