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Old 04-01-2014, 10:21 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
45,987 posts, read 41,959,650 times
Reputation: 14805

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Ok, public transport is difficult, it's could outside, timetables unreliable and poorly synchronized and so on. Well, not any intention to boast, but here is an example that you can do it right if you want to.

In this example I live in the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, with 615,000 people within city limits and 1.3 million in the metro area. I live there in the top right area of Malmi and my workplace is behind that bay in Tapiola in the lower left corner.

It's a chilly morning here today, sunny but 34F outside. It's already 9:20am and past rush hour, but I decide to take public transport anyway. The train (green) leaves at 9:36 and arrives at the Central Railway station on 9:51. I have to walk half a mile to the bus terminal (shown here in light blue). I have 12 minutes as the bus to my destination leaves at 10:06. The bus #110 arrives in Tapiola at 10:20, which is surprisingly fast, but as almost whole of the route has a "bus only" lane, congestion is not a problem.

But darn, I missed the train. Well, no problem, the next leaves at 9:46. But now I'm gonna miss the #110, the next leaves at 10:26, and I have no intention to wait. Well, I pick up my smartphone and use this software and see that the bus #109 leaves at 10:16 and stops on a bus stop just 300 ft away from the stop I intended to jump off originally, so no harm done.

But it's cold! Well, the railway station in Malmi isn't inside, but luckily it's next to a shopping center, so I can just wait there and go down the escalators one minute before the train leaves. The central railway station and the bus terminal are obviously inside, and if I feel super lazy I could just take the subway so I don't have to walk that half of a mile. And if I take the #110, there's a shopping center by the bus stop, so up the escalators and I'm inside again. And if need some groceries, batteries or a pair of socks, I'll have three shopping centers to choose from, as the Helsinki bus terminal also is one.

What was so difficult?

Including walk, the length of the route was 13.1 miles and took 45 minutes. I didn't have to wait in 100 million traffic lights, care about the congestion, or search for parking. In ideal conditions (which means nighttime) you can manage this route by car in 25 minutes, but not possible during a normal working day.

And oh, many people here say as well that "it's difficult, it's cold, it's filthy, I don't know the timetable, it's whatever", but most don't even give the public transport a fair chance.
That was a thorough post! However, most of those choices are grade separated (such as the bus 110) so that's why transit is almost comparable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
In the US people often do grow up using public transit if you live in an Major city. If you live in an burb there may be little to no public transit and little to no ability to walk around(depends on the burb). In almost all cases there is parking at work unless you work in an downtown CBD in an major city. In the US we have cheap gas and an expressway(freeway) system that isn't that clogged outside of rush.
Sounds about right, though I don't think he was commenting on the US. The Helenski setup sounds rather convenient, even if driving is congested. I've definitely encountered slow going traffic outside of rush hour.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
DC really isn't that great. You have less than 10 lines. Granted it is better than here but a metro of 5 million needs way more than just 6 lines.

At the same time there are still areas in the outer boroughs the New York system doesn't go into. So there are no perfect systems.

This is the real problem with public transportation. Where it goes and where it is built out too are two completely different things.

Communities that want public transportation, ironically, do not have anything that people living in other neighborhoods want to do. Public transportation is great at connecting neighborhoods, but bad at connecting destinations. So a line will go down a major thoroughfare. Supposed transit oriented development. Except that nothing is ever built along the route.

Now the same areas that never developed when the bus line was designated to go through there get their hopes up. Maybe a new rail line will encourage development. Probably not, because public transportation is used to get from point a to point b. The idea that you can create points C through Z along the way, in hours that point b will become point z, is a misnomer.
That depends on the area and how the rail line is constructed. In Portland there have been a number of new developments that have happened around rail stations because the system was designed that way.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
For you personally driving works better, that doesn't make Brooklyn'Brooklyn's transit system inadequate. I have no idea what your destinations are that make driving more convenient for you.
Did I not just say it's faster to get to Whole Foods driving? It takes 10 minutes in my car in regular traffic. It takes 30 minutes or more on PT.

Brooklyn is much more car-dependent than Manhattan...really much more comparable to DC than it is to Manhattan in built form and ease of mobility.

I'm not about constructing my life around transit. It's too easy to just grab my keys, walk out of the house, and go wherever (whenever) I please. Sometimes I even change my mind and run an errand or two on the way somewhere. I can't do that on the train.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:23 AM
 
1,511 posts, read 1,551,661 times
Reputation: 3416
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Seattle has an amazing bus system, but an inadequate rail system.

Brooklyn has a great rail system and bus system, so no it wouldn't be considered inadequate just because you prefer driving over transit. In Brooklyn you have options with how to commute and you choose using your car.
I don't think our bus system is "amazing". It's ok. It provides pretty good coverage with some weak spots and holes. Don't get me wrong, I know it could be a lot worse, but "amazing" seems a bit much.

The rail is inadequate, but it's also very new, and it's currently expanding. I wish it would expand more- and faster- because the light rail line here has a ton of potential... just a very, very, narrow area of coverage. That said, it is excellent for getting from the metro area to the airport!
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,519,126 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Did I not just say it's faster to get to Whole Foods driving? It takes 10 minutes in my car in regular traffic. It takes 30 minutes or more on PT.

Brooklyn is much more car-centric than Manhattan...really much more comparable to DC than it is to Manhattan in built form and ease of mobility.
Yes, it is fairly easy to drive in Brooklyn and you can obviously get to Whole Foods fast by using your car. I own a car and I prefer using it for grocery shopping, but I prefer using transit when it comes to commuting to and from my job, thankfully this area has a very good transit system in place to make that possible.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,196,393 times
Reputation: 29451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
Ok, public transport is difficult, it's could outside, timetables unreliable and poorly synchronized and so on. Well, not any intention to boast, but here is an example that you can do it right if you want to.



In this example I live in the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, with 615,000 people within city limits and 1.3 million in the metro area. I live there in the top right area of Malmi and my workplace is behind that bay in Tapiola in the lower left corner.

It's a chilly morning here today, sunny but 34F outside. It's already 9:20am and past rush hour, but I decide to take public transport anyway. The train (green) leaves at 9:36 and arrives at the Central Railway station on 9:51. I have to walk half a mile to the bus terminal (shown here in light blue). I have 12 minutes as the bus to my destination leaves at 10:06. The bus #110 arrives in Tapiola at 10:20, which is surprisingly fast, but as almost whole of the route has a "bus only" lane, congestion is not a problem.

But darn, I missed the train. Well, no problem, the next leaves at 9:46. But now I'm gonna miss the #110, the next leaves at 10:26, and I have no intention to wait. Well, I pick up my smartphone and use this software and see that the bus #109 leaves at 10:16 and stops on a bus stop just 300 ft away from the stop I intended to jump off originally, so no harm done.

But it's cold! Well, the railway station in Malmi isn't inside, but luckily it's next to a shopping center, so I can just wait there and go down the escalators one minute before the train leaves. The central railway station and the bus terminal are obviously inside, and if I feel super lazy I could just take the subway so I don't have to walk that half of a mile. And if I take the #110, there's a shopping center by the bus stop, so up the escalators and I'm inside again. And if need some groceries, batteries or a pair of socks, I'll have three shopping centers to choose from, as the Helsinki bus terminal also is one.

What was so difficult?

Including walk, the length of the route was 13.1 miles and took 45 minutes. I didn't have to wait in 100 million traffic lights, care about the congestion, or search for parking. In ideal conditions (which means nighttime) you can manage this route by car in 25 minutes, but not possible during a normal working day.

And oh, many people here say as well that "it's difficult, it's cold, it's filthy, I don't know the timetable, it's whatever", but most don't even give the public transport a fair chance.
Your own timeline indicates your trip took well over 45 minutes; over an hour in fact.

If I were to leave right now for a destination that's 13 miles away, it would take at least an hour under the most ideal circumstances if I used public transportation -- and this in one of the best mass-transit cities in the USA. Or I could hop in my car and be there in half the time or less.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:28 AM
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
45,987 posts, read 41,959,650 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post

I would put Brooklyn on the "inadequate" list too since a car makes sense for the vast majority of my non-commute trips.
I don't live in Brooklyn, but I can think of a number of trips where transit is barely slower than driving. I've hit heavy traffic off hours toward downtown Brooklyn. Either way, that's a rather high standard: a car may be more efficient for non-commute trips, but not worth the extra money. Plenty of people might think: since I don't need a car for work and many local trips, I can just deal with transit even for the trips where it's slower.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,237,774 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Yes, it is fairly easy to drive in Brooklyn and you can obviously get to Whole Foods fast by using your car. I own a car and I prefer using it for grocery shopping, but I prefer using transit when it comes to commuting to and from my job, thankfully this area has a very good transit system in place to make that possible.
That's an easy call to make if you work in Manhattan. Most people don't work in a CBD that's anything like Midtown. And most people live in metro areas where jobs are much more dispersed than they are in the Tri-State.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:30 AM
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
45,987 posts, read 41,959,650 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Your own timeline indicates your trip took well over 45 minutes; over an hour in fact.

If I were to leave right now for a destination that's 13 miles away, it would take at least an hour under the most ideal circumstances if I used public transportation -- and this in one of the best mass-transit cities in the USA. Or I could hop in my car and be there in roughly half the time.
I think the over an hour is if he misses the first train. Also why does the bus terminal not at a train station, that lowers the convenience a lot.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:31 AM
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
45,987 posts, read 41,959,650 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
That's an easy call to make if you work in Manhattan. Most people don't work in a CBD that's anything like Midtown. And most people live in metro areas where jobs are much more dispersed than they are in the Tri-State.
I thought we were referring to Brooklyn?
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