kl911
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Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:30 am

Like the topic said, Why are there no, or almost no railway/subway connections between major US cities and their airports?

Europe and Asia have it, why not the US? It's so much faster, cheaper, cleaner then car traffic. I realize the US has not much of a railway system like we know it here, but center to airport lines must be possible.

What's the main reason for this not happening?

KL911
 
Kahala777
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:32 am

You are forgetting:

New York/JFK
New York/LGA
Newark
Chicago/ORD
San Francisco

Aloha,

Kahala777
 
Newark777
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:33 am

In the New York area, there is a rail connection to JFK, via train and Airtrain, and at EWR, Amtrak and NjTransit run to a EWR station, where they can pick up the EWR Airtrain. I'm not sure about other areas, though.

Harry
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BNAflyer78
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:34 am

Also DCA, BOS and BWI (to a lesser extent)
Long live the Widget!
 
kl911
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:38 am

Ok, didn't know that, but is it faster and more efficient then cars as it is in Europe? That's the only thing that makes it attractive..

Example, when I have cleared customs at AMS, I go down to the trainsstation in the terminal, and 19 min later I'm in the center of town. I can promise you that no one can even find his car in 19 minutes at those BIG carparks...
( And then being to tired to drive, many trafficjams etc etc..)

KL911
 
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PA110
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:44 am

At peak hours almost all are more efficient than driving, simply because traffic is so bad. At off peak hours, I can't speak for the other cities, but it is faster to drive between SFO and downtown San Francisco because BART takes a very circuitous route, and stops at ever station.
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:45 am

In Boston, it takes about 10 minutes to get from Government Center to the airport, which is comparable with a taxi. With a taxi, you get dropped off at your terminal though, while the subway station requires a shuttle bus to the terminal.

Washington, from the White House area, it's about equal. 15 minutes on a Metro train, 15 minutes in a cab.

New York takes about 30 minutes from Penn Station, which isn't all too bad. Drive can take 30 minutes or longer, depending on traffic.

San Francisco takes about 30 minutes on BART, I'd assume it's about a 15-20 minute drive on the 101, depending on traffic.

LAX also has a train line (the green line I think), that is similiar to BOS' setup.

Jeff
 
texan
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:50 am

Dallas and Denver both have links to their airports planned but not yet completed (although it is possible to take the TRE from Downtown Dallas to DFW Centreport, then take a shuttle bus from there to the airport). Houston also has a link in the planning stages, but it is probably a decade or more away from becoming a reality. While the Northeast US often uses the benefits of public transportation, it just has not yet caught on in the majority of the States. Once the line to DAL opens up in a few years, I plan to use it frequently assuming I'm still in Dallas. Does Portland's light rail go to PDX yet?

Texan
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dutchjet
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:51 am

European cities and countries have invested far more in public transit infrastructure than their counterparts in the USA - public tranportation, especially train service, is much better and more comprehensive in Europe than it is in the US. These are not opinions, they are facts. The US is much more automobile oriented, especially outside of the Northeast.

Train links to airports never developed until recently even in cities with commuter railroad systems or subways, that is beginning to change, but even in cities with rail connections to the airport, passengers do not use them as frequently as they do in Europe. The construction of pax rail lines into airports is expensive and it does not get much support from citizens or politicians.

I guess its partly a cultural thing and its partly the lack of good quality rail service in the US.
 
premobrimo
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:52 am

Let's not forget MSP!!!
Now You're Flying Smart.
 
COEWR787
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:53 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 1):
New York/LGA

LGA???? Praytell what rail or subway connection to LGA? Oh you mean the excruciating bus connection from Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights station?
 
usairways85
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:54 am

PHL also has a connection with commuter rail.

The one thing i think you are missing is the fact that the train system in the US is completely different than it is in Europe. Amtrak's northeast corridor(DC-Philly-NYC-Boston) is somewhat similar to that of Europe but even that corridor is lagging in some respects when compared to Europe. The trains aren't always as efficient as they could be or as the should be.
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:54 am

Here are a few other airports that have rail/light rail/subway/monorail service from their respective city centers:

Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Portland, OR (PDX)
St. Louis, MO (STL)
Minnapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP)
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) - not sure if the monorail is running all the way to the airport yet.

How convenient and timely they are...that I am not sure of as I have never been on any of them.
 
IADBGO
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:55 am

Some airports in the US do have connections with rail. BWI actually has a couple. MARC, Amtrak and light rail all have connections with BWI. Metro links with DCA. Now IAD does not currently have a rail connection but they are giong to start construction on that in the next year or so. The main obstacle has been funding. Because of the way federal transportation dollars are distributed in the US it is a real fight to get stuff done that goes through multiple juristictions. Federal, state and local areas all have to jump through hoops to get anything built.

IADBGO
 
ssides
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:55 am

The primary reason is because US cities are almost invariably more spread out and less densely populated -- rendering rail links less popular and, relatively speaing, too expensive, to be effective.

While most major US cities (New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.) have some kind of rail transit, it's hit or miss. In many cases, these rail systems only reach a small fraction of the population. For example, I live in Dallas, but like most people here I'm nowhere close to a DART rail station. Here, it would be prohibitively expensive to build a rail system that most citizens could feasibly use.

Add that to the fact that, like many other cities, our (larger) airport is a considerable distance from the city center. Extending rail directly to DFW would be very expensive, and even then would not be useful to those people who live far from a rail link. We currently have rail service to DFW on the Trinity Railway Express, but it is very burdensome, particularly with luggage: You have to take DART to downtown Dallas, change to the TRE, disembark at DFW station, take a shuttle bus to the rental car center, then take the rental car shuttle to the terminal. In July, when it's 110 degrees, I'd rather just drive my air-conditioned vehicle straight to the terminal -- even if it takes me an extra 10-15 minutes.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
iowa744fan
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:56 am

Looks like PDX and MSP were mentioned while I was writing. Texan, the Portland light rail system does go all the way to PDX.
 
cairo
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:56 am

ATL and PHL have a rail link as well, so it looks like about 10 or so US airports have it.

In general, public transport in the US is not as developed or perceived as important as in Europe. People in America are used to driving their car everywhere, even as they get fat and waste gas to do it.

What is really bad are airports like DFW and IAH, where you are really out in the middle of nowhere and your choices are an expensive cab ride, rent a car, or take a hodge-podge system of buses and some trains to get you into the city center. If you drive your own car you have to pay expensive parking rates.

I agree, the trains-to-the-airport which are common everywhere in the world are very convenient, I wish we had more of them in America.

Cairo
 
N62NA
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:56 am

I actually had a business trip to Atlanta a few weeks ago - the first time that ATL was actually my final destination!

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the subway that goes directly to the downtown part of Atlanta, along with the northern part of Atlanta where my hotel was located.

Also, first for me last year was taking the subway from ORD to downtown Chicago.

So yes, we actually do have some train links between our major airports and their respective downtown cities.
 
bananaboy
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:57 am

There is a rail link to MDW too.


Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
stirling
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 1):
You are forgetting:

New York/JFK
New York/LGA
Newark
Chicago/ORD
San Francisco

Aloha,

Kahala777

And YOU are forgetting about Portland, OR (PDX)  Smile
Delete this User
 
boeingbus
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 6):
In Boston, it takes about 10 minutes to get from Government Center to the airport, which is comparable with a taxi. With a taxi, you get dropped off at your terminal though, while the subway station requires a shuttle bus to the terminal.

Well, you have the blue line but just recently they opened the Silver Line, which is natural gas powered transit bus subway service to Logan and circles around all the terminals...

http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/schedules_subway_silverline.asp
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
Kahala777
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:00 am

Quoting COEWR787 (Reply 10):
Oh you mean the excruciating bus connection from Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights station?

It is a quick link, and no it is not excruciating!


Aloha,

Kahala777
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:06 am

KL911, don't konw where you got your info, but as many have pointed out above, many US airport have rail links . . . even ANC - Alaska Railroad depot not 500 yards from Airport Security. . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
BOSSAN
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:09 am

Many US airports have some form of rail transit link to the airport, either within the terminal or accessible by shuttle.

Atlanta ATL: MARTA North-South line heavy rail
Baltimore BWI: MTA Blue Line light rail, in terminal; Amtrak Northeast Corridor line with bus shuttle
Boston BOS: MBTA Blue Line heavy rail with bus shuttle
Cleveland CLE: RTA Red Line heavy rail in terminal
Chicago ORD: CTA Blue Line heavy rail in parking garage
Chicago MDW: CTA Orange Line heavy rail in parking garage
Los Angeles LAX: MTA Green Line light rail with bus shuttle (transfer to Blue Line for downtown)
Fort Lauderdale FLL: Tri-Rail commuter rail with bus shuttle
Minneapolis MSP: Hiawatha light rail in parking garage
Miami MIA: Tri-Rail commuter rail with bus shuttle (transfer to Metrorail for downtown)
New York EWR: Amtrak Northeast Corridor line with monorail shuttle
New York JFK: LIRR commuter rail and several heavy rail lines with light rail shuttle
Philadelphia PHL: SEPTA commuter rail adjacent to terminal
Portland PDX: MAX light rail in terminal
San Francisco SFO: BART heavy rail in terminal
St Louis STL: MetroLink light rail adjacent to terminal
Washington DCA: WMATA Blue/Yellow Line heavy rail adjacent to terminal

These rail links vary widely in frequency, service, and time to the central business district. Many close-in airports like San Diego SAN and New York LGA have convenient bus links to downtown and/or rail.

That said, the majority of passengers at all of these airports arrive by private transportation -- parking at the airport, taxis, rides from friends. With train systems less coordinated on average than in European countries, even when transit links exist the trip times can be long and connections balky, and the average person concludes that transit is less convenient.
 
daedaeg
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:10 am

I grew up in chicago. Although the subway goes directly into O'hare Airport, it can take up to two hours to go from the airport to my parent's home on the far southside of the city. I can get there much faster in a car.
Everyday you're alive is a good day.
 
katekebo
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:18 am

The reason is very simply - economics. US is a market-driven economy. When it makes economic sense to put a rail link, i.e. the investor / owner is confident that he will obtain a decent rate of return on his money, then there will be a rail link.

The economics of such project need to take into account many factors, such as population distribution, road infrastructure and traffic density, fuel cost, etc.

In Europe, most rail projects are built with goverment money or subsidized, with the best example of such "white-elefant" projects being the tunnel under the English Channel (or Canal de la Manche for our French friends).
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:23 am

I have personally use the trains to get to ORD, MDW, DCA & BOS.
Most of these trains work very well if you are destined for the city center. Example, I flew into MDW to visit a friend in Lakeview. It was much cheaper, faster, and more stress-free for me to ride the CTA into the city. When I left, I flew out of ORD, and even on a Sunday evening, we were blowing by traffic on the blue line while I-90 was a parking lot.

DCA is great too. You can't beat the cost or the frequency of the Metro.

That said, DTW being my home airport has virtually no mass-transit options available to passengers. In fact, there is no reliable mass transit available for all of Metro Detroit. The SMART/DDOT bus systems or the People Mover don't count. Its sad that there is no transit system because it is really straining the region's highways and growth potential. Metro Detroit is an urban planner's worst nightmare as nothing is centrally located and there is no organization to anything. You have to drive everywhere, and there are numerous pockets of business & bedroom communities. The highway system was designed decades ago when everyone was commuting into the downtown city center. Now you have a majority of people commuting between suburbs on roads that weren't designed to handle the volume they see. You have large business concentrations in places like Auburn Hills, Troy, Southfield, Dearborn, & Ann Arbor with people commuting in all sorts of directions. Thus any mass transit system now, even to the airport is almost pointless since everything is so scattered and isolated.
 
AussieItaliano
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:27 am

I think that a lot of it has to do with age of the cities in Europe and the US.

European cities are pretty old, and because quick transportation methods weren't available when those European cities were built, people live much closer together. It is common for most residents in European cities to live in an apartment building, making those cities more densely populated. Even once cars were invented, not everyone got them because of parking issues, traffic, etc. Therefore, rail travel seemed like a better option for Europeans. Most European cities developed good public transportation systems as a result, and a large majority of the population uses the system, justifying its cost.

Most American cities, on the other hand, were populated when the car was already in existence, so people no longer felt the need to live close to their place of business. See how cities in the US are spread out compared to those of Europe. It can take over an hour to cross some metropolitan areas, and that's with no traffic. When a train has to make 30 stops between your home and your business (in order to serve a large geographic area), it becomes a less attractive option. You'd rather get in your car and drive to work. That's why public transport hasn't really taken off in most American cities, and it's hard to justify paying to build a system that people aren't likely to give up their cars for.

Now, there are some exceptions to the general rule. Some American cities, particularly the older ones in the Northeast, are more densely populated, so they have better public transport. Since many people use public transport as a way of life in these cities, it makes sense to have service to the airport. However, in cities where the vast majority of people don't use public transport, it's hard to justify building a 20 mile (32km) link to the airport from the Downtown area.

I see that many US cities are now populating their Downtowns with highrises (complete with all the amenities that NY'ers and Europeans are used to), and so if that trend continues, it is likely that better public transport will emerge due to the increased hassle of driving as opposed to using a train. Then I think you'll start to see very convenient connections by rail to the airports.
Third Runway - LHR, Second Runway - LGW, Build Them Both!!!
 
CHI787ORD
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:29 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
And YOU are forgetting about Portland, OR (PDX)

The statement was referring to MAJOR cities.


btw, ORD is well connected to the Chicago via the "L" train and I believe MDW as well.
 
premobrimo
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:31 am

I would put Portland in there as a major city. Sorry we don't all live in Chicago, New York, or LA.
Now You're Flying Smart.
 
727EMflyer
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:45 am

Americans are adicted to their cars. As mentioned, several cities have rail links, but I fear their use is limited to a very few people who don't have the benefit of a car and even fewer forward thinkers who see the benefit of transit. If you look at the arrivals areas of many U.S. airports you will be hard pressed to find guides to any public transportation that exists, however, the rental car companies have large flashy signs, kiosks at each baggage claim, and the benefit of airport owned signs with arrows pointing you their way. Even if you could convince the masses that they would be better off on a train, I can guarantee the lobbying dollars from Hertz, Avis, and Alamo would keep improvements stalled.
 
B744F
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:53 am

Because city planners were horrible at planning most major cities causing headaches when now they try to put in mass transit.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:54 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
Portland, OR (PDX)  

Not only is the MAX light rail line to PDX frequent and convenient, it costs a mere $1.40 to $1.70 depending upon where you're starting from/going to, with a transfer to busses and street cars included. The last time I used it though, I saw few travelers, most of the passengers appeared to be airport workers.
International Homo of Mystery
 
ScottB
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:58 am

Quoting KL911 (Thread starter):
Like the topic said, Why are there no, or almost no railway/subway connections between major US cities and their airports?

It seems that BOSSAN's excellent laundry list of airports with transit links pretty much debunks the opening poster's hypothesis.

I'd add that PBI has a bus link to the Tri-Rail, a connection to Amtrak and MBTA Commuter Rail is planned for PVD, and OAK has a shuttle to BART.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:05 am

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 20):
Well, you have the blue line but just recently they opened the Silver Line, which is natural gas powered transit bus subway service to Logan and circles around all the terminals...

http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/sche...e.asp

Nah, I just chose to ignore it, as the way I see it (and I rode the Silver Line to Logan on it's first full day of service), it's a bus. Sure, the 5 minutes from South Station to Silver Line Way are in a private Right of Way, but once the busses stop using the catenary, they're in regular traffic, especially in the Ted Williams Tunnel, where it is much slower than other traffic if there is any congestion (I rode it about 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon). It does stop right at the terminals, but it's still a bus in my book - a much too hyped one too...

Quoting BOSSAN (Reply 23):
Cleveland CLE: RTA Red Line heavy rail in terminal

Takes about 25 minutes on the RTA...wasn't bad when I did it (I got on at Puritas, one stop before the Airport...)

Also, BART goes to OAK with a Shuttle bus that services the station, the Coliseum and the airport.
 
airfrnt
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:15 am

Quoting KL911 (Thread starter):

Europe and Asia have it, why not the US? It's so much faster, cheaper, cleaner then car traffic. I realize the US has not much of a railway system like we know it here, but center to airport lines must be possible.

Cheaper? Not in America. Our cities are much more spread out (less dense) then the equivelent European city. Not only that, most of the cities were actually designed after the automobile, so it tends to be more flexable and easy to take a car.

That being said, The larger cities and hubs are now putting in rail. Even DEN and LAX which are probably the most decentrialized of the top 5 are getting or have gotten rail put in.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:25 am

Quoting BNAflyer78 (Reply 3):
Also DCA, BOS and BWI (to a lesser extent)

All three of those airports are actually really well connected. BWI is in fact well connected to both major cities it serves

Quoting KL911 (Reply 4):
but is it faster and more efficient then cars as it is in Europe?

In most places, yes, in Los Angeles, no.

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 6):
LAX also has a train line (the green line I think), that is similiar to BOS' setup.

Except that the Aviation station at LAX is MUCH farther away than the BOS Blue Line station

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 35):
Even DEN and LAX which are probably the most decentrialized of the top 5 are getting or have gotten rail put in.

DEN's connection will be quite good, but LAX needs a major upgrade
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
boeingbus
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:27 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 34):
Nah, I just chose to ignore it, as the way I see it (and I rode the Silver Line to Logan on it's first full day of service), it's a bus. Sure, the 5 minutes from South Station to Silver Line Way are in a private Right of Way, but once the busses stop using the catenary, they're in regular traffic, especially in the Ted Williams Tunnel, where it is much slower than other traffic if there is any congestion (I rode it about 4 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon). It does stop right at the terminals, but it's still a bus in my book - a much too hyped one too...

Its a Nay for you but its yea for me! I live in the south shore so for me going to logan by public transport it's the silver line. It's very frequent, GPS - so you know when it arrives, very clean, stops right in front of your terminal, costs a buck, quicker than the blue if you add the connections, and pretty damn reliable.
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
floridaflyer
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:28 am

I used to take MARTA to ATL - came back from a trip to MUC once, rode the train to Decatur, and had to laugh. ATL - the international city (as they like to think of themselves) - and the first thing these visitors see is a train full of drunks and bums. My kids still live in ATL and my ex won't let them near the train - some of the stories are incredible.
You don't find that in Europe. Not sure what other cities' trains are like in the US, but ATL is not good. Trains are nice, though.
 
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United787
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:30 am

I work in downtown Chicago and often use because the "el"/CTA to MDW and ORD because it is often faster (depending on traffic 30 minutes to MDW and 45 minutes to ORD), much cheaper ($1.75 as opposed to cab or driving parking), and I know I won't miss my flight because of traffic (very reliable). I live in the northern part of the City and when going to ORD will drive to a nearby "el" stop because I can park on the street for free.

Most of our clients when coming in town will use the CTA from the airports because it is so easy, and these are people that could get reimbursed for an expensive cab ride.

There is also a stop for the suburban commuter train, Metra, at ORD although it is a short shuttle ride away.

Also, Amtrak just added a stop at MKE that links downtown Chicago, Glenview, and downtown Milwaukee.
 
Xkorpyoh
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:36 am

Quoting BOSSAN (Reply 23):
Fort Lauderdale FLL: Tri-Rail commuter rail with bus shuttle
Minneapolis MSP: Hiawatha light rail in parking garage
Miami MIA: Tri-Rail commuter rail with bus shuttle (transfer to Metrorail for downtown)



Quoting 727EMflyer (Reply 30):
Even if you could convince the masses that they would be better off on a train, I can guarantee the lobbying dollars from Hertz, Avis, and Alamo would keep improvements stalled.

..it also has to do with the individualistic mentality of the american culture. In Europe, having access to a rail line or public transportation is considered a birth right and used by many people of all classes. Public/mass transportation takes investment priority in Europe because it is good for the society in general. In the US, if doesn’t make money or is not self sustained, it is not a priority and takes a lot of bureaucracy and many years to get any public transportation project built. Using public transportation in the US is seen as something inferior, (except for densely populated cities like NY, where is almost impossible not to use the subway.)
The current government can’t wait to see Amtrak die because it is not self sufficient and they don’t want to keep subsidizing it. (the money needs to be invested in war instead..right?)

This individualistic mentality doesn’t care about things that would help a society in general. Even if this project (a rail line to the airport) would increase business by decongesting the airport and making it more appealing for business to come through it. As an example, Back in the early 80's, the Miami Metrorail first line was planned to go the airport but the neighbors in the airport area or living near the proposed right-of-way objected and threatened to sue the city. The taxi drivers at the airport also united and were ready to sue the city because they were going to loose their jobs. At the end, the rail line was diverted to Hialieah instead and all the money for the project was wasted in buying land to run the line (…line to nowhere). The 2nd line was never built and they are just now trying to get the 2nd line to run from the airport to the port thru downtown...we are talking like in 20years or so. (it could have happened in the 80s).

The current Tri-rail line is useless for Miami residents to go to the airport. It is basically a north-south line with a very limited schedule and trains are delayed often because they share the tracks with Amtrak. The inconvenience of changing to a shuttle bus to go to MIA, FLL and PBI makes it even more user-unfriendly. So.. everybody drives instead and pay the exhorbitant parking fees at the airport.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:57 am

I would also note that with some exceptions, there is generally far less use of long distance rail in the USA due to the size of our country and the long availability of personal cars.
While some USA airports are close to major long distance or regional heavy rail, light rail or urban mass transit rail systems - as well noted in some above posts - most airports are quite isolated and distant from rail systems as they were built long ago in less developed areas or quite a distance from cities where mass transit would not be financially feisable or where in the past there wasn't enough demand. Some airports like LGA had the subway built long before the common modern use of those airports. To extend or reroute heavy or light rail systems to many airports may be prohibitive in some desely populated areas as to land costs or how one must build systems. As also noted above, most airports require use of a airport tram, monorail or motor buses to connect with heavy or light rail transit systems.
 
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STT757
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:28 am

The best air/rail link in the US is the Washington DC Metro, it's literally right outside the check in doors at Washington Reagan National airport.

Two stops to the Pentagon, and three to DC.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/metro/
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
gigneil
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:38 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 36):
BWI is in fact well connected to both major cities it serves

Only during the day... at night, the MARC doesn't run and the Amtrak train is a lot less frequent and a lot more expensive. Also, at night the shuttle to the station can be very unreliable.

Really, DCA is the most convenient airport in the whole country for those without a car.

N
 
halls120
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:41 am

DCA/METRO is probably the best example of an efficient US airport rail connection. On the other hand, I took the BART connection to OAK once. And it was the last time. Long wait at the terminal for the shuttle, a slow meandering ride to the BART station (fruitvale ave., if I remember correctly) and a long wait for a train to SF at a station that is in a marginal neighborhood - at best.

Not everything in Europe is peaches and cream, mind you. VIE is a nice airport, but if you miss the city link train, you have a nice wait ahead of you. The bus service is quicker and faster....
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
Newark777
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:43 am

Really, DCA is the most convenient airport in the whole country for those without a car.

That is also because the rail line connecting to it is one of the best in the country. It is really a joy riding around DC on the Metro, and very easy to navigate.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
dallas74
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:54 am

DC Metro and the Portland's Tri-Met are the best. You can take the train from PDX all the way downtown in less than 40 minutes at a cost of $1.65 each way.

The JFK Airtrain is a nice concept, but unfortunately it leaves you to connect with the Long Island Railroad which has no areas to accommodate luggage - which is rather sad.

The EWR rail link is a joke on a Saturday or Sunday evening when you are trying to jam on to NJ Transit Trains filled with people coming back from the Jersey shore or on the way into Manhattan for a night on the town. You would think there would be some coordination between the NY Port Authority and NJ Transit.
 
gigneil
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:56 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 45):
That is also because the rail line connecting to it is one of the best in the country.

Amazing, considering that its funded almost entirely from the farebox.  Smile

The new CEO has made amazing steps forward in customer service as well.

N
 
tsnamm
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:02 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 14):
The primary reason is because US cities are almost invariably more spread out and less densely populated

maybe in the

Quoting AussieItaliano (Reply 27):
Some American cities, particularly the older ones in the Northeast, are more densely populated

please make a distinction between the older cities of the Northeast vs the sun belt cities which were designed around the needs of the automobile...mass transit/rail transportation has always held more sway in the more densely populated North East...not every US city has been around less than 50 years...
 
airbazar
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RE: Why No Rail/subway Links To US Airports?

Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:08 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 34):
It does stop right at the terminals, but it's still a bus in my book - a much too hyped one too...

Well, I used to take the regular bus from S.Station to Logan. It was just as fast as the silver line however, it was alwas half an hour late, or more, it only run once an hour, and it only stoped at Terminal C. The Silver Line is a HUGE improvement over the old regular bus route.

As for the original post on this thread. Yes, many large airports have direct public transportation connections but they are largely ineficient. Americans in general are car people so passing any bill to allow construction of public transportation infrastructures is difficult. Most of these "airport trains" are not used by most travelers. They are actually there mostly for airport workers. Again, take the Silver Line in Boston. The "trolleys" don't even have luggage racks.

Also, in America, most people live outside of the large cities where there is no public transportation link. Even in bad traffic it can be faster to drive to/from the suburbs than it is to go out of your way to catch a train.

And last but not the least. A lot of these "trains" are old systems and inefficient. They're nothing like the ultra-efficient European trains that run every couple of minutes. No one wants to come out of a flight, haul heavy bags to a remote train stop, sometime via a shuttle bus, and then wait around sometimes up to 30 minutes to catch the train. It's much easier to just hop on a taxi.