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Old 08-24-2016, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,828,129 times
Reputation: 2858

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbono View Post
Driving gives me anxiety, so I want to move to a city with mass transit. What would be the cheapest northern city to live in that has good mass transit? Ideally, we'd like to find a house that has a yard and is close to a mass transit stop. I know we couldn't afford cities like NYC, D.C., Boston, S.F., Seattle, Portland, Chicago. I'm not familiar with mass transit in general, so I don't know which cities have good enough mass transit to where I could get to most places I need to. I'm thinking cities like Minneapolis or Pittsburgh, but like I said, I have no real clue. Cities like Madison WI and Indianapolis are also enticing, but I'm not sure their mass transit is extensive enough. TIA.
Pittsburgh is not cheap if you want to live in a good neighborhood. Brighton Heights is sketchy.

http://spotcrime.com/pa/pittsburgh
Homicide: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

If you are looking for a city with a bus system, then most have them. Pittsburgh's rail line is mainly to the south of the city and there are no plans for expansion. If you don't mind driving, then the best places to live with some yard space are north of the city.

Boston isn't bad if you look at outlying small towns. The Mass/RI mass transit system is so good that you can live in an exurb and still have excellent access to the city.

Buffalo has a rail line and I've heard there may be expansion but I am not sure. Cleveland has the best transit system and rail line in the Eastern Midwest.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:38 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 1,478,173 times
Reputation: 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbono View Post
Driving gives me anxiety, so I want to move to a city with mass transit. What would be the cheapest northern city to live in that has good mass transit? Ideally, we'd like to find a house that has a yard and is close to a mass transit stop. I know we couldn't afford cities like NYC, D.C., Boston, S.F., Seattle, Portland, Chicago. I'm not familiar with mass transit in general, so I don't know which cities have good enough mass transit to where I could get to most places I need to. I'm thinking cities like Minneapolis or Pittsburgh, but like I said, I have no real clue. Cities like Madison WI and Indianapolis are also enticing, but I'm not sure their mass transit is extensive enough. TIA.
Indianapolis doesn't have much traffic or mass transit. Of the places you've listed, Chicago is cheapest with the best transit. Chicago's rents are climbing, just not like we're seeing on the coasts.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH
469 posts, read 669,883 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
Excellent, actually! Upper Darby has the 69th Street Transportation Center. The Market-Frankford Line (one of our subways locally referred to as the "El" since it is elevated in West and North/Northeast Philly) will take you from 69th Street in Upper Darby to 15th Street (the center of the Philly transit universe) in less than 15 minutes. There are also buses and trolleys that will take you throughout Center City Philly and Delaware County. Lansdowne is also very transit-accessible. The Media/Elwyn Line, another Regional Rail line, has a stop in Lansdowne. The 113 and 109 buses will also take you to the aforementioned 69th Street Transportation Center, where you can connect to the El. Another option is taking the 113 to Darby Transportation Center and taking either the 11 or 13 trolleys into Center City Philly.

Are schools a big concern for you? If so, I would recommend Upper Darby over Lansdowne. Good luck with your search!
No, schools aren't important. This is good info, thanks. Philly now in the mix.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH
469 posts, read 669,883 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
Pittsburgh is not cheap if you want to live in a good neighborhood. Brighton Heights is sketchy.

http://spotcrime.com/pa/pittsburgh
Homicide: Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

If you are looking for a city with a bus system, then most have them. Pittsburgh's rail line is mainly to the south of the city and there are no plans for expansion. If you don't mind driving, then the best places to live with some yard space are north of the city.

Boston isn't bad if you look at outlying small towns. The Mass/RI mass transit system is so good that you can live in an exurb and still have excellent access to the city.

Buffalo has a rail line and I've heard there may be expansion but I am not sure. Cleveland has the best transit system and rail line in the Eastern Midwest.
I really need to take a closer look at Cleveland then, thanks.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:57 PM
 
7,705 posts, read 4,566,742 times
Reputation: 8418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbono View Post
I really need to take a closer look at Cleveland then, thanks.
He's a Pittsburgh troll. Pittsburgh has significantly lower rates of violent crimes than Cleveland. He's right that are mass transit is mostly by space, but we have more bus routes with higher frequency than most other cities. We have higher rates of transit ridership in Portland.
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:57 PM
 
100 posts, read 70,835 times
Reputation: 175
Pittsburgh has the T light rail running into its South Hills neighborhoods. If $150k in SQH is in your price range, you can definitely find something down there with at least a garden-able yard. Brookline and Castle Shannon spring to mind as likely candidates -- though to be frank, it's been a few years since I've been back that way. That area is actually the only one connected to downtown via the light rail. Good shopping is easily accessible via public transportation (including South Hills Village which is your garden variety giant shopping mall), and of course, easy access to downtown, especially the cultural district which has a T-stop practically right there.

Access to the major Universities and the fun in the East End would, however, always be at least one transfer away. So Squirrel Hill (and its cafe and bistro scene), Oakland (and the Carnegie Museum and main branch of the public library), Shadyside/East Liberty (yuppies and the requisite Whole Foods), Highland Park (the world-famous Pittsburgh Zoo), etc., would probably necessitate a day trip.

Same deal with a few of the near-north connections, just on buses instead of trains. Bellvue, Avalon, and Ben Avon probably have homes with nice yards in your price range. Again, the East End would be a haul, but downtown quick and easy. And you'd have simple access northward toward Sewickley Village, which is one of the swankier, more walkable little downtowns you'll find. Accessible via bus.

Both areas would also be fairly convenient to the North Side for sporting events.


As a second suggestion, Grand Rapids, MI is sort of known for the quality of its transit as mid-sized cities go. Your housing and acreage dollar may stretch further somewhere like that. No first-hand knowledge, however. Just something you may want to investigate.

Ditto Sioux Falls, SD. It's always on those lists for best city for people without cars/on fixed budgets/retirees/etc. And I think with the budget you're working with, you could afford most anything in the city.

Last edited by Lo-Fi; 08-24-2016 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:09 PM
 
56,613 posts, read 80,910,543 times
Reputation: 12507
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Buffalo may be another option. Here is an area near a rail stop and has single family homes: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9413...7i13312!8i6656 The rail stop is a couple of blocks away here: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9394...7i13312!8i6656


Here is another rail stop: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9274...7i13312!8i6656 Near this neighborhood: The Hamlin Park Neighborhood: A Strong Community and One You Should be Seriously Considering – Buffalo Rising


https://www.facebook.com/HamlinParkHD/ Hamlin Park has an interesting history: Buffalo's Historic Neighborhoods: Hamlin Park


Canisius College is in the neighborhood as well. https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9244...7i13312!8i6656


Here is a street view of the University rail stop near the University of Buffalo's South Campus: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9541...!7i3328!8i1664


This area is just across Main Street: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9560...7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9547...7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9541...7i13312!8i6656


This is the Utica Station stop: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9115...7i13312!8i6656


This area is a couple of blocks away: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9123...7i13312!8i6656
This is another Buffalo neighborhood that comes to mind: HertelAvenue.com - Hertel Avenue Buffalo NY - Stores, Restaurants, Night Clubs, Services, Business

Hertel Avenue: A tip-top spot to shop - MoneySmart - The Buffalo News

This very dense suburban village is just north of that area: Welcome to the Village of Kenmore
It is one of the top 100 most dense incorporated municipalities in the United States.

Also, since you want something Northern and affordable, I'd also look into the SE Quadrant of Rochester NY: Southeast Quadrant - Rochester Wiki

In Syracuse, you may like Eastwood: City of Syracuse -> TNT Tomorrow's Neighborhoods Today
or Westcott, which is east of Syracuse University and the 4 University Hill hospitals: Westcott Neighborhood Association - Westcott Community

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 08-24-2016 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:29 PM
 
100 posts, read 70,835 times
Reputation: 175
I also totally wouldn't write off the Chicago area till you research fully. The Metra has commuter trains that run pretty extensively and reliably that would take care of all your big-city desires, and as long as your home-base town was both affordable and contained its own smaller-scale public transportation, you might get the best of all possible worlds.

Just as one for-example, Kenosha, WI. Metra runs five or six times a day between Chi and Kenosha (90 mins or so), and has stops along the way at fun way stations like Evanston, home of Northwestern and its own little awesome mini-downtown. And Kenosha itself has a fairly extensive intra-city transit system for when you're feeling a bit less worldly. Connections to Milwaukee also exist.

It's a fun question.
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,828,129 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
He's a Pittsburgh troll. Pittsburgh has significantly lower rates of violent crimes than Cleveland. He's right that are mass transit is mostly by space, but we have more bus routes with higher frequency than most other cities. We have higher rates of transit ridership in Portland.
Hey, I produce the data to support my posts. Complain to the Pittsburgh Post or police if you don't like the data. The fact is that Cleveland does have the best transit system in the Eastern Midwest. Pittsburgh officials even researched the BRT system from Cleveland.

http://gettherepgh.org/press-room/

Last edited by bluecarebear; 08-24-2016 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH
469 posts, read 669,883 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lo-Fi View Post
I also totally wouldn't write off the Chicago area till you research fully. The Metra has commuter trains that run pretty extensively and reliably that would take care of all your big-city desires, and as long as your home-base town was both affordable and contained its own smaller-scale public transportation, you might get the best of all possible worlds.

Just as one for-example, Kenosha, WI. Metra runs five or six times a day between Chi and Kenosha (90 mins or so), and has stops along the way at fun way stations like Evanston, home of Northwestern and its own little awesome mini-downtown. And Kenosha itself has a fairly extensive intra-city transit system for when you're feeling a bit less worldly. Connections to Milwaukee also exist.

It's a fun question.
Appreciate all the info in both posts, very helpful. I haven't looked north of Chi yet, great idea.
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