As a car driver, I don't know much about the system. But, while some lines go until 10PM-12AM, others stop before 6PM (before dark) and it doesn't go to all areas. Good news is that a busway and commuter rail are planned to be done. But it does get the job done. And the suburbs? Forget it.
According to the Census Bureau, almost 19 percent of Hartford residents use public transportation. But only four percent use buses in thw whole Hartford county.
In miami mass transit is an odd entity to say the least. we have an elaborate bus system, though they run really oddly and often show up at the station with 2 or 3 of the same bus line in a row, followed by 20 minutes of none of that line. it has to do with the signalling and the fact that the buses go immense distances in routes (say 50-80 blocks each way and then turn around and do it the opposite direction). we have a regional rail line that runs n-s and is rarely used, the metrorail (elevated subway) is also a single line and improving ridership and allegedly expanding. theres a smaller downtown elevated train that services downtown really well, but doesnt go outside of downtown.
there is an ironic moment with metrorail where the bridge going n-s (as most of the train does) and crossing the main e-w highway with a sign "why drive ? - ride metrorail" ive always wanted someone to spraypaint metrorail doesnt go where we are going or something. ive seen it 100 times in rush hour and wanted to blow it up.
Milwaukee's is great, if you live in the city or the older suburbs in the county. If that's the case, you're usually less than half a mile from the nearest bus route. I have always found it extremely reliable; each line has a guide that lists all times it is supposed to stop, and its rarely more than a couple minutes off. I've ridden on buses for 15 years, and the one thing I can't complain about is the system's dependibility. The problem is if you want to travel anywhere outside the county, but thats a different issue.
San Francisco's is hit and miss. Great if you live along BART or Muni Metro. Sucks if you have to depend on bus lines, which is just about everyone because BART and Muni Metro basically just run one subway line through the City.
Well, Seattle is a little underdeveloped in mass transit. But we do have four extensive bus networks in the metro area. A 14-mile light rail line that will probably expand in the future is being constructed right now through Seattle. Rider estimates are high, so I'd say that we are going to be very dependent on this new rail line.
Baltimore is a mixed bag. The light rail line was recently greatly improved, runs faster and more frequently but is still slow downtown. It does go a long way though, from Hunt Valley in the north to the airport and Glen Burnie in the south (30 miles). The subway has always been quick and frequent but there is only one line from Owings Mills to Hopkins. The buses cover the entire metro area but can be anything from reasonably decent on some main roads to infrequent and slow on not-too-popular routes. Heaven help you if you have to ride buses and transfer between 2 or 3 routes...you might need to take your own food, water and bathroom. The MTA recently alienated some of the ridership by trying to delete or truncate some unpopular routes. Seems that every stop everywhere has at least one old lady who won't be able to get to her doctor if that stop is eliminated.
Not very good slow and not efficient but i can say improving with BRT coming soon too but the car beats it by miles. We only have buses no rail we've had plans for monorails, etc but all failed due to high price so i dont know whats gonna happen there.
San Diego has somewhat of a "mehh" transit system. I mean its dependable, but only really accessable if you live near it. The bus routes are complex, plus there being two main transit districts (MTS and NCTD) plus smaller ones in the south bay make things even more difficult. But some things do work. Like...
The Trolley (LRT) works best downtown and along the way to the border station (blue line). They just extended it to through mission valley (green line), and another last extention is being planned to go to UCSD and University City up north. Heres a basic map of what the system looks like and the trains as well.
Meanwhile for a more reginal mode of trastport, you have the heavy rail "Coaster". It goes north-south along the coast and has been in service for about 11 years with some modest success. And a heres a basic map of the system. You may notice that the entire Zone 3 has only one station. Thats because almost the whole ride is a complicated and twisting path passing through canyons, valleys and Marine Airstation Miramar.
Besides those two and the buses, their really isn't anything else to use. Under construction now though is the "Sprinter" which is a smaller, almost LRT-like off-shoot of the "Coaster". But instead of going along the coast it goes through to inland cities of North County. It should be done by summer '07.
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