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Old 03-01-2017, 09:54 PM
 
2,696 posts, read 1,760,089 times
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Let's pretend NYC doesn't exist for a moment. What is the best Subway system in the country?

Please rate these systems with #1 being the best and #9 being the worst. Say why #1 is better than the others and why #9 is worst than the others:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington DC
  • SF
  • LA
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
992 posts, read 517,695 times
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1. Washington, DC--sheer coverage, land use around stations, and not competing with freeways much.
2. San Francisco--coverage, speed, and geography that favors transit
3. Chicago--coverage
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Atlanta.
5. Boston--covers city really well, but Boston has the vast majority of its population in really low density suburbs that have terrible land use for transit.
6. Philadelphia--a fairly decent transit city with really low coverage.
7. Baltimore/Cleveland--tie: fairly good transit for their size, but nothing outstanding.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Point Loma, San Diego, CA
964 posts, read 939,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
1. Washington, DC--sheer coverage, land use around stations, and not competing with freeways much.
2. San Francisco--coverage, speed, and geography that favors transit
3. Chicago--coverage
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Atlanta.
5. Boston--covers city really well, but Boston has the vast majority of its population in really low density suburbs that have terrible land use for transit.
6. Philadelphia--a fairly decent transit city with really low coverage.
7. Baltimore/Cleveland--tie: fairly good transit for their size, but nothing outstanding.

If we're counting the Gold and Expo lines as "subways" since they do eventually go underground, I'd say Los Angeles has already surpassed San Francisco. Right now the L.A. metro has rail coverage from the San Gabriel Valley to the beach in Santa Monica, then from Long Beach to North Hollywood....pretty impressive even if they stopped the upgrades now.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:14 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
15,404 posts, read 24,623,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Losfrisco View Post
If we're counting the Gold and Expo lines as "subways" since they do eventually go underground, I'd say Los Angeles has already surpassed San Francisco. Right now the L.A. metro has rail coverage from the San Gabriel Valley to the beach in Santa Monica, then from Long Beach to North Hollywood....pretty impressive even if they stopped the upgrades now.
Yeah and those trips will take you at least 80-90 minutes with multiple transfers on Metro Rail. A trip on BART with equivalent distances would take 35-55 minutes with a one-seat ride/no transfers. I would not call LA's system "fast" at all. There are way too many at-grade crossings and even areas where cars have signal priority over trains. It's kind of ridiculous you have trains traveling at street level with at-grade crossings in the downtown area of the nation's second largest city. LA really needs more grade-separation with its rail system to make it truly "world class".
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:56 AM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,525,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
1. Washington, DC--sheer coverage, land use around stations, and not competing with freeways much.
2. San Francisco--coverage, speed, and geography that favors transit
3. Chicago--coverage
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Atlanta.
5. Boston--covers city really well, but Boston has the vast majority of its population in really low density suburbs that have terrible land use for transit.
6. Philadelphia--a fairly decent transit city with really low coverage.
7. Baltimore/Cleveland--tie: fairly good transit for their size, but nothing outstanding.
Lol. What a horrible ranking.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,565 posts, read 3,367,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
1. Washington, DC--sheer coverage, land use around stations, and not competing with freeways much.
2. San Francisco--coverage, speed, and geography that favors transit
3. Chicago--coverage
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Atlanta.
5. Boston--covers city really well, but Boston has the vast majority of its population in really low density suburbs that have terrible land use for transit.
6. Philadelphia--a fairly decent transit city with really low coverage.
7. Baltimore/Cleveland--tie: fairly good transit for their size, but nothing outstanding.
Philadelphia's regional rail is EXTREMELY expansive. It covers the entire metro and covers 4 states.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,986 posts, read 5,137,905 times
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This topic has come up several times, so I'm not sure whether it will be consolidated. But, in my experience (I've ridden 7 of the 9 and lived in 3 of the 9 cities):

1./2. Chicago ~ D.C.
(gap)
3./4. Boston ~ S.F.
(small gap)
5. Philadelphia
(gap)
6. L.A.
7. Atlanta
(big gap)
8./9. Baltimore ~ Cleveland
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:10 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,646 posts, read 22,192,066 times
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DC
Chicago
(gap)
Boston
Philadelphia
(gap)
SF
(bigger gap)
Atlanta
LA
(gap)
Miami
(gap)
Baltimore
Cleveland


And while not underground, Miami's Metrorail is heavy rapid transit.

DC and Chicago get top spots for how extensive they are. DC goes further out than Chicago's and is more modern and has connecting points outside of the downtown area while Chicago's has more stops and has a two lines with 24 hour service. Overall, I think it nudges towards DC for first place and the second phase of the Silver Line will push it up just a bit more. Chicago's system right now doesn't have any under construction expansions unfortunately.

Cleveland is lowest because the ridership is low and the line isn't very long. It's nice that it has heavy rail rapid transit at all though.

I find odd people putting Philadelphia's system below that of San Francisco. Philadelphia's two primary lines basically come in and out of Center City crossing each other and each line basically serves with the kind of frequency that the combined interlined main line of BART in San Francisco has so it's a lot more functional. The ridership numbers of BART are higher, but that's a lot to do with the commuter rail aspect of it--and Philadelphia also has a separate commuter rail system which is heavily used and really extensive. Plus, there's actually a third and fourth rapid transit service lines with the Norristown service and the PATCO Speedline.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 03-02-2017 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:11 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,001 posts, read 4,627,655 times
Reputation: 2299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Western Urbanite View Post
1. Washington, DC--sheer coverage, land use around stations, and not competing with freeways much.
2. San Francisco--coverage, speed, and geography that favors transit
3. Chicago--coverage
4. Los Angeles--new, fast, clean, rapidly expanding, and when combined with a REALLY good bus system, allows you to get anywhere. Will likely be #2 within 20-30 years.
Atlanta.
5. Boston--covers city really well, but Boston has the vast majority of its population in really low density suburbs that have terrible land use for transit.
6. Philadelphia--a fairly decent transit city with really low coverage.
7. Baltimore/Cleveland--tie: fairly good transit for their size, but nothing outstanding.


This is a rather odd ranking... Philadelphia most certainly should be ranked higher. The city has somewhat limited subway coverage within the city, however the trolley and bus lines decently make up for it.


The regional rail is a very large and expansive network, almost every major suburb is covered, the only major commuting areas that aren't actively covered are King of Prussia and West Chester, but plans are in the works to have rail access within the next 3-10 years.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
992 posts, read 517,695 times
Reputation: 589
Shall we assume the OP is just talking about heavy rail and high quality LRT (not regional rail) within the MSA to make things simpler?
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