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Old 03-27-2014, 07:21 PM
 
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It is an article of faith for many on this forum (and sadly, for many transit agencies) that the only ones who ride trains and buses are headed to the Center City. Or that anyone with a vehicle available for the trip will drive it. However, talking to commuters I have found a lot of exceptions. Quite a few drive to the outlying station and ride the train to the suburb where they work. One took the step of even stationing a car at the destination station for the last miles to the office - and having the two cars keyed alike! One even parks a car downtown, taking advantage of the lower nighttime rates. Some make transfers between lines. Is it just to save wear and tear on the car, or has driving become too much an aggravation these days?

Last edited by pvande55; 03-27-2014 at 07:22 PM.. Reason: Unquestionably, punctuation
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I recently read an article about how the majority of people riding transit in Portland, Or ride it by choice even though they own a car. I was one of those people while I lived there. I biked, took transit, took cabs, and walked more than I drove my car.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:13 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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By suburban commuter rail stations, there's usually not many jobs in walking distance from stations, maybe some homes and a small shopping district. I know on Long Island, Mineola station does have a number of jobs within walking distance, and gets some transit riders, but most stations aren't like Mineola. The newer office park areas tend to be built close to expressways not railroad stations.

As for leaving another car somewhere, that sounds like way too much trouble than it's worth.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:35 PM
 
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There's a fair number of office buildings near the Main Line coming out of Philadelphia, but nothing like the majority of the jobs in the area (and forget about parking nearby). Some New Yorkers reverse commute to NJ and leave a car at one of the train stations.

The main advantages of commuter rail for a car owner are avoiding traffic and avoiding parking; certainly I'd go apesh..er, nuts if I had to drive into Manhattan every day, and while my job pays well, $30/day for parking plus $16 for tolls (or whatever it is now) would make a solid dent in the paycheck.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
It is an article of faith for many on this forum (and sadly, for many transit agencies) that the only ones who ride trains and buses are headed to the Center City. Or that anyone with a vehicle available for the trip will drive it. However, talking to commuters I have found a lot of exceptions. Quite a few drive to the outlying station and ride the train to the suburb where they work. One took the step of even stationing a car at the destination station for the last miles to the office - and having the two cars keyed alike! One even parks a car downtown, taking advantage of the lower nighttime rates. Some make transfers between lines. Is it just to save wear and tear on the car, or has driving become too much an aggravation these days?
I went out to the burbs a for a job. It was cheaper than driving, took about the same amount of time and the station was close enough to work to walk(and there was a side walk) plus the job itself had an shuttle. It also allowed me to nap and rest provided the cubs were not playing(then the train could be packed to standing room only).

The people who station cars out in the burbs want the best of both worlds usually. They want to be in the city with it's bars and nightlife but work way out in the burbs. You can get to an Metra station easily by walking, living near it, or taking the bus in the city. It is just transit from the station in the burbs to your job may suck. There might not be a sidewalk for walking, a bus to take you away from the station to your work, and your job might not have an shuttle from the station. There are many suburban centers of employment not that far from an commuter rail stop but people have no way to access them from the stop. Placing a car there helps if you own it( I personally wouldn't risk it) but some people are that desperate.

In my case sometimes I rode the bus to the train if it had snowed, sometimes I drove to an station or near an station to park and sometimes I got a ride from someone who was going further. Also some of my co-workers who lived in the burbs did likewise and an small group took the train back home.

Last edited by chirack; 03-27-2014 at 09:15 PM..
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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A size-able number of people in South Florida park-and-ride using the express busses that travel non-stop to downtown areas via the express lanes. Most of these are people who do have a car and presumably were making the entire commute by car before the bus service started. Some people are getting dropped off by family to free up the car for daytime use. It is mainly traffic congestion here, as downtown parking is not as difficult as in many major cities. Not to mention some people are transferring and working outside of downtown, where parking is generally free. When I lived out in the suburbs, I occasionally used it even though I had to make two transfers to get to work, and parking is under $100/year. The traffic congestion has just gotten so bad, also I think more and more middle class families struggle to afford that second or third car.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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The guy with a second car downtown could probably save a lot of money and aggravation with a Zipcar membership, but if it works for them, hey, oh well. Not sure if I understand the principle of this thread--a "reverse commuter" on public transit is a wonderful position to be in, they're usually riding when it is least crowded.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
The guy with a second car downtown could probably save a lot of money and aggravation with a Zipcar membership, but if it works for them, hey, oh well. Not sure if I understand the principle of this thread--a "reverse commuter" on public transit is a wonderful position to be in, they're usually riding when it is least crowded.
I am not 100% sure about how far you can book a zip car ahead but I suspect that the need to be 100% sure there is an car on the other end and the need to drive the car home for the night makes zip car a non-option.
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:49 PM
 
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Still seems a little wacky to me. But if two cars and two parking spaces are cheaper and simpler for this person than driving, bully for them taking transit for the middle segment!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Still seems a little wacky to me. But if two cars and two parking spaces are cheaper and simpler for this person than driving, bully for them taking transit for the middle segment!
With two cars I doubt it is cheaper, just less hassle.
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