U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-01-2017, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,193 posts, read 10,407,297 times
Reputation: 11208

Advertisements

Americans love their freedom and independence, which is why public transit hasn't caught on here as much as the rest of the world. Outside of the densest parts of the country, it's faster and more comfortable to drive yourself, if you can afford it, even if worse for the environment. It's also much, much more convenient if you have kids to lug around.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-01-2017, 09:04 PM
 
Location: 60630
12,245 posts, read 17,982,982 times
Reputation: 11674
I live in Chicago. I like our public Transit and use it all the time. But it's far from perfect. The Metra trains here don't use the same transit cards as subways and buses. Very incontinent.
I'm from Stockholm and the transit system there is great. You buy one transit card, and it's good for all rides, unlimited , for 1 month.
Also, many people buy the month long card and they use an app on their phone. So no actual card is needed. Also, no more cash or paper tickets. That ended several years ago. So in Stockholm anyways, they are in the right century. lol
But Chicago is ok...just a little behind.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2017, 10:31 PM
 
4,477 posts, read 2,659,202 times
Reputation: 4083
I doubt Americans love driving as much as people think. Give them good options and many switch. But it's hard to provide options the more sprawly places get.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2017, 11:39 PM
 
Location: South Padre Island, TX
2,452 posts, read 1,277,280 times
Reputation: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
I doubt Americans love driving as much as people think. Give them good options and many switch. But it's hard to provide options the more sprawly places get.
They don't. Even here in Texas, where the cities are autocentric, people "prefer their cars" only on basis of the underdeveloped alternative transit options. Many take travels to mass transit cities in the US (and the world), and come back wishing the cities in the state were more advanced in that department.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 01:06 AM
 
Location: BC Canada
831 posts, read 932,490 times
Reputation: 1119
Please note wwhen I said that Americans tend to view transit as a social service and not an essential one I stated, WITH VERY FEW EXCEPTIONS. In other words NYC, Chicago, Boston, SF, Philly, Washington, Seattle, Portland, and possibly LA are the exceptions. Outside of those market, transit has a real social stigma that you don't find in most other Western countries.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 08:54 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,151 times
Reputation: 1810
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texyn View Post
They don't. Even here in Texas, where the cities are autocentric, people "prefer their cars" only on basis of the underdeveloped alternative transit options. Many take travels to mass transit cities in the US (and the world), and come back wishing the cities in the state were more advanced in that department.
This.

I think a good portion of the population would happily switch given a properly built out, maintained, connected, and reasonably priced public transit system.

The Northeast Amtrak corridor is a great example - trains are always completely sold out on the DC-NYC-Boston route, even on the more expensive Acela Express, because they are simply much more comfortable, convenient, and hassle-free than driving on the I-95 or taking the plane, especially with frequent hourly service. The Northeast corridor is by far Amtrak's most profitable route.

Sitting on the Acela Express with a cup of coffee, a good book to read or Netflix movie to watch (all trains have free wifi), and traveling along the coastal towns and villages between Boston and NYC is an absolute delight and far more preferable to other travel modes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,326,260 times
Reputation: 3562
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
I doubt Americans love driving as much as people think. Give them good options and many switch. But it's hard to provide options the more sprawly places get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texyn View Post
They don't. Even here in Texas, where the cities are autocentric, people "prefer their cars" only on basis of the underdeveloped alternative transit options. Many take travels to mass transit cities in the US (and the world), and come back wishing the cities in the state were more advanced in that department.
Driving everywhere is all many Americans know. And with mass transit systems that are outdated by at least 20 years and anemic in most cities, the perception of the options is not helpful.

But many Americans are also used to living in SFH in sleeper neighborhoods. Most multi-generational Americans eat earlier, grocery shop once a week, and do a plethora of other activities in a different way. So, the question of how they accommodate that way of doing things on transit becomes difficult. Just look at the threads in the "Urban Planning" section. People can't wrap their heads around how to grocery shop differently or how to deal with cold or rain if they can't get in their car in their garage and drive to the door of their jobs. It's now a cultural phenomenon.

But it's also very very expensive. The amount of money Americans put into personal vehicles, infrastructure for parking, infrastructure for driving, gasoline, emergency services, etc. Insane.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,110 posts, read 1,303,876 times
Reputation: 1825
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
Americans love their freedom and independence, which is why public transit hasn't caught on here as much as the rest of the world. Outside of the densest parts of the country, it's faster and more comfortable to drive yourself, if you can afford it, even if worse for the environment. It's also much, much more convenient if you have kids to lug around.
IMO a friendly walking environment gives more freedom than relying on a car for every little thing. It makes things a lot easier since there's much less hassle. No finding + paying for parking, worrying about getting towed, sitting in traffic, etc. not to mention going out at night and not needing to have a designated driver or figure out a way back, or having to always call an uber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Driving everywhere is all many Americans know. And with mass transit systems that are outdated by at least 20 years and anemic in most cities, the perception of the options is not helpful.

But many Americans are also used to living in SFH in sleeper neighborhoods. Most multi-generational Americans eat earlier, grocery shop once a week, and do a plethora of other activities in a different way. So, the question of how they accommodate that way of doing things on transit becomes difficult. Just look at the threads in the "Urban Planning" section. People can't wrap their heads around how to grocery shop differently or how to deal with cold or rain if they can't get in their car in their garage and drive to the door of their jobs. It's now a cultural phenomenon.

But it's also very very expensive. The amount of money Americans put into personal vehicles, infrastructure for parking, infrastructure for driving, gasoline, emergency services, etc. Insane.
The Urban Planning forum is funny sometimes. It really does open your eyes to the way most Americans view the world. I remember one thread not too long ago that said something along the lines of: "I find it hard to believe that there are neighborhoods where one person can walk from their home to a grocery store, a bakery, and a bar all within a short distance of each other"

... At first I was very confused like why is that so hard to believe?? But that is really how the majority of the country lives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 10:47 AM
 
4,477 posts, read 2,659,202 times
Reputation: 4083
The urban planning forum is definitely not a den of urbanists or planners. I gave up on it long ago.

And yes, the ability to walk everywhere is pure freedom.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 11:17 AM
 
2,557 posts, read 2,176,151 times
Reputation: 1810
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
The urban planning forum is definitely not a den of urbanists or planners. I gave up on it long ago.

And yes, the ability to walk everywhere is pure freedom.
Part of the reason we are where we are today is historic: massive federal investment in interstate highway infrastructure since the end of WWII that pretty much set the tone for the way of life for the vast majority of Americans.

Part of the reason is that automobile users/auto companies/oil companies tend to be louder and a lot more influential with our policymakers, not to mention huge organizations like UAW unions that have the organizational capacity to affect infrastructural policy on a national level. Sure, urban planners and transit advocates have been getting more vocal in recent years, but they are still light years behind in terms of funding, political influence, and organizational capacity to be able to match entrenched interest groups on the other side.

Another interesting phenomenal about the proliferation of autocentric life style is how the entire conversation has been shaped around "freedom" - freedom of choice, freedom to drive, freedom of mobility, freedom of the highways, freedom of the roads, and anything that takes away this "freedom" is almost the equivalent of treason. It's a political and emotional statement that appeals to Americans' founding identity, one that has been successfully implanted in our heads with years of lobbying, never-ending automobile ads, and an unlimited supply of campaign donations by oil/auto companies to make sure that they are always the ones who get to set the transportation and infrastructure agenda for the United States.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top