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Poll results: Which city has the best public transportation system?

Voters
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  • Boston

    2 7.41%
  • Chicago

    3 11.11%
  • Washington DC

    6 22.22%
  • New York

    11 40.74%
  • San Francisco

    2 7.41%
  • Portland

    3 11.11%
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Thread: Poll: which city has the best public transportation system?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Poll: which city has the best public transportation system?

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I'm kinda partial to London/Great Britains system, but it's only because I know how to get around.

    I found Boston's rail system to be fairly nice. DART is clearly an up and comer, but time will tell. New facilities always impact judgements of efficiency.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    NYC -
    Modes -
    Subways & Trains;
    Bus;
    Ferry

    Infrastructure -
    Tunnels - underground & underwater;
    Bridges;
    Elevated tracks;
    street and highway network

    Possible Negative - too many seperated management authories.
    Oddball
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I prefer DC because of its cleanliness. It is very efficient, as is NYC's, but DC's buses and subway's are much cleaner and smell MUCH better.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    New York City without a doubt.* No other city in the world (except one line in Chicago and Philly) has the four-track express system for rapid transit.

    Only the rapid transit system in DC is worthy of a vote. The bus system is in bad shape and lacks any reserved lanes and the commuter rail system is very small and fragmented.

    I think you should have included Philly and Montreal. Montreal has a great rail (rapid transit and commuter rail)system and an extensive network of reserved bus lanes and transfer stations. Customer information is exceptional.

    *I have ridden every system except SF and Chicago.
    Last edited by jmello; 16 Jun 2006 at 4:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I feel very unqualifiedto vote, since I have not been on all of them, but I found SF to be incredibly user friendly and multi modal. DC is a close second for me. NY intimidated the hell out of me, mainly because of the sheer number of people and me never riding it before.

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I like the DC system; very clean, intuitive, well-placed stops.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I have only used the public transit in Chicago, New York, and DC. I chose NYC, simply because it is the most pervasive and extensive. But DC's is certainly a close second, because it beats NYC on cleanliness and comfort.

    I hate to say it, but Chicago's is rather lackluster, in relation. Being only a spoke design (everything converging at the center and the city being so lopsided), there is desperate need for crosstown paths, though the densities may not support it.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Of the ones mentioned I'd have to give my vote to DC, to be fair I've not experienced all of these systems, but thats the best in my experience.

    I'd say my favorite is Toronto's with its cross pattern subways and feeding bus/trolley lines. Pretty darned simple to navigate, and I never recall waiting forever for a bus or a train like I've experienced here in Motown.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I have only used the public transit in Chicago, New York, and DC. I chose NYC, simply because it is the most pervasive and extensive. But DC's is certainly a close second, because it beats NYC on cleanliness and comfort.

    I hate to say it, but Chicago's is rather lackluster, in relation. Being only a spoke design (everything converging at the center and the city being so lopsided), there is desperate need for crosstown paths, though the densities may not support it.
    The fat-strip shape of Manhattan makes it ideally suited to subway with brief and easy east-west travel on the island. The spoke design used in less geographically constrained cities such as Chicago is more problematic for cross-town traffic. With tons of investment over time, a well-integrated system of interconnecting loops and spokes can work wonders as can be seen in the system layouts of many a European city's rail system. I would imagine several European cities have better transit than NYC.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    well.....

    DC for me.....maybe just because that's the one I've used the most....
    It did seem to be cleaner than the others (never been to Portland)

    Why didn't you put LA on that list.....snicker......snarf.....Bwa Ha Ha Ha
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    I'm only familiar with the NY and DC systems as I was born and raised in NYC and now live in the DC Metro area. When looking at those two systems, the NYC transit system wins hands down, and it's all because of accessibility and convenience.

    In NYC you're always within walking distance of one, if not more, modes of public transportation and it's available 24hours a day, seven days a week.

    While the DC system is newer and cleaner, it is only convenient to those who are fortunate to work or live close to Metro rail...in most cases you still have to drive several miles of take a local bus line (i.e. Fairfax Connector) to get to a Metro system and DC Metro does not operate 24hrs a day.
    Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :-o
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  13. #13
    I would say New York even though I'm a native New Yorker. In NYC, the rail system is so expansive and well used that they run 24 hours a day! I lived in Boston for about five years and despite really liking their system it was very downtown Boston-centric and kind of spotty in some cases. I now live in Portland and the transit is very good I must say - especially in the burbs, but some options just don't exist, like express trains and so on.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear pulled the vote lever for New York. The size, the modes, the relative efficiency.....all give NYC a similar feel as the better transit systems in the rest of the world.

    I agree with DetroitPlanner and his view on Toronto. Every trip to Toronto has been made very pleasant by the ease-of-use of the subways and trolleys.

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    Occupy Cyburbia!

  15. #15
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I voted for Portland since that is the one that I am the most familiar with and because of the cost factor. Portland has managed to provide bus service to most of its suburbs from 6am-12am on most days. The MAX train and commuter lots make for a pretty efficient trip to the downtown area. The last year I was there an all-zone unlimited ride monthly pass was about $50, but I got mine at a discount from the university. Even if you buy a single ride ticket you can still transfer between bus and train without having to buy a new ticket. Most often a single ride ticket lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours, but there are other kinds of tickets too if you want to use the system for a day or hald day. The downfall to the system IMHO is that there are no express trains so you are stuck at every stop due to running on a single track, although there are a number of express busses during commute time and somewhat sporadic service to the very outer 'burbs. Tri-Met gets uber points for their LIFT system which are point to point mini-busses for disabled persons and their caretaker or companion. Call ahead to schedule a trip and it costs about a buck each way. My mom used them extensively in her last years when she could no longer walk to the bus stop or drive and it allowed her freedom to go places w/o having to pay high cab fares or rely on someone for a ride.

    I've ridden on the NYC transit system which I think is quite efficient and as someone said it runs 24 hours. For me though it was a bit of a turn off to pay each time I boarded a train or bus. I did get a weekly strip card which worked out well for about $20. The transit system is covered by all modes of transportation and connects well with Amtrak and NJIT too.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    great points about the system here in Portland. I love it!!! it's such a bargain!!! espeically in the Fareless Sq. where you don't have to pay anything to get around that zone. the MAX system is a gem! it's clean, safe, and efficient. I would say NY is tops because of so many options being available - from commuter rail to ferries. the NYC transit scene is rough around the edges though such as many stations being quite old and decrepit. and there are so many agencies stiring the pot it's often hard to find out who goes where. I think some of that is changing though though better coordination under the MTA.

  17. #17
    Denver is not there yet, but they're making huge strides. Within 10 years, they may be one of the best transit cities.

  18. #18
    Yup, I do buy that about Denver!!!! lots going on there!!!

  19. #19
         
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    I like Chicago's because it provides extensivley to the areas that need it most and use it most. I would advocate it alot more if they didn't just do a rate hike

  20. #20
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    I would have voted for NYC, with some qualifications:

    -Bus service is overloaded and sometimes unreliable (due to traffic)
    -No rail connections to Brooklyn/Queens above 63rd St. (though I can't say I've seen network analyses or transit use in NYC... so such a service may not be warranted.)
    -I've never experienced horrible cleanliness porblems on the Subway, but I've not ridden every line (I've never been on the L, which many NYC'ers say is consistently the worst.)
    -Notorious commuter rail bottlenecks under the East and Hudson rivers, as well as the brutal queues for NJ Transit buses through Lincoln Tunnel.

    Simply put, though, the system is so incredibly expansive that no one else can really compare... it brings true meaning to 'life without a car' (as in you can do everything without one.)

    And the increasing integration (transfers on Metrocard, Metrocard acceptance for Airtrain and PATH, Trips123 trip planning) is showing a concerted effort by the multiple agencies to coordinate the plethora of modes available.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  21. #21
    also feeding into the Lincoln Tunnel are the buses to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal! I wish there were a better link between Penn and Grand Central Stations, too!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian bocian's avatar
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    NYC/Metro all the way -- carries around half (or more?) of all RAIL commuters in the US on any single day! Chicago is #2 but only because the system runs 24/7 (although I did wait for an Irving Park bus from 1am to 4am one night and it never showed up...). And Portland? -- I don't think it should have been included in the poll, if one would insist on light rail / bus only system I'd choose St. Louis -- lr system there is much more comprehensive than Portland's and is growing at a quicker pace.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by portlandrican View post
    also feeding into the Lincoln Tunnel are the buses to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal! I wish there were a better link between Penn and Grand Central Stations, too!
    Re: Lincoln Tunnel

    That's really what I said... sure there are inter-city buses from PABT, but the majority of the congestion is from the ridiculous number of NJTransit buses from the areas of north Jersey not served by rail (or the buses that supplement rail.)

    That situation might improve with the completion of the THE--maybe more of the buses would terminate in Hoboken/Weehawken if the rail capacity under the river were increased (and if a more seamless NJTransit fare system were introduced.)
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  24. #24
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    to be carless

    NYC has the most expansive system, with the most coverage, and it is the easiest place to NOT have a car I have lived (though I did fine on a bicycle back in the day in Madison, WI for school and work). My last point is the litmus that interests me about other cities and metro areas - how well can you live there and apply to jobs and go out at night and get your groceries assuming you don't and won't ever have a car? Clean is a nice metric, but way down the important and essential list.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by cgrmndo View post
    NYC has the most expansive system, with the most coverage, and it is the easiest place to NOT have a car I have lived (though I did fine on a bicycle back in the day in Madison, WI for school and work). My last point is the litmus that interests me about other cities and metro areas - how well can you live there and apply to jobs and go out at night and get your groceries assuming you don't and won't ever have a car? Clean is a nice metric, but way down the important and essential list.
    I would agree with this assessment. However, I would certainly rank safety right up there. One of the things a lot of people like about their cars, is that they're isolated within their own locked doors. This gives them a sense of security. I personally find the mass transit appealing, seeing all the different people get on and off the train. I think one is more in tune with his surroundings, and the "heart of the city" on mass transit. This said, it's a large obstacle to overcome, for drivers to start anew, and give up that sense of security.

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