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Old 03-28-2014, 03:40 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,764 posts, read 2,332,341 times
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I am originally from Chicago and attended a university that had a campus on the north side of the city and a downtown campus. Between parking fees, congestion and my sincere hatred of driving, it was easier to just hop on the train to get between campuses. I live in N.C. now and I don't know if they offer public transportation out here. I would probably not use it today, though, just because I have little ones and they come with 5,000 lbs of gear whenever we leave the house.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:58 PM
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 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Also if you happen to live near the station in the burbs then again it could be a cheaper way to travel. In that case you might walk or drive to the station esp. if the route you need to drive has an lot of traffic but while that core may have some small scale retail it lacks huge employment centers like office parks.
Quote:
What sucks is that commuter rail isn't like rapid transit. With an Rapid transit system like the El there is no favoritism towards trips in either direction. With commuter rail the trains give less service in the direction of the reverse commute which can give fewer times when it is convenient. Other groups that sometimes use commuter rail are like suburban teenagers who want to go downtown in an group but can't drive.
One interesting example where, in a suburb to suburb trip, commuter rail is faster than driving is taking the LIRR to Stony Brook University (state university in Long Islnad)

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=J...m&z=12&start=0

Not including most of the walking time to/from station, but driving is at least comparable as there's no highways (or even fast moving wide arterial roads) nearby if you live on the north shore. However, since the trip is reverse commute, the frequencies are terrible rush hour: it actually gets worse during rush hour as most of the trains head the other way (it's a single track line). LIRR station further in aren't as bad because there's more tracks, but still the frequencies aren't the best. Metro North runs at decent frequencies in both directions (both Stamford and Grenwich, CT gets about 5 reverse peak trains / hour during AM rush) but it helps Metro North has job centers right by train station that make it worthwhile. Also helps that there's a large population that doesn't own cars at one end ( and more companies run suburban shuttles from train stations).

Quote:
I think more people would use commuter rail if there were more options for transit in the burbs but there are burbs that either lack sidewalks or have limited sidewalks and stations that lack bus service and what bus service there is limited. Anyway often the rail station is in the core of the old small town the grew into an post WWII burb.
Usually commuter rail stations are in fairly walkable areas of the suburbs, I haven't seen sidewalk issues around commuter rail. And those that might lack would have nothing in walking distance. I haven't seen much of Chicago commuter rail though, perhaps it's different than NYC commuter rail. This commuter rail station has no sidewalks around it, but the local density is really low:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Cold+...79.45,,0,-1.72

this is more typical:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Cold+...40.38,,0,-4.67

there are a few offices around the next station over but the area always give the impression of being a bit pedestrian unfriendly:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hicks...29.47,,0,-5.38

The bigger problem is there's just not many workplaces around most of these stations. Another example I can think of: I know someone living in outer London who works (or used to) in a city 50 miles away (think it was Oxford). The reverse peak frequencies were sufficient, the issue was he didn't live along the Oxford-London train line: he would have had to take the subway to the center of the city and then catch the train out. Not really worth it, and gas prices are double here.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:32 PM
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
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
You also said that your mother worked in Midtown, which is not exactly someplace most people can easily park a car during work hours (or any time for that matter). I'm talking about people living in more typically American cities (which NYC is not).
My point was that using transit wasn't much of an inconvenience for daycare.

As for choicing to drive, even if parking was free, she wouldn't have driven as an 1+ hours (current driving time: 1hr42min with traffic) of driving through congested NYC/ Long Island traffic is painful.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,258 posts, read 26,231,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
My point was that using transit wasn't much of an inconvenience for daycare.

As for choicing to drive, even if parking was free, she wouldn't have driven as an 1+ hours (current driving time: 1hr42min with traffic) of driving through congested NYC/ Long Island traffic is painful.
You're still talking about the atypical American experience. Most people don't live in a metro area of 20,000,000 people. In smaller metros--which in the United States is all of them--driving into a CBD is not the chore that it is in NYC. And in most metros, the vast majority of the workforce isn't even commuting into a CBD, and that includes the Tri-State area.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:16 PM
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 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
You're still talking about the atypical American experience. Most people don't live in a metro area of 20,000,000 people. In smaller metros--which in the United States is all of them--driving into a CBD is not the chore that it is in NYC. And in most metros, the vast majority of the workforce isn't even commuting into a CBD, and that includes the Tri-State area.
Yes, I realize that. I was explaining that situation in particular. I'm unsure if she realizes that her experience is atypical, though.

Last edited by nei; 03-28-2014 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:53 PM
 
11,125 posts, read 8,534,553 times
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Who are you to determine who should or should not use mass transit? Anyone who can pay the fare is free to ride.

You sound like someone from a "car city" where mass transit is usually used by "certain" people.

Take a city like NYC. Everyone from the rich and poor alike use mass transit. You'll even see a few celebrities every now and then on the subway.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,872 posts, read 13,547,969 times
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I don't think there's anyone who "shouldn't be riding mass transit" if it is available to them and suits their purposes.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,514,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
I don't think there's anyone who "shouldn't be riding mass transit" if it is available to them and suits their purposes.
Based off the OP, I think the title should have read, "people who don't need to ride transit, but choose to do so."
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:47 AM
 
12,296 posts, read 15,190,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Based off the OP, I think the title should have read, "people who don't need to ride transit, but choose to do so."
Actually I meant those for whom it was not intended to serve but somehow they ended up using it. Often a commuter rail line is designed to get residents of affluent suburbs to the Central City but it turns out that some of the riders actually work at an office complex some distance from the nearest station.
Starting perhaps in the 1960's some of the busier lines had zone expresses that would stop at stations within a five mile zone then run express to the terminal. Very efficient for downtown commuters but not for suburb to suburb trips.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Broadview, IL
42 posts, read 50,113 times
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In regards to the OP's post, I would have to say that for some people, yes it is to avoid too much wear and tear on the car, and yes it is to avoid the aggravations of driving. At least you give another person to deal with the aggravations of driving another car or bus or train or whathaveyou.

I'd also like to add that taking public transit is less expensive than taking the car due to the ridiculously high prices for gas and maintenance. Maybe some people want to save money on both car maintenance and transit fare by driving to a certain bus/train station and then taking the bus or train the rest of the way to their destination. I can definitely understand that due to the economy being the way it is, still.

It's been 10 years since I've first began taking mass transit by myself here in Chicago, and although my plans are to buy a car, I still plan to take buses and trains based on their scheduling. If they do not serve an area I need to go to or do not operate on a certain time of day or day, then yeah, I'm taking the car.

The only people who shouldn't use public transit at all are those disrespectful, noisy, rowdy maniacs who think it's OK to ruin a peaceful commute for those who are looking to have a peaceful commute.
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