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http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/13/real_estate/public_transit_commutes/index.htm?postversion=2007061316

New Yorkers are top transit users

More than half ride subway or bus to work
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
June 13 2007: 4:37 PM EDT


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- When Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin sang, "The people ride in a hole in the ground," they weren't kidding about New Yorkers.

A new study says their use of public transportation dwarfs that of any other city, about 6 times as much as Chicago, which has the second most public transit commuters in the nation.

About 1.9 million, or 55 percent, of New York workers commuted by subway or bus in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey. Chicago had about 294,000 public transportation commuters, or 25 percent of its 1.2 million workers.

The report covered the 50 cities with the most workers aged 16 or above.

Five of the top 10 public cities, by percentage, were on the Washington to Boston corridor with Baltimore and Philadelphia residents the other frequent users.

Washington had the second highest ratio of public transit users at 37.7 percent. In no other city did the percentage rise above a third. In Los Angeles, the nation's second biggest city, only 171,639 workers, or 10.3 percent, commuted by bus or rail.

Still, that beat out such older industrial towns as Milwaukee (7.6 percent), Detroit (7.1 percent) and Indianapolis (a paltry 1.8 percent).

Long-established West Coast cities such as San Francisco (32.7 percent), Seattle (17.0 percent) and Portland (13.3 percent) scored highly.

Southwestern, Southern and Mountain cities had among the lowest ratios of mass transit commuters. Only 0.4 percent of Arlington, Texas residents and 0.5 percent of Wichita, Kansas and Virginia City, Virginia, used public transportation.

My big fat American gas tax

In this era of high gas prices and heightened "green" awareness, moving commuters off the road and into public transportation can cut auto emissions, energy use and, it is hoped, global warming.

And If Mayor Mike Bloomberg gets his way, even more New Yorkers may soon be boarding trains to get to work.

Bloomberg has proposed a congestion-pricing plan that will charge motorists to travel into the business district of Manhattan during peak hours. The idea is to discourage them from driving to work.

Any money raised is supposed to be applied to the subways and buses, which would help keep transit fares low - currently they are $2 for a subway ride but less with volume discounts and monthly or weekly plans.

Some cities do encourage car-pooling to reduce congestion and lessen energy use. As a result, about one tenth of all U.S. workers car pool, more than three quarters of them with just a single other occupant, according to the census study.

The study also said Mesa, Arizona (16.7 percent), Phoenix (16.2 percent) and Sacramento (15.7 percent) have the highest ratios of car-pooling commuters.

In Portland, Oregon one of the major commuting methods of choice is two-wheelers. The study said more Portlanders bike to work than anywhere else - 3.5 percent of the workforce. That's about eight times higher than the national average of 0.4 percent.

Boston is the leading walk-to-work city; 13.5 percent of its residents commute by riding shank's mare, well above the 2.5 percent national average.

Source:U.S. Census Bureau
 

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http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/13/real_estate/public_transit_commutes/index.htm?postversion=2007061316

New Yorkers are top transit users

More than half ride subway or bus to work
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
June 13 2007: 4:37 PM EDT


according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey. Chicago had about 294,000 public transportation commuters, or 25 percent of its 1.2 million workers.


Source:U.S. Census Bureau

This report obviously ignores heavy commuter rail, METRA, that I am sure exceeds this number by itself daily.
 

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The Los Angeles percentage is pathetic. Hopefully once the Expo Line is completed, Westsiders will commute by rail, alleviating traffic on the 10 Freeway.
 

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I am sure it will boost the ridership since many Angelenos who work in downtown, reside in Santa Monica.


The Los Angeles percentage is pathetic. Hopefully once the Expo Line is completed, Westsiders will commute by rail, alleviating traffic on the 10 Freeway.
 

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I am sure it will boost the ridership since many Angelenos who work in downtown, reside in Santa Monica.
The problem is that a good deal of Angelenos live in the Valley, which as you know is a heavily car-oriented part of the city. Those residents are included in the total figure. Yes, LA does have an extensive bus system, of which is accessible to residents of the Valley. But most own cars. Therefore, LA will always rank pretty low, below where it should be. Considering the fact that LA is a major world city and the fact that it also happens to be a city that was built around the automobile, LA should rank somewhere in the 20-25% range.
 

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The problem is that a good deal of Angelenos live in the Valley, which as you know is a heavily car-oriented part of the city. Those residents are included in the total figure. Yes, LA does have an extensive bus system, of which is accessible to residents of the Valley. But most own cars. Therefore, LA will always rank pretty low, below where it should be. Considering the fact that LA is a major world city and the fact that it also happens to be a city that was built around the automobile, LA should rank somewhere in the 20-25% range.
Even Seattle and Portland are higher than L.A. but then again those cities not as car oriented as L.A.

I wish L.A. still had those red cars back in the days.
 

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^Even ATLANTA is ahead of LA! Can you believe that?

At first, I was suprised to see Seattle and Portland ahead of LA, especially Portland. But now that I think about it, it actually isn't too suprising. Portland has a pretty extensive system for a city of its size and importance. Good for Portland. SHAME on LA. :eek:hno:
 

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I am also surprised to see Chicago rank where it's at. So all the wealthy execs who live on the Northside don't ride the subway down to the Loop for work? Though I guess a lot of the workers are concentrated in the North Michigan Ave. and River North areas, so the Loop is in perfect walking distance.
 

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^Even ATLANTA is ahead of LA! Can you believe that?

At first, I was suprised to see Seattle and Portland ahead of LA, especially Portland. But now that I think about it, it actually isn't too suprising. Portland has a pretty extensive system for a city of its size and importance. Good for Portland. SHAME on LA. :eek:hno:
And L.A. has one of the largest bus systems. I was also suprised to see Atlanta ranked higher than L.A.

The transit is improving in L.A. but it always seems like its not enough. I thought we'd be up at least 20-25%. 10% is LESS than a drop in a bucket for a city of over 4 million people.
 

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The main problem is that the subway/light rail doesn't access the parts that need it the most. We spend money on lines that don't go to places that matter. The second problem is that many Angelenos find riding the Metro detrimental to their image. Hence, they don't take the bus. Lastly, Angelenos want to eiter completely depend on Metro or not depend on it at all.

Angelenos really aren't read to embrace a more urban lifestyle, one without a car. Although many do live in dense surroundings, they more often than not own a car.

The process of rebuilding LA into a more pedestrian and transit-friendly city begins with the process of revitalizing Downtown LA by advocating it as THE place to live, work, and play, having everything concentrated in one area. Once Downtown LA has been built out to the max, that growth will emanate outward further to the west, with density and pedestrian-friendly retail. THEN, we will have a truly urban LA with a more organic flow to its urbanity.

Okay people. Sorry for hijacking this thread with the LA discussion.
 

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No, it's fine. LA is very car-oriented (like the city I live in). I agree with starting with Downtown and going west. It does feel like everyone has a car out there, even though they live in dense areas.
 

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About 1.9 million, or 55 percent, of New York workers commuted by subway or bus in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey. Chicago had about 294,000 public transportation commuters, or 25 percent of its 1.2 million workers.
Less than half of these cities population actually works?
 

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Most execs use heavy commuter rail (METRA) instead of the subway

I am also surprised to see Chicago rank where it's at. So all the wealthy execs who live on the Northside don't ride the subway down to the Loop for work? Though I guess a lot of the workers are concentrated in the North Michigan Ave. and River North areas, so the Loop is in perfect walking distance.
 

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Most execs use heavy commuter rail (METRA) instead of the subway
2nd, that's really a city/suburban distinction. CTA serves the city; Metra, for all its city stops, serves suburbia, and is readily embraced by suburbanites in huge numbers.

i applaud NYC's use of rapid transit. It is outstanding. It is also "in place" due to historic factors that can't be duplicated elsewhere. Certainly a smaller NYC subway system couldn't afford to reach its current size today financially.

Even geography gave NYC transit an advantage that no other city had. Until the end of the 19th century, Manhattan was NYC. That island was the world's most ideal place to build a comprehensive subway system. Narrow and long, Manhattan was built for easy connection. A minimum number of north/south lines could be built that would serve virtually the whole island. Manhattan didn't have to deal with the type of spread, core to exterior, that other cities faced. In such a setting, it is impossible to offer the comprehensive surface that Manhattan was able to achieve.

NYC was the city-to-end-all-cities for much of US history, certainly up through WWII. Much of its tremendous growth occurred prior to age of extensive automobile usage. No wonder it developed such a comprehensive subway system.

We can certainly look at public transportation systems across the nation and compare their usage, but we need to be exceedingly careful on the values and opinions we place on those facts. We can't give kudos to people in metro areas with extensive mass transit tha was in place long before they were born and criticize people in less friendly mass transit enviroments for using their car.

Take LA, the opposite of the NYC system. LA's tremendous growth was never based on a city growing outward. Instead, it literally became LA when its diverse parts grew outward to touch each other. City, mountain, valley, a long extention to the harbor, and an incredible growth at the high point of car usage led to a layout tha tis the polar opposite of NYC. Few cities have done a more admirable job in constructing quality mass transit in recent years as Los Angeles. But it would be uterly ludicrous to think that this city could ever be blanketed with the type of mass transit needed for extensive service. no one is ever going to build a system that will get you from Encino in the valley to Newport in OC by rapid transit. It ain't going to happen.

If you want to see change in America on mass transit usage, wait until gas shoots up to $10 a gallon (and since the peak year for gas production is only ten years off, it will) and see all cities and metro areas forced to take a second look at public transportation and invest in it.

Until then, let's not get too critical of people in our metro areas using cars when public transit offers too few and too impractical alternatives.
 
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