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Old 11-06-2011, 04:51 AM
 
573 posts, read 1,719,323 times
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1. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
> Transit coverage: 91.7% (5th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (12th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 34.8 (30th highest)
> Walk score: 84.9 (2nd highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.65% (6th highest)
San Francisco is held in high regard for its many successful transit systems, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and the Bay Area Rapid Transit district. These systems cover nearly 92% of neighborhoods the fifth highest rate in the country. San Francisco also has the second highest walk score and is excellent for bicyclists. Commuter rails within the city allow bicyclists to mount with their bicycles, and there is a bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge to help cyclists during rush hour.
2. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
> Transit coverage: 83.5% (13th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 7.4 (8th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 39.9% (16th highest)
> Walk score: 66.3 (13th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 2.23% (2nd highest)
Portland is such a good place for people to live without a car due to both its public transit system and the ease of walking and biking around the city. The metropolitan area is served by TriMet, which in addition to other services offers a Free Rail Zone a region that includes most of downtown Portland and where light rail and streetcar rides are always free. The city has a number of benefits for bike riders, including designated bike-only areas at traffic signals and free bike lights. It has the second highest rate of commuters who ride bikes to work in the country.
3. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
> Transit coverage: 89.6% (7th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 4.5 (the highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 36.6% (25th highest)
> Walk score: 85.3 (the highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.52% (32nd highest)
New York City ranks first in the nation for total number of passenger trips and government spending per capita on public transit, according to US News. It also has the highest rate of service frequency. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2010 operating budget was $13.4 billion. The average weekday ridership for the city is estimated to be over 8.4 million trips. The city also has the highest walk score on this list, thanks to the ability of city dwellers to reach just about any amenity on foot.
4. Honolulu, HI
> Transit coverage: 97% (the highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 9 (18th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 59.8% (the highest)
> Walk score: 63 (19th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.95% (12th highest)

Honolulu currently does not have an urban rail system, but its bus system helps cover 97% of neighborhoods the highest rate in the country. Additionally, almost 60% of jobs are accessible within 90 minutes to those who live in neighborhoods covered by transit. This is also the highest rate in the country. Nevertheless, the city is planning a $5.5 billion rail project called the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. This will include 20 miles of track, connecting East Kapolei with the Honolulu International Airport and downtown Honolulu and will end at Ala Moana Center.
5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Transit coverage: 85.3% (11th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.8 (15th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 33.4% (35th highest)
> Walk score: 73.6 (6th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.07% (9th highest)

Seattle's public transportation system not only includes bus and rail transit, but a monorail in the city center, as well as ferries. The city also has the sixth highest walk score in the country, due to its high number of easily accessible amenities. According to Bicycling magazine, Seattle is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country and "has a 10-year, $240-million bike master plan that seeks to triple the number of journeys made by bike and add 450 miles of bike paths."
6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Transit coverage: 95.6% (3rd highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.9 (5th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.4% (3rd highest)
> Walk score: 54.5 (34th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.56% (7th highest)

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area's public transportation is overseen by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Like Los Angeles, the area relies heavily on buses, running about 100 routes. Public transit covers 95.6% of neighborhoods, the third greatest in the country. Public vehicles also run under 7 minutes apart, the fifth smallest frequency. The metro area also has the seventh highest rate of commuters who travel to work by bicycle.
7. Denver-Aurora, CO
> Transit coverage: 83.7% (12th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.1 (10th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 47.5% (10th highest)
> Walk score: 60.4 (23rd highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.79% (16th highest)

Denver has bus service, light rail lines, and an airport shuttle service. The city is currently undergoing a multibillion dollar expansion of its transit system, called the FasTracks Expansion. This plan is meant to increase light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit lines. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2019, currently faces a $2 billion shortfall.
8. Salt Lake City, UT
> Transit coverage: 89% (8th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (11th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.9% (2nd highest)
> Walk score: 57.6 (29th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.78% (17th highest)

Utah's population is expected to grow from 2010's approximately 3 million to 4.4 million in 2030. Salt Lake County accounts for more than one-third of the state's population. To accommodate this growth, the Utah Transit Authority has plans to add four more lines to its light rail system, TRAX, up from its current three lines. This investment is meant to improve transportation for the suburban and exurban population to the city. In the winter, the UTA runs ski transit lines in addition to its rail and bus services.
9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
> Transit coverage: 96% (2nd highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.2 (2nd lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 25.6% (69th highest)
> Walk score: 65.9 (14th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.87% (14th highest)

Los Angeles is the second largest city by population in the United States, and its metropolitan area is fairly spread out. Due to its extensive public transit system the area has avoided a complete automobile-based culture. The metro area's 19 transit systems have more than 500 bus routes. As a result, 96% of neighborhoods are within 0.75 miles to a transit stop the second highest rate in the country. Better still, commuters can catch a form of public transportation from their nearest stop every 6.2 minutes.
10. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
> Transit coverage: 69.4% (36th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.9 (16th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 30.2% (43rd highest)
> Walk score: 79.2 (3rd highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.7% (21st highest)

 
Old 11-06-2011, 05:19 AM
 
21,258 posts, read 30,535,410 times
Reputation: 19747
Lacks credibility. San Jose or Salt Lake and not DC?

Washington DC geographically is quite compact and very walkable, has world class public transit, tons of bike paths and the ability to forgo an automobile completely without issue.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 01:42 PM
 
5,837 posts, read 10,822,293 times
Reputation: 4432
Is this list serious??? It doesn't include Chicago?

I mean, I know I have built a reputation of putting Chicago in its place, about how its not really as big, important, or as cosmopolitan placed against other american cities as is believed, but come on, if there is one thing that Chicago absolutely offers more than almost anywhere else, its car-free living! Even in the suburbs, there are so many small-town downtown areas with a metra station that can take one dowtown for work, all kinds of entertainment.

I'm usually the one that points out the Chicago homers/boosters and putting them in their place, but if there is one thing taht Chicago is quite special for, its one of the top cities for car free living.

In addition of course to the word class downtown area (312) which is one of the most tourist friendly downtowns in the country, in addition to a plethora of down-to-earth small-town vibe suburbs that are great for families. Its just most of the neighborhoods in the city proper that mostly all look the same to me (grid streets, two-flats, Chicago bungalows, over and over again), and feel insular and segregated from each other (where people look the same in the neighborhoods down to the way the dress).

Last edited by Tex?Il?; 11-06-2011 at 01:56 PM..
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Terra
208 posts, read 515,098 times
Reputation: 356
L.A. over Boston, really? Surely you jest. You can hardly get around L.A. without a car unless you live in a very geographically limited area that is actually served by public transit. In Boston, having a car is almost a hindrance at times, since parking can be horrific and you have to dig it out of the snow.

The survey would've done better if the folks doing it actually bothered to talk to real people rather than crunching some numbers.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:16 PM
 
9,418 posts, read 9,595,609 times
Reputation: 5842
Why didn't they do % of people who walk to work, NYC and Boston would beat out the other cities, its unfair to pick certain stats, but not all like # of Supermarkets, resturants bars per sq mile ect.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,932 posts, read 3,656,792 times
Reputation: 2148
Chicago not being listed, while LA is included makes the list suspect at first glance although LA transit is very underrated both here on city data and even in LA.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,932 posts, read 3,656,792 times
Reputation: 2148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mllex View Post
You can hardly get around L.A. without a car unless you live in a very geographically limited area that is actually served by public transit.
While I wouldn't put LA above Boston, your statement is false. As the article points out 96% of LA residents are within 3/4 of a mile of a transit stop, while only 69% of Boston residents are. I live in suburban LA County in an area that most locally consider to have poor transit (compared to the city of LA), yet I have a bus stop 1 block from my apartment served by 3 routes and I am within 0.75 miles of 4 more routes. And I think that's pretty typical for most of the LA population. Here's a link to a map of LA transit so that you can see for yourself. Coverage and frequencies are decent for normal commute times. Outside of that, car free would be tough for the suburbs.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
2,932 posts, read 3,656,792 times
Reputation: 2148
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Why didn't they do % of people who walk to work, NYC and Boston would beat out the other cities, its unfair to pick certain stats, but not all like # of Supermarkets, resturants bars per sq mile ect.
That makes sense, but I think that they wanted to make a list that would show where people could take transit or where they could walk. You could just look at a list of cities by car ownership to see where people are already car free, but that doesn't tell the whole story.
 
Old 11-06-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: classified
1,680 posts, read 3,193,712 times
Reputation: 1534
That list is a joke.

Seriously having a list named "The Best Cities to live in car-free" and not including on that list either Washington DC, Chicago, or Philadelphia?

Cmon.
 
Old 11-07-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,988,594 times
Reputation: 4062
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
While I wouldn't put LA above Boston, your statement is false. As the article points out 96% of LA residents are within 3/4 of a mile of a transit stop, while only 69% of Boston residents are. I live in suburban LA County in an area that most locally consider to have poor transit (compared to the city of LA), yet I have a bus stop 1 block from my apartment served by 3 routes and I am within 0.75 miles of 4 more routes. And I think that's pretty typical for most of the LA population. Here's a link to a map of LA transit so that you can see for yourself. Coverage and frequencies are decent for normal commute times. Outside of that, car free would be tough for the suburbs.
I think one of the major issues with this list, in spite of its fidelity to statistical data, is that its numbers are derived from the entire MSA for each city.

Having lived in both Los Angeles proper and Boston proper, I don't think anyone who has done the same would disagree with my observation that it is more practical and convenient to travel by car than public transportation in LA, while the opposite is almost certainly true for the city of Boston.

The problem is that this list does not concern the cities themselves, but rather the MSAs. In this case, the selected MSAs do not exactly offer the most even comparison.

Both Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy are of a similar geographic size; 4,850 sq. miles and 4,674 sq. miles respectively. However, it is obvious that Los Angeles' MSA is a far more urbanized area, having nearly three times the density and total population of Boston's MSA.

In other words, the statistics for Boston offered in this list take into account communities that are on the exurban fringes of the metro area, whereas the LA-Long Beach-Santa Ana MSA does not even include all of LA's suburbs. I think that the numbers for transit coverage and proximity to transit would increase substantially if you examined a more circumscribed portion of the Boston metro.
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