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Old 04-09-2014, 04:12 PM
 
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I've been doing it all my life in most cities that I have visited. It is fun and a lot more relaxing than dealing with a rental car.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viribusunitis View Post
I'm kinda baffled that taking the bus in an unknown city is seen as unusual on here
There are generally two issues that keep people off public transportation.

1) It is HARD in a lot of smaller cities to get information on the routes, times and the like. Finding information is not always as easy as logging into the internet.

2) It is hard for me to get excited about travelling around in a city that I am completely unfamiliar as I do not want to get I to a high crime area. I can get on some of the CTA lines in Chicago as a white make and have people come up to me and tell me that " this is really not a safe area for you." I know that and they are trying to be helpful.

My problem with using public transportation on vacation is that you do NOT get to see as much in a short time, ESPECIALLY ON WEEKENDS. In many cities, transit or major routes are shut down on weekends or at least on Sunday. Also, you are waiting up to an hour for the next bus. That is a problem as until recently, I have limited vacation time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,435 posts, read 21,272,660 times
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One of the problems, bussing around L.A. by bus, is I could only see what was on the side of the bus I was riding on, missing the sights on the other side of the bus, and there's 2 routes I want to do over again, from the other side of the bus, like the route from Santa Monica, down Santa Monica Blvd., to downtown.

I had read that L.A. has the 2nd best bus system in the country (1st?), and I'm sure that if I tried this adventure in cities with far worst bus systems, it would have been a different experience, not so enjoyable.

I initially researched the trip, scanning their myriad bus routes, and trying to decide which ones would be the most interesting.

Way earlier, I was getting addicted to riding buses, and forgoing rental cars, on my trips to South and Central America, riding their chicken buses, which, undeniably, are much more fun to ride than the buses in the U.S., missing was the vendors hopping on and off, trying to sell you anything from fried chicken, candy, pirated DVD's to vitamins.

Luckily, I was always able to get a seat on the buses I rode. Standing for great lengths of time, hanging onto straps, would not have been so enjoyable.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:56 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,904,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viribusunitis View Post
I'm kinda baffled that taking the bus in an unknown city is seen as unusual on here
The last time I was on a public bus was in Denver, Colorado, in the 1960's when I was getting my car serviced and the dealer mechanic suggested I could take the bus home and return later that day to pick it up; until we were on vacation in Pompano Beach, Florida, a couple of years ago, my husband didn't feel well and I was in the mood to explore. Driving in that area is a nightmare and I wanted to sightsee.

I went to the bus stop and asked the driver if he made a full circle, got on and ended up getting to sit while the drivers changed south of Miami then made the trip north again. It took hours and I saw the ridership change along the way. Great way to explore the area.

We used trams and timeshare transportation in San Antonio, Texas; trams in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and streetcars in New Orleans. We ended up having to walk a great distance in San Antonio because they do not have the stops planned well. We could have called the timeshare and they would have picked us up, but we were too stubborn. I was miserable and ready for the hot tub when we returned. Everything on me ached.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:27 AM
 
32,119 posts, read 33,030,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
There are generally two issues that keep people off public transportation.

1) It is HARD in a lot of smaller cities to get information on the routes, times and the like. Finding information is not always as easy as logging into the internet.

2) It is hard for me to get excited about travelling around in a city that I am completely unfamiliar as I do not want to get I to a high crime area. I can get on some of the CTA lines in Chicago as a white make and have people come up to me and tell me that " this is really not a safe area for you." I know that and they are trying to be helpful.

My problem with using public transportation on vacation is that you do NOT get to see as much in a short time, ESPECIALLY ON WEEKENDS. In many cities, transit or major routes are shut down on weekends or at least on Sunday. Also, you are waiting up to an hour for the next bus. That is a problem as until recently, I have limited vacation time.
I think one can research the safety factor of areas along bus routes via the internet before one goes to a place.

Outside the USA, many more people rely on public transportation in particular buses so I think in many places one can get around on buses even on weekends in many places if one plans correctly in advance.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,435 posts, read 21,272,660 times
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Here, in Las Vegas, double-decker buses have been added to the fleet, on certain lines, and what a treat that is, to sit upstairs for the views!

Anyone happen to know of other cities that have added them? I saw none in L.A. on my last trip!

There can be problems, with the height of the buses scraping tree branches along the way, so maybe that's one reason other cities may not be adding them to their fleets, and the potential dangers of falling down the stairs.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:37 PM
 
14,266 posts, read 24,021,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I think one can research the safety factor of areas along bus routes via the internet before one goes to a place.

Outside the USA, many more people rely on public transportation in particular buses so I think in many places one can get around on buses even on weekends in many places if one plans correctly in advance.

No. Even on City Data, there is a tendency of locals to sugar coat areas as "safe".

For example, Over the Rhine in Cincinnati is not an area that as a native that I would suggest a tourist to walk through despite the claim that it is great. My police friends on the CPD don't think so and they are patrolling the neighborhood daily.

On the other hand, there are neighborhoods in Chicago that are relatively safe but people are warned against.

Perceptions of "safe neighborhoods" are so colored by poster's own perceptions that thy are not helpful.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:28 PM
 
32,119 posts, read 33,030,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Here, in Las Vegas, double-decker buses have been added to the fleet, on certain lines, and what a treat that is, to sit upstairs for the views!

Anyone happen to know of other cities that have added them? I saw none in L.A. on my last trip!

There can be problems, with the height of the buses scraping tree branches along the way, so maybe that's one reason other cities may not be adding them to their fleets, and the potential dangers of falling down the stairs.
In NYC there are hop on/hop off tour double decker buses: Gray Line New York Sightseeing Tours, Cruises & Attractions

Of course in London (in the U.K.) there are many double decker buses.

I also encountered double decker buses on certain bus routes in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in China.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,541,856 times
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Friends of mine once encircled the SF Bay Area in one day via Caltrain, Bart, and VTA trains and buses. I was going to go wight hem but could not make it that day. Apparently they had fun, but it seemed like it was mostly about the stop in downtown San Francisco. We've also had fun taking the train to baseball games with a group because you can chat and play cards, but it's also been a nightmare on the way home when it's jam packed and everyone's drunk and it takes two hours with all the stops. So for me, public buses and trains are still relegated to utilitarian uses rather than a vacation destination. I like how you think though.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
4,123 posts, read 4,753,398 times
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In Scotland we get IDs for free bus travel throughout Scotland once we hit 60. So we use our passes often.
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