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Old 04-25-2012, 05:04 PM
 
3,585 posts, read 3,696,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
I would absolutely hate being dependent on public transportation. That would just suck big time. When I am ready to go I don't want to have to wait or be dependent on a schedule. I don't understand why anyone would want to live in a place like that???
Amen to that. Although I live in an area that the public transportation system is not that great...
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
16,942 posts, read 10,786,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
I would absolutely hate being dependent on public transportation. That would just suck big time. When I am ready to go I don't want to have to wait or be dependent on a schedule. I don't understand why anyone would want to live in a place like that???
I have taken the Valley Mover a few times from Wasilla to Anchorage and back. It only costs $10 for a round-trip ticket, and I spend about that amount on gasoline alone. Surprisingly, it does make pretty good time. It only takes an hour to get into Anchorage from the Fred Myers parking lot in Wasilla, which is only about 15 minutes slower than if I were to drive the same distance.

My only problem with the Valley Mover was that I was without a vehicle the entire day in Anchorage. However, it was particularly nice to take the bus on those nasty winter days. I could read, sleep, and generally not worry about traffic. I felt a lot more relaxed by the time I got to work. It was certainly less stressful than driving.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,994,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Amen to that. Although I live in an area that the public transportation system is not that great...
Anchorage's is definitely superior to Fairbank's, but I think Fairbanks may make more accommodations for cold weather at the stores....but like I said, I've never used the bus in Fairbanks.

I think Anchorage needs a Midtown loop bus that goes from Fireweed and Arctic to Tudor and Arctic and then to Denali and back to Fireweed. I used to have to take two buses to get to point A to point B and it was senseless to wait for the second bus by the library when I could walk it faster. I just didn't like walking by the sign wavers every day. They never bothered me but there was a fear that they would. I used to get hassled at the grocery store parking lot and I really hated the hostility that some would have when I couldn't "help" them buy booze.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:31 PM
 
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Well, I'm a big believer in public transportation. Public transit systems vary widely from place to place, and we have our fair share of not-so-great transit service in New Jersey, but we also have really good service in certain cities and towns, and on certain routes. I've seen buses here that run once every 3-4 minutes during rush hour, have automated bus stop announcements, and even take credit cards. Not all lines are like that of course, it's mostly in the towns that are closest to New York City, but still.

It's important to have transportation OPTIONS. Again, the thought of not being able to access my job or a grocery store without a car scares me. If my car breaks down, I can't go to work and make money, nor can I go somewhere where I can purchase food. Literally, I'd die without a car. Sure, I could probably take a cab but that gets expensive pretty quickly. Like I said, when my car broke down, I could still go to work, go to school, and go to the grocery store, thanks in large part to public transportation.

If Fairbanks provides bus shelters for those brutally cold days and nights, then that's a good step. Don't mind waiting for a bus, I just wouldn't want to do it in temperatures that could literally kill me. Besides, I'm sure that if Fairbanks is like any other town, there are low-income residents who can't afford a car but still need to be able to get to work. I've been in cities where people don't want to support public transit, but then complain that there are too many bums without jobs - huh? A lot of the places where people could work are only accessible by car if there's no bus service, so how do you expect poor people to get to work and make money. I don't understand how people can say they want to reduce dependency on government on the one hand, but then refuse to take the steps that would help people NOT depend on government and work for a living on the other. But I digress, this isn't a political discussion.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,994,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzman256 View Post
Well, I'm a big believer in public transportation. Public transit systems vary widely from place to place, and we have our fair share of not-so-great transit service in New Jersey, but we also have really good service in certain cities and towns, and on certain routes. I've seen buses here that run once every 3-4 minutes during rush hour, have automated bus stop announcements, and even take credit cards. Not all lines are like that of course, it's mostly in the towns that are closest to New York City, but still.

It's important to have transportation OPTIONS. Again, the thought of not being able to access my job or a grocery store without a car scares me. If my car breaks down, I can't go to work and make money, nor can I go somewhere where I can purchase food. Literally, I'd die without a car. Sure, I could probably take a cab but that gets expensive pretty quickly. Like I said, when my car broke down, I could still go to work, go to school, and go to the grocery store, thanks in large part to public transportation.

If Fairbanks provides bus shelters for those brutally cold days and nights, then that's a good step. Don't mind waiting for a bus, I just wouldn't want to do it in temperatures that could literally kill me. Besides, I'm sure that if Fairbanks is like any other town, there are low-income residents who can't afford a car but still need to be able to get to work. I've been in cities where people don't want to support public transit, but then complain that there are too many bums without jobs - huh? A lot of the places where people could work are only accessible by car if there's no bus service, so how do you expect poor people to get to work and make money. I don't understand how people can say they want to reduce dependency on government on the one hand, but then refuse to take the steps that would help people NOT depend on government and work for a living on the other. But I digress, this isn't a political discussion.
Excellent points, Jazzman! There is a Value Village store which would be a good option for buying used winter gear. People-especially military-are moving out all the time so it hopefully it is well stocked.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:05 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
1,253 posts, read 877,265 times
Reputation: 2208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzman256 View Post
Well, I'm a big believer in public transportation. Public transit systems vary widely from place to place, and we have our fair share of not-so-great transit service in New Jersey, but we also have really good service in certain cities and towns, and on certain routes. I've seen buses here that run once every 3-4 minutes during rush hour, have automated bus stop announcements, and even take credit cards. Not all lines are like that of course, it's mostly in the towns that are closest to New York City, but still.

It's important to have transportation OPTIONS. Again, the thought of not being able to access my job or a grocery store without a car scares me. If my car breaks down, I can't go to work and make money, nor can I go somewhere where I can purchase food. Literally, I'd die without a car. Sure, I could probably take a cab but that gets expensive pretty quickly. Like I said, when my car broke down, I could still go to work, go to school, and go to the grocery store, thanks in large part to public transportation.

If Fairbanks provides bus shelters for those brutally cold days and nights, then that's a good step. Don't mind waiting for a bus, I just wouldn't want to do it in temperatures that could literally kill me. Besides, I'm sure that if Fairbanks is like any other town, there are low-income residents who can't afford a car but still need to be able to get to work. I've been in cities where people don't want to support public transit, but then complain that there are too many bums without jobs - huh? A lot of the places where people could work are only accessible by car if there's no bus service, so how do you expect poor people to get to work and make money. I don't understand how people can say they want to reduce dependency on government on the one hand, but then refuse to take the steps that would help people NOT depend on government and work for a living on the other. But I digress, this isn't a political discussion.
Fairbanks is a major city by Alaska standards, but in terms of population, compared to lower 48 cities it's quite small. It's a smaller tax base, and a fairly small pool of regular riders. IMO the Fairbanks bus system is about as good as a person could reasonably expect, and on par with other American cities of similar size. It's usable, and they have an additional van service for disabled people, as well as a carpooling coordination service. I'm not sure what other public transportation options you expect a fairly isolated city of around 30,000 people to be providing.

And yes, it's very cold, but there's really no need to be dramatic about the temperatures. You're not going to die at a bus stop unless fall asleep there drunk or something. If you start to freeze then walk a couple blocks to a store or whatever and go inside to warm up. You just need to dress properly, be prepared, and pay attention to your body's signals.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
4,043 posts, read 4,994,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Fairbanks is a major city by Alaska standards, but in terms of population, compared to lower 48 cities it's quite small. It's a smaller tax base, and a fairly small pool of regular riders. IMO the Fairbanks bus system is about as good as a person could reasonably expect, and on par with other American cities of similar size. It's usable, and they have an additional van service for disabled people, as well as a carpooling coordination service. I'm not sure what other public transportation options you expect a fairly isolated city of around 30,000 people to be providing.

And yes, it's very cold, but there's really no need to be dramatic about the temperatures. You're not going to die at a bus stop unless fall asleep there drunk or something. If you start to freeze then walk a couple blocks to a store or whatever and go inside to warm up. You just need to dress properly, be prepared, and pay attention to your body's signals.
I think it's just so unfathomable the magnitude of the cold temperatures we get in the Interior. In the lower 48, +30 can feel chillier than Alaskan cold because of the humidity. I grew up in the Interior and was surprised how cold I felt during mild Arkansan winters. My teeth would chatter, but up here -30 is really nothing. It's very odd. You would think a seasoned Alaskan would not get cold in the south.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:54 AM
 
20 posts, read 26,029 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Fairbanks is a major city by Alaska standards, but in terms of population, compared to lower 48 cities it's quite small. It's a smaller tax base, and a fairly small pool of regular riders. IMO the Fairbanks bus system is about as good as a person could reasonably expect, and on par with other American cities of similar size. It's usable, and they have an additional van service for disabled people, as well as a carpooling coordination service. I'm not sure what other public transportation options you expect a fairly isolated city of around 30,000 people to be providing.

And yes, it's very cold, but there's really no need to be dramatic about the temperatures. You're not going to die at a bus stop unless fall asleep there drunk or something. If you start to freeze then walk a couple blocks to a store or whatever and go inside to warm up. You just need to dress properly, be prepared, and pay attention to your body's signals.

Right. By no means am I trying to say that Fairbanks is comparable to a New Jersey town that needs bus access to NYC or Philadelphia, for instance. My little rant was about public transit in general, not necessarily specific to Fairbanks (even though I know I mentioned Fairbanks).

Interesting how the dry cold / wet cold factors into this. This past January, I was out in Wyoming and it was about 0 degrees out there, and I remember thinking that it didn't feel nearly as miserable as 0 degree temperatures I've experienced in New Jersey.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:48 AM
 
20 posts, read 26,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobrien View Post
I think it's just so unfathomable the magnitude of the cold temperatures we get in the Interior. In the lower 48, +30 can feel chillier than Alaskan cold because of the humidity. I grew up in the Interior and was surprised how cold I felt during mild Arkansan winters. My teeth would chatter, but up here -30 is really nothing. It's very odd. You would think a seasoned Alaskan would not get cold in the south.

You seriously felt like 30 above in Arkansas was as cold as 30 below in Alaska? Wow. The air must be extremely dry in Fairbanks.........
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:41 AM
 
157 posts, read 238,366 times
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I spent over 30 years in Fairbanks and went up from GA when I was 24. The first year was so different, it was pretty exciting. Shockingly cold, but I survivied. I still go back for summers-no place like it in the world.

Once you're hired, ask your prospective employer if they have any leads on housing. If the military is in town rather than deployed, it's harder. Do applications before you go up so they can check your references and make the lead time shorter. There is a fairly rustic hostel that might work for interim. Hotels are unbelievably high.

Plan on buying a car there. It'll be more, but you'll save sales tax and the cost of driving up. Going thru canada is gorgeous but the price of gas is high.

By your gear in AK. Better stuff for the cold and you will need heavy coat, boots and gloves. What's heavy to Outside folks isn't quite the same. Agian, you'll save slaes tax and the cost of shipping it up.

Good luck! Have fun and take advantage of the unique life there.
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