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Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 4:48 am

Generally speaking I know a lot of people still would not use the public transport system as they love their cars too much which in turn gives them greater freedom and independence as well as a sense of respectability , depending on their status in their employment

Much work still needs to be done here in the UK as the government do not still do enough to help out. If they want more people to leave their cars at home then more money has to spent ie: greater subsidies which could help to bring down fares and running costs of which the latter is helping fares go up.
I work as a bus driver myself and can tell you that the pay has not been great over the nine years I have been doing it. But that does look set to change we hope over the next two years. Now that WOULD make this job more enjoyable considering all the hassle you get.

Why are the buses running so late is a frequent question. Simple answer is traffic ( mainly cars) is gridlocked- again! But as for the trains there are some classic excuses.

The UK is only an island and over-congested at that and something needs to be done to cut the jams. Lets face it the car has made us a nation of lazy people to an extent but also the hectic pace of life has made it a necessity in other ways depending on your form of employment.

Apart from buses and trains in certain areas we are now seeing the Trams returning as another measure to try to cut our gridlocked roads. Something has got to be done convince the public that Public Transport is a way forward but its a tough project to handle. The love for the good old motorcar isnt going to go away wether it is in Europe or America.  Yeah sure

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:15 am

Public transport in Belgium is very popular because it's very cheap.

I take buses and trams so much that I once counted all my trips during one year. I had about 500 bus/tram rides in one year.

It's so popular that a lot of buses I take are totally full, sometimes it's very annoying to be pressed against eachother for about half an hour...

Anyway, I still prefer public transport above a car because it's cheap, because we have a lot of frequencies, and due to the very busy roads (taking a bus takes only slightly longer than going by car to the city).

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:08 am

I found the public transportation in England to actually be quite excellent, the best Ive experienced...even in semi-rural Derbyshire I was astonished to find a full system of buses and trains there...back home in my suburb of PHL, all we have are a few scattered buses and trains, but nothing rivaling what I saw in the UK...quite impressive...

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:32 am

I would use lightrail or subway systems, but If I'm going to have to sit in traffic anyway, I'll sit in my car thank you very much.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:42 am

I would use it, but it isn't convenient. In my city(and presumably others), in order to take the lightrail somewhere, I'd have to drive to the station, and then hop on a train, hoping that the station I get off at is not miles from where I want to go, and as a result, it takes longer to get there using public transport than if I used my car. If public transport were convenient and feasible in my city, then I would use it.

In London, New York, and Boston, things are different as stations are located throughout the city and in convenient, close locations that make public transport useful and feasible.

My 2 cents.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:55 am

Since it's my only means of transportation (besides my bike, which I refuse to use to go to Copenhagen), I pretty much have to use it. Despite the prizes going up, up & away at the moment.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 11:57 am

Yep - in Los Angeles, during the summer of 2002 I took the bus for 6 weeks from my house, about 11-14 miles from UCLA where I was taking classes. Not bad, I actually think it's pretty comfortable if you get a good seat and if there aren't too many people (lots of people in the morning, not so many around lunchtime)...what was worst was when I had to stand up and hold onto one of those handle things.  Insane..on the whole, public transportation in LA was alright for me.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:20 pm

since i sold my truck i now rely on the MTA (metropolitan transportation authority) to do the driving for me most of the time, which here in NYC is not a problem. the problem starts with those damn private bus companies though!!  Pissed i still drive, but usually only when my father isn't using his car.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:30 pm

Like many New Yorkers, I do not own a car and rely entirely on public transportation (and sometimes taxis) to get around. I ride the subway to work every day--about a half hour each way. Usually I have to stand the whole way (or choose to, rather than take a seat from someone who needs it more than I do), but I'm always reading a book or magazine, so the ride goes by pretty quickly. Also, my subway line (the 4/5/6) has improved immeasurably over the past couple of years as they have introduced new trains which are brighter, cleaner, smoother, and have better air conditioning.

However, there aren't many places in the U.S. where it is possible to do this. Maybe Boston, DC, and Chicago, but even in those places I think I'd still want a car.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:43 pm

I live in San Francisco and I use public transit everyday. I think it's the smartest thing for a large urban area.
I do own a car and I love my car. However I would hate to use my car everyday to sit in traffic going to and from work everyday.
I don't think most Americans are "in love with there car", otherwise they wouldn't be replacing them every 3-5 years. It has more to do with pooly planned cities. People wanting to buy the biggest house they can possibly buy which means moving way out to the burbs which has no smart public transit planning. Therefore they have no choice but to rely on there cars for everything.

The great thing about the subway is that you can read, sleep and not worry about all the headaches of driving in a major city.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:38 pm

I've been in Wichita for about seven years now and I haven't used the public transit system and probably never will. I don't think I know anyone who has, either. It's just not a very practical way to get around for me. I'm a couple of miles from the nearest stop. I don't mean to stereotype but the buses mostly go around rougher parts of town. You pretty much need a car to get around here, it's hard to get around on foot. I would like to see public transit to be more of a convienient and common thing to use. It seems like you hardly see folks out and about anymore, everyone seems to be in their cars which gives a feeling of isolation.
On the other hand, I use public transit regularly when I visit Okinawa. In Japan, public transit is efficient, practical, and pretty much everyone uses it at least once in a while. The buses are pretty nice and clean with reasonable prices. The crowds on the bus are pretty typical, everyday people. Recently, Okinawa opened its monorail which is the first rail transit system the island's had since WWII. I'll probably make use of it when I visit next time I visit.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:43 am

We don't have that in no.
I've tried it in other European cities and it's just to crowded and dirty.
Taxis are fine for me.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:49 am

I only use it a lot when I'm in New York or Europe. That being said, I often use it in other cities (like Washington) when trying to get from the airport to a relatives house or a hotel. I used MARTA a lot when I lived in Atlanta to get to Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome, to get to concerts, and the airport. Its pretty nice having an hour to sober up before the drive home...or an hour to get sloshed before the event.

I've lived in the Metroplex for a year and a half and I have had no urge to try DART despite the fact I live a five minute walk from the nearest station.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:51 am

When I was in Dallas, TX, for my A&P licence exams some years ago, first I used a taxi going to school everyday, but it proved to be too expensive. After a few days I discovered a bus running from the street my hotel was in to the airfield. From then on I used this bus everyday. They also have a nice, clean tramway system. The busses were clean and airconditioned as well.

When I was still living in Berlin, Germany, I used the public transport system regularly. The most important lines (both bus and underground) are running even at night.
Here in Cologne the bus schedules don´t fit my shift pattern, so I use the car to go to work.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:21 am

Living in Atlanta, right by a MARTA station I can do both. I live in Buckhead and work downtown, so I take the train. Cheaper than $100.00 a month for parking. For errands and grocery store runs, I drive. I must say, Atlanta traffic is getting worse, so I'm glad I don't have to drive or have a long commute. However, in Atlanta, if you live in town, you can survive without a car and it's not too bad.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:57 am

I use public transport when I can, and that's not very often. To get to work, I ride my bike (it's not even a five minute ride), to go shopping, I use a car because there are no buses except school buses in my part of town.

When I go on a trip (like this weekend), I check what Deutsche Bahn can offer. If their ridiculous rebates are available  Yeah sure add up to something that's not outrageously expensive, I'll choose them. But if a trip would cost at least 56 Euros instead of 22 for the fuel and take 3hrs 15mins instead of under 2hrs and I can get a car, there's no damned way I'll make their passenger numbers look any better.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:09 am

Yeah, I use it. I live in the Boston suburbs, so it isn't awful. I do have to drive, but there are about 5-7 commuter rail stops (on 3 lines) within 20-25 minutes of my house, so it isn't horrible. The subway will get you pretty much any place you need to go in Boston.

When I'm in New York/New Jersey, I use it all the time. In NYC, it is better to take the subway than a cab or having to endure a nice 10 degree, 20 block walk on a winter morning. The commuter rail (I primarily use NJ Transit) is excellent, runs very regularly on the lines I travel (Morris and Essex and North Jersey Coast), and it is a short walk from my destinations.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:15 am

After having my own car for nearly three years, no, only in exceptional circumstances i.e when my car is in for a service or Im going out drinking. Public transport is not very good in Sunderland. Even though my village has the metro system, which goes to NCL, via one change, the bus service is horrible. It like being on another planet compare to using my car.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:05 pm


living in Prague, Bratislava and eastern Slovakia (over summer vacation) we mostly used public transportation. In Prague and Bratislava, connection times were very short. During rush hours you will get 3-6 mins intervals!!! I believe that good PT is good thing. One can go to city, downtown, etc without worrying wehre to park and it is much cheaper than paying for gas, usage of car, parking etc.

HOWEVER, living in US (MD, NJ) where I would say PT is not that good. There are many reasons for that. Everything is rather further away. If one wants to go shopping, one has to use car or take PT. But the connection times are not that good. In Woodbridge, NJ connection time is around 30 mins. There is not such a convinience than in Prague/Bratisalva.

I was using PT for 9 years. If they would have Frequent User program I could go around the world many times in 1st class.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

However, living in US I am not using PT that much. Actually, I have use it prob. 20 times. Since I recieved my license, I did not use PT at all.

Maybe when I go back to Europe I will start using it again. I believe in PT!!!

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:25 pm

In Singapore public transportation is everywhere. It's hard to avoid public transportation especially when I can't drive yet.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:55 pm

Another factor is the public transport in the UK is generally expensive when compared to other countries. People take the view that as they have paid all the necessary taxes / insurance to maintain a car then they are going to use it as much as possible rather than pay again to use a poor bus/train service.
Another problem is that bus (less so train) journey times can be far higher and to get anywhere will often mean a change, a little like a hub & spoke airline network. A journey I do on a regular basis would take over 90 minutes by bus and over 60 minutes by train but in a car it takes 35 minutes - door to door.

Trains do have a place especially for those who commute on a daily basis - just think of how many more cars there would be if the UK rail network was shut down. However there is a point where the cost of train travel especially long distance is sometimes higher than flying particularly with the growth of low cost airlines. ie Southampton to Edinburgh return by air can be as little as £60 including taxes yet the same train fare is over £100 and takes 8 hours compared to 1.5.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:32 pm

Crapchester's public transportation is DISMAL. The bus comes once every solstice, and runs on an archiac hup and spoke network. When I was in college, I lived in one of the suburbs and the school was in the next town over. To get there via the bus, I had to go all the way downtown, change buses, and come all the way out. It would take an hour and a half to effectively travel seven miles.

Now I live downtown, and everything is in walking or biking distance. I basically just use my car to get to and from work, and park it on the weekends.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:09 pm

I live in Minneapolis (well actually the suburbs). While things have improved, public transport here still has a long way to go. In Minneapolis? It's not bad. Suburbs? Almost non-existant. We have many buses on the road, but they do not serve a multitude of locations outside of the city's core. They do operate suburban<->downtown service in the morning and evening, but other than that there is no real public transit outside the city.

This remains another area dependent on the car. The area's highways have needed major expansion for quite a while, but previous administrations seemed to feel that if highway expansion was curtailed, the demand for road capacity would just magically go away. This kind of brilliant policy has resulted in an expensive catch-up routine to try and modernize the area's highways.

Our new (and first) light-rail is slated to open Apr 3 (as long as the transportation workers' union does not go on strike). It runs from the Mall of America to MSP airport, through SE Minneapolis and into downtown Minneapolis. There is a lot of controvercy around it's construction as it is very expensive (approx. $750 mil for a 13 mile [20.8 km] run) and the corridor it runs through (Hiawatha Ave.) is empty, is distant from the train stations and feels as if it is in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps a rail that ran somewhere along or near I-35W would be more effective and I would imagine would be full of riders at all hours of the day. While this is just one line, hopefully it will be successful enough to justify the construction of future rail lines. We will only be able to gauge its success after it begins operation.
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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:24 pm

Here is what I think:

New York: Extensive subway and busses but needs better airport connections and service in boroughs other than Manhatan. Dirty.

Boston: Clean.

DC: Very Clean and efficient but poor connections.

San Fran Muni: A bit hard toi fit luggage in those 100 year old trolleys but fun and clean in gneral.

Bay Area BART: Clean, Fast, and cheap.

Madrid: Very Clean and efficient. Great locations.

Barcelona: Filthy. Filthy. poor locations and connections.

London: A great system.

Buenos Aires: Subte is fun to ride but provides poor connections and destinations. Seem to have stops that don't have any regard for location.

Dublin: Busses are a pain in the ass. No rail.

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RE: Public Transport. Would You Use It?

Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:31 pm

Speaking of London, I was extremely impressed with its transit system during my visit last month. The Tube was fast and efficient, buses ran everywhere, and the extent of the commuter rail network absolutely boggled my mind.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"

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