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View Poll Results: Please vote for the best rail outside N.E., Chicago, Bay
Atlanta 27 30.00%
Cleveland 7 7.78%
Dallas 6 6.67%
Denver 3 3.33%
Detroit 0 0%
Houston 1 1.11%
Jacksonville 0 0%
Kansas City 0 0%
Los Angeles 21 23.33%
Miami 1 1.11%
Minneapolis 1 1.11%
Orlando 0 0%
Pittsburgh 1 1.11%
Phoenix 1 1.11%
Portland 10 11.11%
Saint Louis 1 1.11%
Salt Lake 2 2.22%
San Diego 1 1.11%
Seattle 1 1.11%
Tampa 0 0%
Other 6 6.67%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,851 posts, read 5,574,785 times
Reputation: 1723

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Ok. I know Atlanta's MARTA system is knocked by many (mostly for it's unfilled potential). But it is my contention that it is probably the most underrated rail system in the nation. Outside your major Northeast cities and the Bay area I would say that Atlanta has the best rail system when it comes to rapidly getting you where you want in the city, ridership,and promptness, etc. This is unknown by many who only know of Atlanta's reputation as a sprawling traffic clogging capital.

I will agree NYC, Chicago, Philly, D.C., Sanfran-Oakland, and maybe Boston all probably have better service. But these cities are all larger and most have systems much older than Atlanta's. I challenge any other city however to show that it's rail system whether light rail, subway, whatever can compete with Atlanta's.

Marta covers 48 miles with 38 stations and has a daily ridership of over 450,000. Here are some pictures and video. Post some of your system if you can please.










Video of MARTA train system.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXJKthvX8Fs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm6c0HjkhCw

Last edited by Galounger; 06-23-2009 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:55 AM
 
322 posts, read 703,080 times
Reputation: 171
L.a
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,594 posts, read 26,953,730 times
Reputation: 9529
It would be fair if you compared heavy rail to heavy rail . You can't compare heavy rail to light rail. Two different types of systems. The heavy rail will always have a higher capacity obviously than light rail.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,601,372 times
Reputation: 7259
I don't know, but maybe Los Angeles and Dallas could be competition.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: ITP
2,133 posts, read 5,608,577 times
Reputation: 1347
While I think it's great that we have a heavy rail system here in Atlanta, my vote would have to go for the LA Metro having the best rail system outside of the Northeast and Chicago. Portland would be in second place; and in 15 years both Denver and Dallas will have exceptional rail networks--both commuter rail and LRT.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: In the heights
21,928 posts, read 23,494,618 times
Reputation: 11524
It looks like Atlanta has a lot more stations and miles than any other cities outside the East Coast, Chicago and SF, followed by Miami, Cleveland, and LA. I think I remember Cleveland getting some kind of mass transit prize recently. Go Cleveland?
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:22 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 3,539,021 times
Reputation: 615
Yes. Atlanta definitely wins this one. Both track length and ridership. Ridership per mile as well. Numer of lines (4) is also good. I don't know why many people don't see that. Lots of people think Atlanta doesn't have any subway system, especially people in the Midwest. They think they have decent public transportation after their first line of light rail is built, and bash cities like Atlanta for public transportation options.

Last edited by fashionguy; 06-23-2009 at 09:35 AM..
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,473,283 times
Reputation: 4054
Why isn't San Francisco on this list? From what statistics show, they've got a great rail system, which I would put a little behind cities like NYC, Boston, Philly, DC, and Chicago....then after SF I'd probably put LA or Atlanta.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,851 posts, read 5,574,785 times
Reputation: 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by south-to-west View Post
While I think it's great that we have a heavy rail system here in Atlanta, my vote would have to go for the LA Metro having the best rail system outside of the Northeast and Chicago. Portland would be in second place; and in 15 years both Denver and Dallas will have exceptional rail networks--both commuter rail and LRT.
Why L.A.? I know it has a new subway system but it's smaller than Atlanta's. And it's light rail doesn't reach most of L.A. and is slow.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:34 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 3,539,021 times
Reputation: 615
Right. Light rail is always slower than heavy rail. Besides, they don't carry as many people. Light rail is a low cost version of subway. If you got subway built in the past, you are lucky. Not the other way around. Even the highest ridership of light rail(Boston) doesn't compare to MARTA. Of course Boston doesn't mainly rely on light rail but for cities mainly relying on light rail like LA and Portland (Portland only has light rail and only has 3 lines), they can't compare with MARTA for ridership. Portland's light rail is famous for a city its size but when you compare public transportation, size doesn't really matter. More lines and more miles will provide more people with options to live close to the system and use it. The ridership (no matter how great this number is, it will still be significantly smaller than a midsize city)would prove that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galounger View Post
Why L.A.? I know it has a new subway system but it's smaller than Atlanta's. And it's light rail doesn't reach most of L.A. and is slow.
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