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Old 10-31-2018, 03:13 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,211 posts, read 1,352,704 times
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Quote:
Mass transit (such as buses) would help, in an already well-settled, high density locale, which in the second half of the 20th century dispensed with its transit option. It won’t help in a sprawling, low-density region, that never had such transit in the first place. Even if a magical bus were to drop me off at my mailbox, how would I trudge the remaining 400’ to my front door, carrying a shopping cart’s full of groceries in my arms? OK, maybe I could do it, but what about a person who’s 30 years older, in frail health?
You could leave a wagon at the bottom of the hill.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
5,487 posts, read 3,919,277 times
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Ironically, small towns are often easier transportation-wise. I lived in an area with a metro area of 200,000 (Portland, Maine). But it seemed that nothing was actually close to me. Getting to anything was often a royal pain....walking, driving or taking the bus. Now I live in a town of 8,000 which has fewer things. But they are almost all within walking distance or a very short ride. A taxi fare to Walmart or the hospital is half what it would be in the city. I have everything I need here, and it's all easy to get to.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:45 PM
 
1,041 posts, read 391,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Supporters say that streetcars cost less in the long run and pollute less than other forms of transportation while injecting new life into neighborhoods. Simply put, they help create communities where residents have alternatives to cars for getting around.

Galveston, TX, had a street car system. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galveston_Island_Trolley


It's cars were damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. It has been out of operation since then.
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:46 AM
 
11,150 posts, read 8,559,848 times
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Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I have found that a light rail system will usually wind up costing about six times the original estimate. And ridership will always be lower than originally projected, although that might eventually rise to projected levels.
Ridership is usually a function of local culture. For many people, like in the Kansas City example, they view public transportation as for poor people. Since no one wants to be viewed as poor, they eschew public transportation.

Now, when looking at light rail, a good example is Charlotte. While native Charlotte residents may have old viewpoints about public transportation, the city is experiencing an influx of people from big cities and overseas. The city is bringing in people who are used to trains and public transportation. Given time, ridership will increase.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:23 AM
 
Location: equator
3,463 posts, read 1,543,057 times
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We are about 8 miles from shopping, but a bus runs by every 20 min. Problem is, that first step is a doozy. Really high. DH has to push me up and in, then the bus takes off while you are still getting in. Stick-shift too so it lurches all over. I don't know how the young mothers holding a child in one arm, manage it. But they do. Then we take a taxi back, with all our groceries.

But that rarely happens since we have friends with cars who offer us rides all the time. So that is the best solution. We get by on once-a-week to the store.

For longer trips, there are luxury buses with movies, that cost a pittance. Like $11 for an 8-hr. trip. Or plenty of local drivers anxious to make some real money for a long trip like that ($100).

We knew this going in, and count on this huge money-saver to fund our vacation-away-from-vacations!
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:01 PM
 
957 posts, read 1,300,713 times
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There are lots of rural communities without easy public transit. Some have buses or a train that come through once a day or so, others don't. If you spend time there, in almost every case you can find somebody who knows somebody who could be talked into driving you around if you both agree on a time and fee. People in rural America have been doing that since the days of horse drawn wagons.

Usually, I ask acquaintances. If I don't have any, I ask at the train station, or gas station, or whatever businesses happen to be around. Only once did I have to walk ten miles lugging a suitcase. If you live in the community, you can ask through your church. Sometimes, I have seen people advertising driving services on local bulletin boards posting a paper notice with tearaway strips with a phone number on them. Or you could post your own and ask.
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:45 PM
 
10,374 posts, read 9,394,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Life without a car

I can't tell you how many threads in this and other forums I have read about this subject, yet the planners and governments still don't get it.

More and more people are living longer, and living without nearby children or other relatives or close friends who could help them get by in their older years. By the time that city planners and other related government employees get to the age that they can recognize these problems, they are too old to be still in their jobs; and those jobs are being done by 25-year-olds who think people are immortal.

I do think we are almost over our 1950's love affair with the car, however, and people are starting to think of other solutions. Too bad we ripped up all our train lines, dismembered the bus systems that used to go everywhere, and crippled the infrastructure that would have allowed us to pick up where we left off before all this madness.

Too strong an argument? Millions of people are now going through exactly what the OP is experiencing, and it is bad advice to suggest, as one poster did, that she should start thinking about getting back behind the wheel.

Well, the rant is over, but several posters have made good suggestions for the OP. The first priority must be groceries, and the OP should ring each grocery within a 30 mile radius and ask if they have a delivery service. Between Instacart and several other forward-thinking grocery chains, she might find what she's looking for there.

Many communities' medical facilities have a Dial-A-Ride service for people who need to get to doctor appointments. Again, ringing around to the facilities in her area should provide some answers. The local senior organization of a town of 25,000 should have at least some services, and they will be found in the town's organization list of services.

Maybe a bookmobile comes to a spot near you. Contact your local library to see if that's the case.

Many a young mother might be interested in making a few extra bucks by being your "driver" when you need to get to different places. I've seen that work out well for people without a car.

It seems in this, the richest country in the world, we cannot rely on the government to provide public transport for its population as most older First World countries do, so we have to make do with a network of other solutions which we provide for ourselves. So be it.
We have a program in the county wherein volunteer drivers transport seniors/disabled to various locations (doctor appointments, grocery store, etc.).

There is also a low cost program contracted through the city with a taxi service for seniors/disabled.

We have public transportation (city buses), but they are not viable during the winter since walking to the bus stop is difficult when the sidewalks are icy. Riders are only allowed to bring on the bus what they can carry on their lap. . . multiple grocery bags are not to be placed on the floor or on an empty seat.

With proper validation, our library will deliver/pick up materials for those who are housebound.

Our main chain grocery stores and pharmacies will deliver.

We live in an extreme weather area, therefore 'walking' to various resources is definitely out of the question during most of the winter months with snow/ice covered sidewalks that are not cleared and must melt on their own (taking weeks or much longer).

Having friends or family as resources is the best option; and anytime they drive me anywhere I ensure they are paid gas money. . .plus I notify them well in advance of doctor appointments when I cannot drive myself.

We have very good resources in my area; however, for me, what is seriously lacking is affordable housing for seniors. . .we have a few but the wait list is so long we're advised it is a minimum of a 5-8 year wait. We do have an abundance of senior living communities (independent mixed with assisted living) but those costs are prohibitive - but that's another topic for another thread.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:26 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
2,619 posts, read 1,369,713 times
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Every time I see a city or town debating light rail, I cringe. They are very sexy and sell well in the glossy brochures the cities put out advertising themselves. But for the money those systems cost, the city could buy a whole fleet of buses and run them down the same route every 5 minutes or less - and no one would EVER have to stand around and wait for transportation or worry about a schedule.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:07 AM
 
12,045 posts, read 5,146,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
We have a program in the county wherein volunteer drivers transport seniors/disabled to various locations (doctor appointments, grocery store, etc.).

There is also a low cost program contracted through the city with a taxi service for seniors/disabled.

We have public transportation (city buses), but they are not viable during the winter since walking to the bus stop is difficult when the sidewalks are icy. Riders are only allowed to bring on the bus what they can carry on their lap. . . multiple grocery bags are not to be placed on the floor or on an empty seat.

With proper validation, our library will deliver/pick up materials for those who are housebound.

Our main chain grocery stores and pharmacies will deliver.

We live in an extreme weather area, therefore 'walking' to various resources is definitely out of the question during most of the winter months with snow/ice covered sidewalks that are not cleared and must melt on their own (taking weeks or much longer).

Having friends or family as resources is the best option; and anytime they drive me anywhere I ensure they are paid gas money. . .plus I notify them well in advance of doctor appointments when I cannot drive myself.

We have very good resources in my area; however, for me, what is seriously lacking is affordable housing for seniors. . .we have a few but the wait list is so long we're advised it is a minimum of a 5-8 year wait. We do have an abundance of senior living communities (independent mixed with assisted living) but those costs are prohibitive - but that's another topic for another thread.
What is the population of your city or town? It doesn't sound rural or small which is what I thought this thread was talking about.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:50 AM
 
13,964 posts, read 7,434,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Every time I see a city or town debating light rail, I cringe. They are very sexy and sell well in the glossy brochures the cities put out advertising themselves. But for the money those systems cost, the city could buy a whole fleet of buses and run them down the same route every 5 minutes or less - and no one would EVER have to stand around and wait for transportation or worry about a schedule.

Until traffic congestion grows to the point where that bus route is at a standstill. My urban experience is on the east coast where there is excellent railed transportation. Boston would be paralyzed without commuter rail and the T. Imagine NYC without the subway and commuter rail. Commerce would stop. Philly has really good commuter rail service to Center City and some OK subway. DC Metro service is excellent though that's always mostly been Federal money.


If you don't invest in railed transportation, your city will eventually choke to death as it grows. It's not like you can add lanes to the highway system infinitely to scale the city. Denver got to that point and had to invest in light rail. What's happening now is a much denser urban core to take advantage of the railed transportation. 20 years from now, you'll have far more people living and working in the urban core rather than continuing to sprawl office buildings in the suburbs. Boston's Seaport district is exploding because it's walkable from South Station.



This is the whole Europe/Asia vs US thing. In Europe, people live in high density with good public transportation. Outside of the high density area, you tend to have green space rather than sprawl and it's zoned to preserve the green space. I can walk to a bus route where in a couple of years, I'll be able to hop on commuter rail to Boston South Station. I can access any world class urban service you can imagine without needing a car and I'm not paying Boston housing costs. A bus midweek in Boston isn't deterministic. The last 15 miles into the city can easily encounter a 2 hour traffic delay.
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