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View Poll Results: Which one of these cities has the best mass transit system?
Chicago 84 44.44%
Boston 30 15.87%
San Francisco 14 7.41%
Washington DC 84 44.44%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 189. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:44 PM
 
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Okay I want to start a thread about mass transit systems in U.S cities. I hope this hasnt been a topic before. Notice that NYC has been left out. This is because almost everyone can agree NYC has the best system and I dont want this thread becoming only about New York. Im only interested in these four cities. So lets talk public transportation.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:29 PM
 
Location: New London
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My guess would be that Boston has the best system for getting around in the inner city, DC has the best for getting around the metropolitan area, and Chicago has a good cross of both.

(but I only have hands on experience with Boston and DC's systems, so.....)
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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#1. Chicago- Has the overall best mass transit of any city listed. Has the highest ridership when combining all modes of mass transit. It is generally considered the 2nd best transit city outside of NYC. Chicago is also by far the best transit city in the Midwest.

#2. Washington DC- Has "pound for pound" the best subway system outside of NYC. Once the Silver Line is completed, it will silence all the doubters. Commuter rail service is average. DC has easily one the cleanest transit systems in the entire Northeast Corridor.

#3. Boston- One of the most diverse transit systems in the country and is also one of the oldest. The subway system is good. Commuter rail is very good. Needs to offer more 24/hr service.

#4. San Francisco- Great light rail system. One of the few regions where the subway system has better service in the suburbs than the actual city itself. Commuter rail is good but is desperately lacking in the northern suburbs. Even with that being said, SF still has the best mass transit in the entire Western United States.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:55 PM
 
Location: That star on your map in the middle of the East Coast, DMV
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1. DC

2. Chi

3. Boston




4. SF
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:32 PM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iAMtheVVALRUS View Post
My guess would be that Boston has the best system for getting around in the inner city, DC has the best for getting around the metropolitan area, and Chicago has a good cross of both.

(but I only have hands on experience with Boston and DC's systems, so.....)
Actually Chicago is terrible for getting around the metro area. The EL trains do not pass the city borders for the most part. DC, especially post silver line, I can get around a large portion of the region, including the suburbs.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictSonic View Post
Actually Chicago is terrible for getting around the metro area. The EL trains do not pass the city borders for the most part. DC, especially post silver line, I can get around a large portion of the region, including the suburbs.
It has Metra to cover the suburbs not served by the El Trains.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:46 PM
 
Location: DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
It has Metra to cover the suburbs not served by the El Trains.
Metra trains have odd hours and run times outside of commuter hours. DC has a proper mass transit system. We have the commuter trains to, VRE and MARC. But the Metro in DC is comparable to the EL, if the EL went well into the suburbs.

I used to live in the Chicago area. In terms of mass transit DC > Chicago, except for the fact the El was open later. Kind of miss that.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:58 PM
 
Location: south central
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I've rode the El in Chicago before but it's been a long time, and I have ridden Bart and the streetcars/electric buses in SF a bunch. But I'm from Boston and as a former resident/commuter there have lots of experience with the MBTA.

It's good, because I'm thankful for what we had. But it's also really bad. The downtown coverage is great, and Fens/Allston/Chestnut Hill/North Brookline area is also really well covered. The green line just sucks though. Delays on top of delays. Anyone whose had to listen to the screeching at Boylston station too has some ill feelings towards the MBTA.

The bus coverage is decent, and some buses run on great time, while many others do not. North of the city has pretty good service. It can suck waiting in the freezing cold, though. Just like the subway station too, unbelievably uncomfortable during the winter months. Worse than outside because of the cement and tile, many times.

Living in LA, I know the MBTA's bus system really isn't as good. The routes are more confusing if you don't know them are trying to take a bus that isn't your regular, and the geographic coverage is much less, partly because Boston is smaller and less dense outside the downtown/Cambridge/Somerville area.

Therefore, to serve a less dense metro, the MBTA has a pretty good commuter rail system, probably one of the best in the nation and if I would give Boston a #1 versus any of these cities, I'd be willing to bet it would be with the commuter rail system. There can be some delays that frustrate the hell out of commuters, and in the winter a snowflake can cause these damn 1980s trains to breakdown. Or in the fall when there are leaves on the track...and if it happens to have rained (it rains a lot in Boston), you get slick, which means the train moves slower than a woman with a walker. Also, Commuter rail fares have skyrocket recently.

One thing I do love is our fare/pass system. They have an app for commuter rail tickets. You can't get Charlie Cards or Charlie Tickets, which will give you unlimited access to commuter rail, bus, and subways for the month, which is great. And I have the by-distance fares of BART. Only our commuter rails do that.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,805,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BitofEndearment View Post

One thing I do love is our fare/pass system. They have an app for commuter rail tickets. You can't get Charlie Cards or Charlie Tickets, which will give you unlimited access to commuter rail, bus, and subways for the month, which is great. And I have the by-distance fares of BART. Only our commuter rails do that.
Except morning commute on the B line. Stopping every 3 feet and having 50 different individuals swipe their cards one by one.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,918 posts, read 5,038,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
#1. Chicago- Has the overall best mass transit of any city listed. Has the highest ridership when combining all modes of mass transit. It is generally considered the 2nd best transit city outside of NYC. Chicago is also by far the best transit city in the Midwest.

#2. Washington DC- Has "pound for pound" the best subway system outside of NYC. Once the Silver Line is completed, it will silence all the doubters. Commuter rail service is average. DC has easily one the cleanest transit systems in the entire Northeast Corridor.

#3. Boston- One of the most diverse transit systems in the country and is also one of the oldest. The subway system is good. Commuter rail is very good. Needs to offer more 24/hr service.

#4. San Francisco- Great light rail system. One of the few regions where the subway system has better service in the suburbs than the actual city itself. Commuter rail is good but is desperately lacking in the northern suburbs. Even with that being said, SF still has the best mass transit in the entire Western United States.
This.
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