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Old 06-16-2008, 07:27 AM
 
23 posts, read 139,656 times
Reputation: 20

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Hey all!

I'm a 23-year-old female and have recently been given the most amazing gift of my life: the ability to move anywhere in the continental US and maintain my employment via telecommuting.

So now comes the hard part... where do I go??

I've spent *most* of my life in Columbus, Ohio and would like to experience some other, warmer parts of the country. I currently have a car but it wouldn't make a long-haul trip so I'll probably sell it, and I would like to move somewhere that I'll be able to manage without a car comfortably.

What medium-to-large cities have the best public transportation systems? Metros/ trains are preferred, but I know they're limited in this country.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:34 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,224,515 times
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I doubt anyone here would argue that New York City has the best public transit system as far as being the most extensive and most affordable. It's the only U.S. city where most of the residents close-in probably don't even own cars at all. That being said, a lot of locals complain about it being on the old/dirty side and not always the most reliable on some of the lines. Still, if you can afford the housing there and don't even want to own a car, that's the place to be.

Aside from NYC, there are few options for "really good" public transit. San Francisco has a good system (BART) that incorporates a subway, light rail, and commuter rail, so some may put that at # 2, or maybe Chicago would tie for it, though some say Chicago's system is breaking down a bit. On a lesser scale, Dallas Texas is rapidly expanding their DART light rail system and in a few years or less it will be really extensive for a system like that, though you'd still probably need to own a car there for some stuff. I'm in Atlanta - we have a rail system but NO commuter rail and few options - definately a car city.

So as far as in the "Continental US" and using rail, heck, I'd probably just list NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco has the only three with GOOD systems in place, with Dallas as an "honorable mention for effort". <G>
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:45 AM
 
5,721 posts, read 9,085,203 times
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Denver has a very good mass transit system.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
788 posts, read 3,769,229 times
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Congratulations! You have been given a great gift! What else are you looking for aside from not needing a car? Ocean, nightlife, affordable housing, etc?

Seattle has a very good bus line. If you live in the city there, I think you'll be fine without a car, but talk to a local (check out their forum). I've only been a visitor, but I didn't have a car and was able to walk or bus it every where I wanted to go. Also, on one of these forums somwhere, someone posted a link to a report on the most walkable communities. Put that in the search function and see what you get. I found it to be very informative, but I can't remember what the thread name was.

Good luck! What a great adventure you're embarking on.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:15 AM
 
23 posts, read 139,656 times
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Thanks for all the quick responses!!

I am considering moving around to several cities (spending a few months in each) because... well, why not? Here are a few other factors that I am hoping for:

Affordability (basic cost of living & renting a furnished room)
Climate (being from Ohio, I've had about all the cold weather I can stand)
Culture (arts, music, local events)

Most of those things I think I can figure out pretty easily, but public transit (and just how good or bad it really may be) is the big factor that is hard to find online
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:40 AM
 
5,857 posts, read 14,043,096 times
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Big cities, good transit: NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Cleveland, San Francisco

Medium cities, good transit: Portland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Milwaukee, New Orleans
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,343 posts, read 55,131,075 times
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Im in Seattle right now and Im so glad I have a car. Well, to be honest Im staying with relatives in Federal Way but its extremely car oriented and not friendly to pedestrians at all.

Seattle proper probably has much better transit options and its oh-so-gorgeous.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Renton, WA
579 posts, read 1,146,667 times
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Wink Consider Phoenix or Tempe, with the new light rail system coming soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by bichita13 View Post
I've spent *most* of my life in Columbus, Ohio and would like to experience some other, warmer parts of the country. I currently have a car but it wouldn't make a long-haul trip so I'll probably sell it, and I would like to move somewhere that I'll be able to manage without a car comfortably.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is finishing the initial state of the construction of its light rail system (http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/ - broken link) that will begin operating later this year. As a young woman who is only a couple of years older than the average college student, you may want to consider living in Tempe. There is a variety of new apartments and condominiums in downtown Tempe and along Tempe Town Lake that is within walking distance of Arizona State University and places for nightlife along Tempe's Mill Avenue. The light rail travels into downtown Phoenix, stopping near Chase Field and U.S. Airways Center, and also goes past the ASU football stadium and basketball arena. There is a large bus station near Old Town Scottsdale so you can easily get to the Scottsdale nightlife from Tempe. If you prefer living in downtown Phoenix, there is new upscale and affordable housing available. The light rail system travels westward to Glendale and eastward to Mesa, which are middle-class suburbs that may provide you with a greater variety of affordable housing options.

Mass transit won't take you everywhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area, but since our weather is usually warm and dry you may want to consider getting a bicycle and riding it around to nearby outdoor recreational areas such as South Mountain Park, Squaw Peak, and Camelback Mountain.

Last edited by Highpointer; 06-16-2008 at 11:00 AM.. Reason: Correcting URL
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Originally Fayetteville, Arkansas/ now Seattle, Washington!
1,047 posts, read 3,594,199 times
Reputation: 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18Montclair View Post
Im in Seattle right now and Im so glad I have a car. Well, to be honest Im staying with relatives in Federal Way but its extremely car oriented and not friendly to pedestrians at all.

Seattle proper probably has much better transit options and its oh-so-gorgeous.
Yea since Federal Way is about 20 miles from Seattle its transit isn't the best lol, but offers bus service to some extent. Seattle itself and closer communities offer excellent bus service, also rail and ferries depending on where you are coming from lol. Of course I'm not an expert, i don't enjoy taking public transportation at all and always drive lol, but i know many people who do not own a car here and wouldn't have it any other way
And yea i've lived here for almost 3 years now, and the scenery still blows me away (Hope you're enjoying your stay in the Seattle area )

With that said, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, D.C., Chicago etc etc will offer pretty good transportation.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:11 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 14,567,378 times
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San Francisco. It's easy to tell because 80% of the people there constantly remind you "I GOT RID OF MY CAR AND IT FELT SO GOOD OMG!" Not-having-a-car is the new not-having-a-TV.
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