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Old 03-08-2014, 02:50 PM
 
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Big and medium French cities have a rather good transit system in inner part but lack of suburban transit (outside of Paris area) and most of the population live in suburbs and exurbs.
Rural exurban life is quite popular in France.

Smaller cities have almost inexistant transit system except few bus lines.
Often there are underground car parks at the entrance of the pedestrian city centers, people drive to those parkings and trips inside the city center is made by foot as the distances are short.
Many city centers are not anymore the a big employment centers, people work mostly in office parks and industrial areas located in suburban areas.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:52 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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these charts are relevant to this thread:

NatGeo surveys countries' transit use: guess who comes in last | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Please don't argue against the points of the link, I'm only linking to it for the graphs. While the US is a lot lower than the UK, France and Germany in transit use , all three of those countries are still relatively low on the chart. The majority in all those countries don't use transit by a large margin, just not as much as the US. Interestingly for walking, the same European countries scored much higher, showing walking for transporation and using transit isn't the same.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,332,962 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
these charts are relevant to this thread:

NatGeo surveys countries' transit use: guess who comes in last | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Please don't argue against the points of the link, I'm only linking to it for the graphs. While the US is a lot lower than the UK, France and Germany in transit use , all three of those countries are still relatively low on the chart. The majority in all those countries don't use transit by a large margin, just not as much as the US. Interestingly for walking, the same European countries scored much higher, showing walking for transporation and using transit isn't the same.
Very telling numbers: 88% of Americans only use transit a few times a year at the most (76% once a year or less); 74% of Americans walk infrequently (or not often).

It seems right from what I've experienced. I have a friend who lives in the city, not far from me. I take the bus, walk or bike most of the time, and he knows I prefer it. However, every time we go out, he almost insists to have me load my bike in his car so I "don't have to" ride home or bus it. Sometimes I give in when I don't have the bike because I'm worried he's going to be insulted, and then there have been times where I've gotten frustrated/insulted

These types of questions and surprise are not uncommon IME, even among Richmond VA urban dwellers (whom I would expect to be more used to walking, biking or transit).
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,669,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Very telling numbers: 88% of Americans only use transit a few times a year at the most (76% once a year or less); 74% of Americans walk infrequently (or not often).

It seems right from what I've experienced. I have a friend who lives in the city, not far from me. I take the bus, walk or bike most of the time, and he knows I prefer it. However, every time we go out, he almost insists to have me load my bike in his car so I "don't have to" ride home or bus it. Sometimes I give in when I don't have the bike because I'm worried he's going to be insulted, and then there have been times where I've gotten frustrated/insulted

These types of questions and surprise are not uncommon IME, even among Richmond VA urban dwellers (whom I would expect to be more used to walking, biking or transit).
Generally, I find people that are "drivers" are puzzled by the "non-drivers" who do not always want a ride. We were talking about this the other day. In most cases, it is way too much work to load the bike in the car to get a ride. :P Unless said car has bike racks. And some people enjoy riding transit. Whether for convenience or quiet time or the social interaction.

Over the weekend, I went to brunch with a friend. There was a group of 4 of us, all originating from different points in my city, and heading over to SF. My friend (she is a non-driver) asked me if I wanted to meet her on the train, or we wanted to carpool with the other 2 people. We decided to take the train (which I generally chose to go to SF), and get some people watching in.

Taking the train took about 35-40 minutes (10 minute bike ride, 20 minute train ride. She has a 5 minute walk to the train station. Our destination was about a 5-10 minute walk from the train station). The other two drove. It took them over an hour. They hit traffic, and then circled the block a few times to find parking. Then they had to refill the meter. And the meters are $4 an hour in that neighborhood. The bridge is $5. So they were out about $13 for parking and tolls. The train is $3.50 each way, so we were out $7 each. So when you do the math, the train was cheaper (factoring in gas for the drivers) and 25-30% faster.

I know when you have the "windshield view" it always seems like your car (or a private car) is the best choice.

**I am loving this windshield view phrase! How Windshield Perspective Shapes the Way We See the World | Streetsblog USA
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Generally, I find people that are "drivers" are puzzled by the "non-drivers" who do not always want a ride. We were talking about this the other day. In most cases, it is way too much work to load the bike in the car to get a ride. :P Unless said car has bike racks. And some people enjoy riding transit. Whether for convenience or quiet time or the social interaction.
Yeah, the fact that I enjoy it or prefer it is almost just hard to understand for this individual. I sit in an office during the day, and I'm a very active person. Getting outside (even in cold or rain) is a treat and contributes to what I see as the interesting part of life...unstructured social interaction with people I don't run into in the office, my home or other places I spend time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Over the weekend, I went to brunch with a friend. There was a group of 4 of us, all originating from different points in my city, and heading over to SF. My friend (she is a non-driver) asked me if I wanted to meet her on the train, or we wanted to carpool with the other 2 people. We decided to take the train (which I generally chose to go to SF), and get some people watching in.

Taking the train took about 35-40 minutes (10 minute bike ride, 20 minute train ride. She has a 5 minute walk to the train station. Our destination was about a 5-10 minute walk from the train station). The other two drove. It took them over an hour. They hit traffic, and then circled the block a few times to find parking. Then they had to refill the meter. And the meters are $4 an hour in that neighborhood. The bridge is $5. So they were out about $13 for parking and tolls. The train is $3.50 each way, so we were out $7 each. So when you do the math, the train was cheaper (factoring in gas for the drivers) and 25-30% faster.
I actually dislike going to dinner in a car, because I so thoroughly enjoy the walk home after eating. So, even if it were more expensive, and I could afford it, I would still choose to not drive. I don't like sitting in a restaurant for 2 hours with a group of people, to then walk 15 feet to the car and then sit in the car till I get home....to probably sit some more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I know when you have the "windshield view" it always seems like your car (or a private car) is the best choice.

**I am loving this windshield view phrase! How Windshield Perspective Shapes the Way We See the World | Streetsblog USA
I assume that concept will get eaten alive in this forum. However, the logic is one that I've held for a while; and mostly because I used to drive all the time and never thought I'd converse with people that I do so frequently now that I don't drive at all. You get a different respect for people and places when you're on foot or a bike. One of my favorites:

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”- Ernest Hemingway
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,669,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
I assume that concept will get eaten alive in this forum. However, the logic is one that I've held for a while; and mostly because I used to drive all the time and never thought I'd converse with people that I do so frequently now that I don't drive at all. You get a different respect for people and places when you're on foot or a bike. One of my favorites:

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”- Ernest Hemingway
Now that I started bike riding, I didn't realize how many hills are nearby! There are some obvious hills, but way more slight ones than I realized. My sister lives on a street with a short hill, we wold comment on how many people just walk their bikes the half a block on her street. It doesn't look that steep.

Then I biked it. Once when I had the green light heading onto her street, and then once when I had to stop at the preceding intersection. If you have to hit her street from a stop, you need to definitely stand up and pedal hard. If you get the green, it is still a little hard, but you can stay seated. But you'll be a little out of breath when you get to the top. And similar hills are everywhere! I had no idea there was a slight increase in elevation to get to the town next door. I didn't realize I lived above downtown until I walked home for the first time!

No matter which direction I head, it is always uphill on the way home!
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I only find public transportation to be faster off peak in extremely specific situations. For example, if you were in Downtown DC seeing Ford's Theater, and then wanted to visit Dupont Circle, taking the Red Line (which connects both) would certainly be faster after factoring in parking time. But Downtown DC to Dupont Circle represents a tiny percentage of trips. Most people are heading out to places from their personal residence, and unless you're lucky enough to live in a building with a subway stop a block away, transit is hardly ever faster.

Going from Brooklyn to Manhattan is never faster on a weekend (particularly a Saturday night). Late night subway service can be slow and inconsistent. For most public transit systems, the weekends is when most track maintenance occurs, which causes delays.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:47 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Going from Brooklyn to Manhattan is never faster on a weekend (particularly a Saturday night). Late night subway service can be slow and inconsistent. For most public transit systems, the weekends is when most track maintenance occurs, which causes delays.
I've encountered some nasty weekend traffic jams that were almost surely slowly than the subway.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I've encountered some nasty weekend traffic jams that were almost surely slowly than the subway.
On the LIE, sure. You can see traffic at odd hours of the day and night around New York. But it's not like that on most weekends. On an average Saturday night, it will be considerably faster to drive than it would be to take public transit.

It's often faster to drive during rush hour depending on where you're going. I have one friend who commutes from Jersey to Queens every day. I'm not even sure how she could make her trip in under 2 hours on transit.

If transit was super convenient for most people, then they would use it. People generally try to do things that make their lives more convenient, not inconvenient.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
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I think public transit is rarely faster; but it can be in big cities when roads are plugged up. However, it can be cheaper and less stressful (subjective). Driving in dense urban areas (and highways), parking in parking garages, etc. are all unpleasant IMO.
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