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View Poll Results: Do you agree, in general, with my thoughts/observations?
TL;DR... I just like to vote. 4 5.13%
Yes, I think that is a fair assessment. 30 38.46%
No, I think that is completely false. 40 51.28%
I can't decide... can I phone a friend? 4 5.13%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-07-2013, 07:21 PM
 
12,299 posts, read 15,190,901 times
Reputation: 8108

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In many places transit is bus only which can't be competitive in speed or convenience. To further discourage anyone but the poor from riding, they use beat up buses, surly drivers and inconvenient scheduling. In the Chicago area they have trains which easily beat rush hour traffic. Even the PACE buses are comfortable and safe, so even registered voters ride. Of course parking is an issue, some bus stops as well as train stations have large parking lots. The one who complained about Albuquerque didn't mention the Rail Runner; I've never been on it but it seems like a pleasant way to get to Santa Fe. Then again that is more of an intercity than commuter route.

Last edited by pvande55; 03-07-2013 at 07:25 PM.. Reason: Add note on Albuquerque
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:58 PM
 
487 posts, read 780,152 times
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My experience riding the bus in Los Angeles is that only poor people ride it.
In Vancouver BC, a lot more of the population rides it. Most people, it seems, take the Sky Train. The other buses are pretty sucky, often slow and overcrowded.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
In many places transit is bus only which can't be competitive in speed or convenience. To further discourage anyone but the poor from riding, they use beat up buses, surly drivers and inconvenient scheduling. In the Chicago area they have trains which easily beat rush hour traffic. Even the PACE buses are comfortable and safe, so even registered voters ride. Of course parking is an issue, some bus stops as well as train stations have large parking lots. The one who complained about Albuquerque didn't mention the Rail Runner; I've never been on it but it seems like a pleasant way to get to Santa Fe. Then again that is more of an intercity than commuter route.
The buses in most cities I've been to seem to be nice. The issue, as you pointed out, is that they can't compete against cars. Heavy rail, on the other hand, competes with cars moving at 70 and 80 mph on the highway. And the headways are so short during rush hour that it makes the very notion of taking a bus seem beyond ridiculous.

Buses are great if you have to travel a short distance to an area that's not well-served by rapid transit.


MetroRail,Washington DC,ORANGE line to Vienna - YouTube
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:38 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,238 posts, read 19,536,382 times
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In Washington, D.C., I regularly see partners of biglaw firms taking the metro. So, no lower-class stigma there.

However, the bus system in the area appears to be dominated by people in the lower-middle spectrum of the income scale - but no poor people.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
In Washington, D.C., I regularly see partners of biglaw firms taking the metro. So, no lower-class stigma there.

However, the bus system in the area appears to be dominated by people in the lower-middle spectrum of the income scale - but no poor people.
This would depend on the bus line. If it's coming from Tenleytown, then you'll be stuffed in with people with iPad minis (with retina display!) in tow. If you're riding the X2 from Minnesota Avenue, you'll see a lot more poor people.

But on the whole, Metro riders tend to be more affluent since many of them are suburban commuters from Virginia and Montgomery County.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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Depends on the city, in DC, NYC, or San Francisco, no, but in a place like Atlanta, or Richmond, yes.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,272,910 times
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I think this issue depends also on weather or not the city itself is built around people or cars. If It is built around cars, then the wealthy residents are going to see no need to use public transportation, while in a place like NYC, It would make more sense to use it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:15 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,984,101 times
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In Dayton Ohio it is for for...well...people who can't or don't want to drive for whatever reason. Poverty is one thing. Not having a liscense is another. The so-called "choice riders" are probably infentismal. The bus is seen here more as a social service for the 'transit dependent' population. There is also an unspoken racial aspect to it since 75% to 80% of the riders are minority (which here usually means black).

I think here the vast, vast majority of people who can afford a car (& even those who can't) have one. Even I have one, though I still use the bus/walk/ride a bike for nearly all my trips. Im sort of a choice rider, but, like others who use public transit here, it's really income that is pushing this decision since I am trying to squeeze more mileage out of my 12 year old car since I can't afford a new or better used one.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:27 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,984,101 times
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From a public policy POV, that public transit is pretty much for 'transit depedent' populations, means that there probably wont be much political support for funding and expansion, so I'd bet public transit is sort of an endangered species in places like Dayton.

....but there is that handful of cities that are congested enough to get more choice riders or affluent riders who can also afford a car but dont want the hassle/cost of driving 'donwtown' (or whatever congested hot spot you choose). This doenst really describe the average US metro area, though.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:34 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,984,101 times
Reputation: 2967
Quote:
Consequently, the "poor" people ride the CTA... as do the working stiffs, the blue collar types, the white collar types, the family types, the student types, the "I'm so scared to be on a city train/bus" suburban/tourist types, and everything in-between. Every walk of life uses the public transit in Chicago. Some people may prefer their own personal vehicle, some may be a mixture of private/personal transportation, but in either case, no one except for the highest of the high horse riders believes that the CTA is for "poor people".
Im a native Chicagoan and grew up on the NW Side. My granddparents didnt own a car and my folks had only one...used by dad to go to work in the suburbs.

So we got around EVERYWHERE via CTA. Usually the bus but also the L. Back in those days...pre-Metra...they had commuter railroads. We used the Milwaukee Road (there was a stop in our neighborhood) and the Northwestern to get out to the suburbs if we needed to (like visit relatives, who would pick us up in the station).

So...good to hear that the CTA is...still....used by "everybody". It certainly was used by everybody back when i was younger, and zero stigma associated with using the bus.

Of course, with the frequent headways and "conveyor belt" approach to running busses, coupled with Chicago's grid layout....the CTA was very user-freindly in terms of getting from A to B
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