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Reliable Public Transportation

jar546

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Joined
Oct 16, 2009
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8,168
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Palm Beach County Florida
This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. For anyone who ever traveled through Europe, you’ll see how they are way ahead of the curve for public transportation. This reduces all of our crazy, wasteful traffic jams.

* i’m going to put a warning here right now that this is not a political discussion, this is a discussion solely about public transportation and how the United States screw themselves with zoning laws that require parking spots along with an emphasis on major highways and ended up dividing up the cities.

if this turns political, it will be locked out, the people who made it political will have their post deleted and possibly suspended. I am really looking for solid, informative banter without the politics. Consider yourself warned
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
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Oct 19, 2009
Messages
19,687
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Basement
Yep Europe has it going.

I do like DC, it is fairly easy to get around.

Problem is people are use to having a car and the independence that comes with it
 

TheCommish

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Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
1,217
Location
Charlton Ma
In rural areas public transport is not a thing. We have a town of 44 SM, and a route through the center of town from the neighbor town that travels the main roads, 2 of them number routes one, the bus will not stop on, and goes to a hub, it takes 2 hours and a coupe of transfer to get somewhere in the City of Worcester
 

fatboy

Administrator
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,164
Location
Northern CO
Not been to Europe, so I can't speak to that. But, I have traveled a bit to Code Change Hearings around the US, and find most of them lacking. But, many years ago, might have been 2007? The hearing for the 2009 IRC Changes, in Minneapolis (yes, the sprinkler debacle). Anyway, they had a train that ran straight out of the airport, to downtown, making stops back and forth, even back then, it was the easiest system to use, I was amazed!

I think Denver has a decent system now, although timeliness cam be an issue, especially the DIA to downtown, but they are working on it. These are the Park & Ride's in the metro area, transfer to either bus or rail.

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Mac Moonfire

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
29
Location
Sechelt, BC
Singapore has to be a leader in public transportation. It comes down to "good" city planning. Instead of planning a 16 lane wide highway through town, they build the public transport infrastructure first, then develop the land. Literally, I witnessed several new buildings go up simultaneously where all workers transported themselves through newly build SkyTrain stations. I wonder how China is handling this?

Also, it is a conundrum of the chicken and the egg. To be able to rely on public transport, it has to be economical and efficient. And, in order to justify the expense of a grid of buses and trains, it has to be used and generate an income.

Quebec city has one of the worst public transport systems in North America. Most of it runs east to west only. Some routes are in a zigzag pattern, making bicycling faster and more reliable. The wife chose a 15min drive to college/university instead of a 1.5hr bus ride. That's 3hrs a day you lose every day. Just about every citizen owns a 5 seat car starting from college. This leads to massive opposition to municipal funding of an inefficient public transportation system.

In my humble opinion, North American petrol isn't expensive enough to justify efficient public transportation.

No matter how you look at it, it seems to be related to societal values, economics and city planning. That sounds like politics ;)
What is the question jar546?
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,475
Location
Virginia
Flew into Atlanta a couple of times for a meeting downtown. $5 one way on the train, very convenient.

I live in suburban Richmond, about 20 mi to downtown, on a tollroad. Considered taking the bus but it was very poorly set up. Just taking into consideration the cost of the tolls, the cost of parking, and cost of gas ... it was cheaper to drive. The city had priced the bus too high. And there was only one run each day, one inbound in the morning, one outbound in the evening.
 

Rick18071

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Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
2,802
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Poconos/eastern PA
Around Philly there is a lot of public trains to get to suburbs to downtown but nothing to get from one suburban town to another one.
 

JCraver

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Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Messages
754
Location
Southern IL
I haven't been to Europe. I have rode trains and busses a few places in the US. They were all dirty, ~half the fellow travelers were not folks you'd choose to share a ride with, and I wouldn't take my kids on any of them unless it was life-or-death. That other places do it "better" than we do is a credit to them, I suppose - as long as we're not talking about the politics of it.
 

Keystone

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Feb 23, 2010
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Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Now with the advent of Uber and Lyft, it certainly adds to alternatives. Uber and Lyft aren’t welcomed everywhere but they experience the same problem as public transportation, serving rural areas.
 

jar546

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Oct 16, 2009
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Palm Beach County Florida
I haven't been to Europe. I have rode trains and busses a few places in the US. They were all dirty, ~half the fellow travelers were not folks you'd choose to share a ride with, and I wouldn't take my kids on any of them unless it was life-or-death. That other places do it "better" than we do is a credit to them, I suppose - as long as we're not talking about the politics of it.

Imagine, if you will living in Carbondale, IL and working in Benton, IL and not needing a car. Imagine, taking the train from Carbondale to Benton and getting there in 30 minutes and paying around $170/month which would take you just about anywhere in regional service. Imagine relaxing for your 30 minute ride to work, or getting some work done, or even taking a nap. No traffic and just a few stops. Imagine clean public transportation.

Imagine going to just about any major city on a bullet train, often direct, in the country or other countries. That is what it is like in Europe.
 

Terryz

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Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Pendleton, OR
Yep Europe has it going.

I do like DC, it is fairly easy to get around.

Problem is people are use to having a car and the independence that comes with it
I spent a week in DC years ago. Once I got used to the Metro system it was very easy. Extremely efficient.
 

Keystone

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Feb 23, 2010
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Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Uber and Lyft are too expensive for routine, public transportation.

Depends on location. Spent time in Puerto Rico right before the pandemic, uber’d all but 2 rides and cost was extremely low. The 2 rides not uber’d, used public transportation and it was a mess. Sardines jammed into a tin can.
 

JCraver

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Feb 20, 2014
Messages
754
Location
Southern IL
Imagine, if you will living in Carbondale, IL and working in Benton, IL and not needing a car. Imagine, taking the train from Carbondale to Benton and getting there in 30 minutes and paying around $170/month which would take you just about anywhere in regional service. Imagine relaxing for your 30 minute ride to work, or getting some work done, or even taking a nap. No traffic and just a few stops. Imagine clean public transportation.

Imagine going to just about any major city on a bullet train, often direct, in the country or other countries. That is what it is like in Europe.

Thanks for painting the picture. I can imagine it, and it sounds awful. Everybody is different, but for me the thought of being stuck twice-a-day in a steel tube with a bunch of folks I don't know holds no appeal whatsoever. I live where I live and drive my truck to work every day on purpose.

In practice, it's the difference in the rural vs. urban worlds. A train or a bus makes perfect sense if you live in and never leave a city. If you live in the woods and sometimes get texts from your wife to pick up milk, eggs, and horse feed on your way home from work, then not so much. It's not a one-size-fits-all issue.




Regional tip: If you lived in Benton you'd work in C'dale, probably not the other way around. Almost 4 times the population and many more employers. The trip takes 30 minutes in a pickup, max. - much less if you go the back way and don't see any cops. :)
 

Mech

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Joined
Oct 30, 2009
Messages
904
Location
Eastern PA
There is no public transportation to get from the town where I live to the little city where I work. I would need to drive 20 minutes to a bus depot, then ride a bus for 40 - 50 minutes. I can drive to work in 30 minutes. Several years ago when I looked at public transportation, it cost maybe a dollar a day more to drive myself and that included paying to park.

Public transportation with fewer cars just to travel 8 minutes out of the city would help in the winter as I went 5 blocks in 40 minutes a few weeks ago due to losing a lane with all the snow.
 
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