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Subways and Urban Transport Metros, subways, light rail, trams, buses and other local transport systems



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Old February 24th, 2009, 02:31 PM   #1
Cantonese
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Which one is the best subway system of United States?

Which one is the best subway system of United States?
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Old February 24th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #2
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New York City Subway,
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Old February 24th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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Depends on criteria, but I would agree, New York Subway is the best. Best at city coverage, frequency and flexibility (multiple routing options) and moving people!

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Old February 24th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #4
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Yes has to be New York on every criteria except for aesthetics. Then I imagine the Washington DC metro would win.

But New York wins overall, by a mile.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #5
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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.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:38 AM   #6
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I would say San Francisco !!!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmiDelf View Post
I would say San Francisco !!!
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.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #8
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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.
Boston's T is impressive... especially for a city of 600,000. If you add their Green Line light rail, which is part of their subway system, they move about as many people as DC' Metro and more people than Chicago's L... which serves a city with 5 times the population of Boston.

But in the end New York's subway is the best, hands down...

The PATH is also an impressive system.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 01:48 AM   #9
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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.
DC Metro is almost in essence is a carbon copy of BART.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 02:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyork View Post
Boston's T is impressive... especially for a city of 600,000. If you add their Green Line light rail, which is part of their subway system, they move about as many people as DC' Metro and more people than Chicago's L... which serves a city with 5 times the population of Boston.

But in the end New York's subway is the best, hands down...

The PATH is also an impressive system.
To some extent I'd agree, but then ridership doesn't make a system great in my opinion. The Boston subway, though very well utilised (especially for North American transit), doesn't have nearly the reach of the El. Besides, I'm not so keen on the Green Line - far too many branches for one central corridor in my book (as this thread is a purely subjective one).

According to third quarter figures for ridership in 2008, Metrorail in Washington carried 1.01 million trips per day compared with 502,000 on the Boston T so the ridership of the Metro in Washington is definitely higher than Boston, but you're dead right about the El with it carrying 680,000 per day in the third quarter of 2008 - very close to the ridership of the Boston T despite the obvious size difference between Boston and Chicago.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 02:32 AM   #11
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NYC for coverage and reach, DC for aesthetics and functionality.

Chicago and Boston also have good system for US (not world) standards, and those two are really close to DC in the ranking, but I haven't been on them before. However, both cities blow DC out of the water when it comes to commuter rail. Metra and MBTA are the best commuter rails out of the NY area.

Other than those four, other cities that have subways (Philly, LA, Atlanta among others) have systems that are below what they can have. LA however, has major potential to build up. I don't know about the others. Didn't hear anything about Atlanta and Philly. Unknown by many, Cleveland and Baltimore actually both have a subway line, but they mix with light rail.

BART is kind of between the four best, and the others. It isn't all that extensive, but the geography of the Bay Area is small and the maps don't show this. If it had more service to SF itself (although Muni complements this drawback), and coverage to San Jose, it would be with the best four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyork View Post
DC Metro is almost in essence is a carbon copy of BART.
I know that this may sound semantic, but I'd say that it's the other way around. The DC metro is much superior to BART. The Metro shares BART's coverage in the suburbs, while having even better service in the city. SF's Muni is good, but it doesn't beat the heavy rail connections in DC proper.

Last edited by Xusein; February 26th, 2009 at 12:15 AM.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Metrorail in Washington carried 1.01 million trips per day compared with 502,000 on the Boston T so the ridership of the Metro in Washington is definitely higher than Boston, but you're dead right about the El with it carrying 680,000 per day in the third quarter of 2008
That figure is excluding the Green Line which carries an additional 270,000 people.... so Bostons actual transit numbers are around 800,000... but I agree Boston’s transit is less than desirable but definitely it is one of the best transit systems of the country.

There’s nothing wrong with it but I feel the DC Metrorail is a BART that has better intercity coverage.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #13
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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.
True that New York and Chicago have the best metro systems in The US. As for NY, there is a JFK connection. The JFK air train has direct connection with two subway stations.

As for rolling stock, there are new ones such as the R142 and such
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Old February 25th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH View Post
True that New York and Chicago have the best metro systems in The US. As for NY, there is a JFK connection. The JFK air train has direct connection with two subway stations.

As for rolling stock, there are new ones such as the R142 and such
I thought the JFK connection wasn't integrated with the subway though (IE different fare structure). If Heathrow only had the Heathrow express rather than the Picc line as well, I'd moan about that too! Sure, have a premium service to run alongside regular transit, but there shouldn't be a monopoly at the airport - it makes it very expensive and far less attractive.

As for the comment about the rolling stock, I said that the new stock was one of the good points about the NY subway!
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Old February 25th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #15
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As this question regards subways alone, it's obvious that NYC is always going to win as it dwarfs every other system in the nation.

How about the best public transport system in the US though?

Which city would win that?

I'd guess maybe Washington D.C.? Or Portland?

(I've never been to the USA so I can't really give a good answer)
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #16
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Even outside of the NYS, I reckon that NY will still come tops in terms of PT. Portland is definitely not that great with regards to PT from what I've seen from their PT website. Service frequencies are a little off (they boast about 15 minute frequencies) and late night provision is pretty poor for a city of its size.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #17
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NYC's PT connections with the airports was always a sore point. JFK is connected to the subway twice via AirTrain, but it's still not direct. A rail connection to LaGuardia isn't happening probably ever. PATH may eventually connect to Newark though. There are feasibility studies on the prospect. Newark is actually connected to Manhattan by commuter rail, through NJTransit and Amtrak to a station that has it's own AirTrain to the airport, but it's pricey. It cost $15 one way on NJT, who knows on Amtrak.

As for best PT in the US in general...there is no comparison, it's New York.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #18
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What about the Muni Metro subway?

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.
SF Muni runs under Market Street and out to West Portal.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #19
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SF Muni runs under Market Street and out to West Portal.
Muni metro is light rail, not a subway.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #20
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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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