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Old February 25th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #641
BoulderGrad
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Now we're getting into nitpicking semantics

As far as overall public transit systems, I'd have to give a big nod to Denver. You can go all the way from Boulder to Colorado Springs on an RTD system bus (I mean to say a series of them, I've done it!). The coverage is great, and bus works well for a city of Denver's density. On top of that, they have an ever growing light rail system that hits a number of major population centers, along with commuter rail going to the airport, and other points north. The buses even have their own dedicated terminals in some parts of downtown Well... 2 of them I can count: Civic Center and Market Street stations, both of which are connected by the free mall ride bus.

As far as simple aesthetics, the buses and trains themselves are all new and clean. Maybe its just Denver in general, but the system doesn't seem to have the same level of vagrant/crackhead/homeless person clientele that Seattle's buses do.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #642
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New York's by a mile. This system has history, that simply cannot be beat.
Washington's is 2nd, in my opinion.

Svartmetall: Muni Metro is light rail on the surface, but it runs in tunnel through San Francisico, and can be considered a true subway, or as I prefer to call it, pre-metro.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #643
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New York Subway...duurrr
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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #644
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I'm sure many would be interested in this:

image hosted on flickr


http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/tran...gthetrain.html

I may be too late.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:17 AM   #645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
New York's by a mile. This system has history, that simply cannot be beat.
Washington's is 2nd, in my opinion.

Svartmetall: Muni Metro is light rail on the surface, but it runs in tunnel through San Francisico, and can be considered a true subway, or as I prefer to call it, pre-metro.
The muni metro is no different to the stadtbahn/pre-metro systems seen in European cities such as Cologne, Stuttgart, Hannover or two lines of the Brussels metro which are not full metro lines.

Generally these systems are not considered metros despite extensive underground portions (more extensive than the Muni metro). Some of these systems are close to 90% segregated from traffic, yet they're still only light rail. It's no bad thing as they definitely fulfil their role in the city's transit (and they're also one of my favourite types of transit due to their flexibility).
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Old February 26th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #646
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
What he said.

New York wins by a country mile in my humble opinion. The top subways in America are New York, Chicago and Washington, the rest are relatively unimpressive.

New York

Pros
* It runs 24 hours (which is highly unusual as far as international examples are concerned).
* It is very extensive in Manhatten and has reasonable coverage in sections of the city beyond that.
*It runs express services and has a good service frequency.
* New rolling stock procurement.

Cons
* Crime
* Grime
* No JFK connection
* Maintenance issues?

Chicago

Pros
* Good coverage
* Downtown loop and underground portions
* Interesting elevated tracks in the city centre (historical aesthetics)
* Connects to the airport

Cons
* Narrow platforms in places
* Aging infrastructure (rolling stock and tracks)
* Infrequent services on some lines out of normal daytime hours.
* Looks kind of grubby

Washington

Pros
* Excellent station design
* Duel line portions to enhance frequency in heavily utilised areas.
* Nice network of lines to allow interchanges
* Will hopefully be extended to the airport
* Comparatively clean and well maintained

Cons
* Expansions are slow.
* Frequency is not as high as NY or Chicago (during the day).
* Aging rolling stock.
Actually NY subway reaches JFK for an extra $5 fare (it's called the AirTrain), however, it does not reach LaGuardia, maybe that's what you're meaning.

EDIT: others got to the point first. Anyway, I disagree that Washington's expansions are slow, they only opened in the 70s and are already quite big, I'd guess the fastest metro growth rate in the US.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaricManchurian View Post
Actually NY subway reaches JFK for an extra $5 fare (it's called the AirTrain), however, it does not reach LaGuardia, maybe that's what you're meaning.

EDIT: others got to the point first. Anyway, I disagree that Washington's expansions are slow, they only opened in the 70s and are already quite big, I'd guess the fastest metro growth rate in the US.
Airtrain is run by the Port Authority of NY & NJ not MTA which operates the NY City Subway.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
The muni metro is no different to the stadtbahn/pre-metro systems seen in European cities such as Cologne, Stuttgart, Hannover or two lines of the Brussels metro which are not full metro lines.

Generally these systems are not considered metros despite extensive underground portions (more extensive than the Muni metro). Some of these systems are close to 90% segregated from traffic, yet they're still only light rail. It's no bad thing as they definitely fulfil their role in the city's transit (and they're also one of my favourite types of transit due to their flexibility).
That is why I like to call it a "pre-metro" to differentiate. But I also call it a subway, since I call all urban transit lines that run in tunnels "subways". I prefer to use "metro" for heavy rail operations.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
San Francisco does not have a subway system. BART runs underground in downtown San Francisco but is above ground everywhere else. BART is basically a commuter rail system.
Despite having widely spaced stations outside the downtowns, BART is classified as a heavy rapid transit (HRT) rail system. Its not a commuter rail system on the orders of Caltrain that connects San Francisco & San Jose. BART runs in subway thru most of SF except for the far southern area. And the recently opened BART extension to SFO (airport) is also largely subway running. Central Oakland & Berkeley also have significant subway portions.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #650
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I stand corrected.

I guess it is similar to commuter rail in function more than form (the track located in freeway medians, large park and rides by the stations).
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Old March 1st, 2009, 04:42 AM   #651
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosier View Post
I stand corrected.

I guess it is similar to commuter rail in function more than form (the track located in freeway medians, large park and rides by the stations).
Actually, your not far off the mark. Many do complain thats BARTs not urban- oriented enough. BART was planned with a lot of the features of a comuter rail system. At that time, US subways had a poor image.

For example, the initial intent was a system that would carry suburban commuters into downtown San Francisco. The cars were designed with the assumption that ALL the passengers would have seats (!!!) But of course that turned out to be was off the mark, during rush hours there are many standees.

In downtown San Francisco, there are 5 BART stations spaced within a few miles, & with several lines converging, headways are very frequent. The segment between Oakland & Berkeley also has very high frequencies. But in some of the outer suburban stretches, there are several miles between stations, & only a single line so headways are rather long. The interface between BART & the local transit lines are far from ideal.

Overall, I'd place BART as being somewhat more suburban than the Washington Metro & Atlanta MARTA heavy rail systems.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 05:12 AM   #652
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NY is good, DC compared to other parts of the country, good. But there are a few drawbacks to the system:
-Elevators crap out every day at a random station and handicapped people will find it inconvenient.
-Escalators are REALLY long if you're going to an underground station (mostly if you're in Montgomery County, MD).
-Riding the trains are annoying as you hear screeching noises.
-Delays occuring on the weekends, sometimes taking up to 45 min or so.
-Fares can be god-awful expensive ($4.15 one way from Bethesda to somewhere in VA)
Thankfully, there are new plans made up, such as the silver line to Dulles intl and the Purple line going from Bethesda to PG county.

Metro had the highest ridership this yr (1.5 mill) in a day on Obama's inauguration.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 06:40 AM   #653
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Not to beat the dead horse, but is this even a relevant thread? NYC wins hands down by a mile. Discussing 2nd place is much more interesting. In regards to the T vs L post, I like to attribute Chicago's ridership figures to the fact that the 'L' travels through some pretty desolate areas. The real reason though is that our grid road layout and bus system takes the brunt of ridership with well over a 1 million a day
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Old March 1st, 2009, 06:52 AM   #654
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Maybe change the thread into 2nd best in the US? I would not say Boston is near the top at all. The lack of a parallel track for express train coupled with over 100 years of usage puts Boston in a disadvantage to carry higher loads of passengers. The green line is also running through traffic at the northern portion.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 09:45 PM   #655
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Yes, 2nd best subway system would be much more interesting.

IMO, it's between DC, Chicago, and Boston here. Let's put some maps to compare better.

Chicago


Boston (map also contains BRT, LRT, and Commuter rail portions)


DC
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:50 PM   #656
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Metra sees 4.3 percent increase in ridership
15 February 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - New statistics show that Metra provided nearly 87 million passenger trips during 2008.

The suburban Chicago commuter train line has issued its ticket sales figures for last year. It says sales were at the highest levels in 40 years. Metra officials say they've seen a 4.2 percent increase in ridership since 2007, when just more than 83 million tickets were sold.

Metra officials attribute the bump to high fuel prices and enhancements in their weekend service.

The busiest route that Metra serves was the BNSF Railway, which runs between Aurora and Chicago's downtown Union Station. There were 17 million trips taken on that route in 2008.

The largest gains were seen on routes between Kenosha, Wisc., and downtown Chicago and Antioch and downtown Chicago.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:27 AM   #657
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FEATURE-America's road hogs veer off freeway, hop on bus

WOODBRIDGE, Virginia, April 20 (Reuters) - The auctioneer bellowed, "Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!" as car jockeys steered shiny machines through the warehouse.

But there were few bidders at the usually popular weekend Woodbridge Public Auto auction. Most cars went begging, including a 2001 Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle that couldn't find a buyer at half of its $13,000 value.

From the movie "American Graffiti" to the song "Route 66," car ownership and the serendipitous pleasure of the highway have been a celebrated part of American life.

But several signposts suggest America's love of driving is stalling and may stay weak for a long while. This could have profound impact on gasoline demand and the U.S. auto industry.

"One thing that is very clear is that there has been this belt tightening, which has gone into every little corner of our lives," said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com, a portal for car enthusiasts. "I see people cutting back who don't even need to cut back."

Even as gasoline prices soared in 2006 and 2007, Americans were the kings of the road, driving over 3 trillion miles a year.

"We were road hogs," said John Townsend, spokesman for the American Automobile Association's mid Atlantic club. "It was widely believed that there was nothing that could be done to get Americans out of their cars. The encouragement, the exhortations and all that to take mass transit, they just seemed to fail."

But something is afoot. In 2008 miles driven fell by 3.6 percent. Rick Wagoner, long a backer of gas guzzling SUVs, has been deposed as the CEO of General Motors . The automaker has put its Hummer division, the mighty emblem of America's free driving ways, on the block. Sales at Hummer skidded 68 percent in March.

Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transit in 2008, a 4 percent rise over the previous year and a modern record, the American Public Transportation Association said.

High pump prices probably spurred the initial surge in ridership, as gasoline topped $4 a gallon last July, Association spokeswoman Virginia Miller said.

But even late last year when gasoline prices fell, ridership posted the highest quarterly increase in a quarter of a century.

"It was as if people had started a new travel behavior, a new habit," Miller said. "And they have stuck with their habit."

SMART CONSUMPTION

With gasoline hovering around the $2 a gallon mark, will Americans be jumping back behind the wheel this summer? The U.S. government does not think so.

The Energy Information Administration projects that in the summer driving season, from April to September, gasoline demand will inch up to 9.1 million barrels a day from 9 million last year. That still lags 2007, when demand hit 9.44 million barrels a day.

Auto executives and analysts, including American Petroleum Institute's chief economist, John Felmy, believe gasoline consumption has peaked, meaning oil companies and the auto industry need to make fundamental adjustments.

Some warn the American consumer will revert to old habits if the economy roars back. Big parts of the United States still depend heavily on the car, and an auto industry under stress might not be able to meet demand for fuel-efficient cars.

"Any of these changes that we are talking about are not going to happen overnight. I would suspect it's a 15-20 year process as far trying to get over to more sustainable energy products, said Sam Bullard, Economist at Wachovia Corp.

Americans also have started to embrace car sharing. Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing company that rents cars by the hour or day, saw its membership soar 50.3 percent in the past 12 months.

Zipcar chief executive Scott Griffith said he sees a major shift in philosophy that could stay in place for a long time.

"Smart consumption is the new black. It seems to go with everything these days," Griffith told Reuters.

He said his firm's surveys show people take 46 percent more public transit trips, 26 percent more walking trips and about 10 percent more bicycling trips after joining Zipcar.

"To me what their understanding is, I can live a more sustainable life and also save a lot of money by changing my behavior in some ways -- like using car sharing and driving less in total," Griffith said.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 07:14 AM   #658
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Report: Biggest rail transit systems need $50B for modernization, $5.9B for annual maintenance
30 April 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than one-third of the trains, equipment and facilities of the nation's seven largest rail transit agencies are near the end of their useful life or past that point, the government said Thursday. Many have components that are defective or may be critically damaged.

A report by the Federal Transit Administration estimates it will cost $50 billion to bring the rail systems in Chicago, Boston, New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., into good repair and $5.9 billion a year to maintain them.

Those seven systems carry 80 percent of the nation's rail transit passengers, making more than 3 billion passenger trips a year. They also include some of the oldest subways and commuter railroads. Some of their facilities date back more than a century.

"In a period of rising congestion and fuel prices, these services and the infrastructure and rolling stock that support them, are critical to the transportation needs and quality of life of the communities they serve," the report said.

"At the same time, this infrastructure is aging and the level of reinvestment appears insufficient to address a growing backlog of deferred investment needs," the report said.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., one of 11 senators who requested the report, said older transit systems have received a declining share of federal rail transit aid as newer systems have come online. In 1993, the seven largest rail transit systems received 90 percent of federal modernization funds, compared with 70 percent today.

The study rated 8 percent of the assets of the seven rail transit agencies as in poor condition because they have outlived their useful life and are in need of immediate repair and replacement and may have critically damaged parts. An additional 27 percent were rated in marginal condition because they are near or past their useful life and may have defective or deteriorated components, requiring increasing maintenance.

Excluding the seven large system, less than 20 percent of the assets of rail transit systems nationally are in poor or marginal condition, the study said.

The study comes as Congress is gearing up to overhaul highway and transit programs over the next six years through soon-to-be-introduced legislation that some lawmakers estimated will seek about a half trillion dollars.

William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association, which represents transit agencies, said the report's message is clear that not enough money is being spent on keeping rail transit in a state of good repair.

"We don't need another report -- we need greater funding," Millar said.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 06:01 PM   #659
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oooohh yeeaaahh ,,, you need new cars ,,,,,, and also tire down thoose old bridges
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 06:51 PM   #660
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its not just the subways, its just about every other part of our infastrucutre
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