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Thread: Is there public transit where you live? Does it come reasonably often?

  1. #1

    Is there public transit where you live? Does it come reasonably often?

    In the recent length of commute thread, it was commented by one astute observer that few people reported commuting by public transportation. Most drove, a few walked.

    This raises several questions:

    Is there any transit near your where you live?

    What is the frequency of service?

    Does it go where you want it to go?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Sure.....

    If you stand on the side of the highway long enough with your arm extended and thumb up, you will eventually get a ride here in Arizona
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Bus stop a block away, L (elevated rail) station .4 miles away, commuter rail between Chicago and Kenosha, Wisconsin 1.25 miles away. Buses run every ten minutes most of the time and every half hour in the wee hours of the night. Trains run every 5-10 minutes and operate about 20 hours per day. That said I find biking much easier and quicker. Obviously no waiting, and since the bus tends to stop every other block and get stuck in traffic I almost always able to pass the bus and let it trail behind me.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    There is a bus stop on the same block as my apartment building. It comes every 30 minutes and is a pretty decent route. I use to ride the bus a lot here because parking is bad and expensive. Ever since I purchased my scooter, however, I rarely ride the bus. It is significantly faster to scoot and the cost of gas and parking are no longer an issue since I can lock my scooter up to most bike racks and regularly get 70+ mpg.

    My only complaint about the transit system in Honolulu is that there are bus stops at nearly every block, which is great for old folks but it makes it take forever to get anywhere. The system is relatively good and covers almost the entire island. If they would just space the bus stops out to every other block or every few blocks, it would improve the level of service significantly. That being said, the bus is almost always packed so it must not deter most people.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Jamestown doesn't have mass transit, primarily because there's not enough 'mass' here. Driving, bicycling or walking is what you've got -- except for the Amish who drive their horses and buggies to jobs in the city.

  6. #6
    In my part of Boston, we are about a 10 - 15 minute walk to the Orange, Red, and Green Lines (subway and light rail), we have one of the worst BRT lines known to humanity that goes by our condo complex, and a couple of other bus lines. Subway service is generally good, though the Orange line seems to only have 20 minute headways nights and weekends. The BRT line is frequent, but not frequent enough for the service. The other bus lines are pretty sparse, sometimes only coming once every half hour.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    In my college-dominated metro area of ~135,000 we have an excellent bus system. I can walk to either end of my block and catch a bus within 15 minutes at most times of the day and it could take me to most places around town. I'm also about 4 miles from the nearest Amtrack station or Greyhound. There are also express buses that will take you to Chicago for weekend trips. We also have Zip cars spread around town.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    In my college dominated area this is a public transit system for the City I live in, as well as an County wide transit system that connect all major cities in the County, as well as a major City in northern Santa Barbara County.

    Our local transit system (SLOtransit, get the pun) gets mainly utilized by the college students since it is free for them (the local U subsidizes fares for students). Other uses it as well and imo is very efficient coming on the hour, with late night service on the primary routes that college students use.

    Our regional transit system comes on the hour from 6:30am to 7:30 pm. I walk to the "transit" center and take this for my ride to work 3 days a week. A monthly pass runs me $40. You do the math with you commute is 36 mi r/t at $4 a gallon for gas. It takes me 15 minutes to get to the transit center walking.

    Our local amtrak station is just blocks from my house. The fam has been meaning to take the coast surfliner one of these days down to Santa Barbara just for fun.

    When i worked in San Francisco and lived in Richmond, i drove to the local BART station. I loved it. A quick 5 minute drive. Park. Read a paper on the train. Off at Civic Center, and at work. It was a thing of beauty
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    In my college-dominated metro area of ~135,000 we have an excellent bus system.
    I think this college-dominated metro area is a shining example that a community does not need high density or a large population to have an excellent public transportation system.

    Where I live now, there is one bus that is within about a mile of where I live that heads downtown and comes every hour. KC is still very auto-dependant.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I just moved from the City to the burbs. I went from having two transit agencies and multiple routes within a half mile walk to only senior and disabled paratransit.

    I don't think it matters much out here. It seems there are people running or biking everywhere. In my old neighborhood if you were running the cops would stop you as it was seen as you were trying to get away with something.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I can (and sometimes do) drive a short distance from home to a commuter rail station and take the train. Station in my work city is a little distant from my office, but I can walk it if I need to or get picked up. If I worked in downtown SLC, I could take a bus from the corner near my house and be downtown in 10 minutes.

    Not bad, really. It's been a long time coming, though.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  12. #12
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    Obviously, Long Island is unique, but I can walk 1 black to our local station
    (LIRR Merrick)

    Rush Hour trains to NY and Brooklyn go by about every 5-10 mins in the morning... off-peak headways are 30 mins at the local station, 15 mins at the stop 1 mile down the road (LIRR Freeport).

    Service is 24/7...I've taken the 3:47am drunk train home with the buddies late Saturday nights many times.

  13. #13
    The Austin area is just getting into light rail, so no stop where I live in Round Rock. However we do have Capital Area Rural Transportation System, call on demand and ride is around $2.

    I grew up in Boston where there has been light rail since forever...........during the 30's on up the females in our family never drove, since we had so many options available.

    Rail is expensive and I do not think it will ever pay for itself in this country.........but I know never say never!

    Go SOX!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by johnelsden View post
    The Austin area is just getting into light rail, so no stop where I live in Round Rock. However we do have Capital Area Rural Transportation System, call on demand and ride is around $2.

    I grew up in Boston where there has been light rail since forever...........during the 30's on up the females in our family never drove, since we had so many options available.

    Rail is expensive and I do not think it will ever pay for itself in this country.........but I know never say never!

    Go SOX!
    The bus "service" is useless, but light rail is ~10 minute drive and very convenient destinations.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Fredericksburg, VA has bus service. Problem is that none of the stops have maps or schedules, so nobody knows when it runs and where it goes.
    "It's human nature, you can't do anything about that" - Alan Greenspan

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  16. #16
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I live a minute walk from a train station. Trains come twice an hour (more often in peak). I live 50+ kms from Sydney
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There is very little transit available in the Milwaukee suburbs, and our governor is trying to eliminate that.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    There is a bus stop on the same block as my apartment building. It comes every 30 minutes and is a pretty decent route. I use to ride the bus a lot here because parking is bad and expensive. Ever since I purchased my scooter, however, I rarely ride the bus. It is significantly faster to scoot and the cost of gas and parking are no longer an issue since I can lock my scooter up to most bike racks and regularly get 70+ mpg.

    My only complaint about the transit system in Honolulu is that there are bus stops at nearly every block, which is great for old folks but it makes it take forever to get anywhere. The system is relatively good and covers almost the entire island. If they would just space the bus stops out to every other block or every few blocks, it would improve the level of service significantly. That being said, the bus is almost always packed so it must not deter most people.
    With its high population density and linear layout, I'd think that of all USA cities without a 'heavy rail' transit system, Honolulu would be at the top of the list for building one. IMHO, it would be heavily used.

    Anyways, my current abode is on a couple of Valley Transit bus routes, providing half-hourly service during the day and hourly off-peak. *NO* service overnight (21h-04h) nor on Sunday.

    Mike

  19. #19
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    I live about a 15 min walk from a bus stop. The main problem with suburban buses is that they are infrequent, have poor span of service, and zig-zag all around.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    With its high population density and linear layout, I'd think that of all USA cities without a 'heavy rail' transit system, Honolulu would be at the top of the list for building one. IMHO, it would be heavily used.

    Mike
    Oahu is on the books for groundbreaking of a new elevated rail system that will run along the main commuter corridor. It will connect the main business areas of Honolulu with the airport and all the suburbs that extend to the west of the island (which is where most commuters live). The county is already contracting for TOD planning around the new transit stops too. The rail system isn't scheduled to be complete until about 2018 though. The biggest challenge is the complete lack of space on this island. If they had built a rail system in the early 1980s, as was planned, instead of waiting for 30 more years of sprawl to cover every last inch of the island, it would have been significantly easier. The elevated system will solve some space issues since it can share ROW with existing streets and highways, which is why they opted for an elevated vs ground level system. An elevated system costs more though, and there are a few vocal groups out here protesting the cost. Of course, you never see these people out protesting the costs of new highways; rather, they demand them. Nevertheless, a majority of residents voted last term in favor of the rail system and the cost, so build it we shall.

    Quote Originally posted by Tcmetro View post
    I live about a 15 min walk from a bus stop. The main problem with suburban buses is that they are infrequent, have poor span of service, and zig-zag all around.
    I think "zig zagging all around" is the main reason more people do not use transit, especially if you are accustomed to driving. As a driver, you know that if you take X road(s), you will save 20 minutes on your commute, but a bus has to drive through residential areas to pick up more riders making it take longer, particularly if it is a suburb-to-city route. Here that problem is diminished by express routes and the fact that even the suburbs are high density. Also, the buses use the HOV lane, which can (though frequently doesn't) make the bus commute faster than driving during rush hour.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    Calgary has the C-train (LRT) that runs through the downtown core, with two lines (Crowfoot (NW) to Somerset (SW) and McKnight (NE) to 10 City Centre (10 st SW downtown)). We are in the midst of extending the 10st stop with the West LRT out into the western suburbs.

    Peak time for the LRT is every 5 minutes, off peak is every 10 and late night is 15. With us going into stampede season, the system will run for the next 10 day 24 hours a day, but every 15 minutes during the late night/morning until typical service times. I live one block north of 7th Avenue - the transit street that the LRT runs on.

    We also have several BRT routes throughout the city and to the airport, plus typical transit.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    We have a bus that makes a regular route to the neighboring town and back and then through the main drag to downtown and back. It is primarily catering to people getting to and from work. Not exactly a really reliable transit plan.

    However, you can call the bus dispatcher, preferably the day before, tell him where you need to be picked up and when and a bus will pick you up.

    There is a free bus on Saturday that will take you to a popular trailhead, so you can leave your car or bike at the endpoint and hop the bus to the starting point.

    Towns like Missoula have a pretty good bus system. While a student at UM I used it a lot and it was free, because the student fees subsidized it, as a way of reducing parking at the U and the surrounding neighborhoods. However if you had a night class you had to drive to the U because the buses stopped running after 7 p.m.
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  23. #23
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    I went to college in Atlanta and the public transportation (MARTA) is awful. You have two train lines- one that runs vertically and one that runs horizontally across the city. (I believe this was initially done back in the day to racially segregate the city) There are a few bus lines, but because of bad traffic the buses never run on time and I've been passed by a bus on my line a couple of times because it was too full to let me on. Atlanta isn't very pedestrian friendly because it's so spread out and sidewalks will literally just disappear.

    Living in Atlanta for four years actually made me want to go into urban planning. It's a city that grew too fast with little to no planning. The city of Atlanta only has about 500,000 people, but the metro area has 4 million+, many who commute to the city for work. Rush hour lasts from 3:30-7pm.

    That all being said, I like Atlanta. I'm hoping I could do some planning related work there someday.

    I am from New Jersey though. Public transportation isn't really an option in the suburbs and a car is pretty necessary. I do use public transportation to get to NYC though, as there's a train station not too far from me.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    I think the Burlington area is a very good example of access to public transit without being a major urban area. Bus service through the downtown (pop less than 40k) is frequent and consistent, but also through the connecting corridors. The two major arterials have 15 minute service, and service populations in the 5-17k range. There is also adequate and affordable bus service to the state capitol, and a thriving ride-share advocacy program. No light rail to speak of, but it is not being ignored for future planning from what I understand.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    we have one of the worst BRT lines known to humanity that goes by our condo complex.
    The silver line or something else?

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