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Old 01-16-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Or the way the US is laid out makes public transit less useful in much of the US. Toronto and Montreal manage to get far more riders per mile of train track than most American rail systems*. Calgary has almost half the length of light rail Portland does but almost three times more riders. Albany, NY appears to have a rather thorough bus system. They could add in more buses, but they already didn't appear that well used.

*Some of the gap is investment. Philadelphia's system is 25 miles long vs 43 miles for Montreal. Boston's coverage is about the same as Montreal once you add in often street running Green Line, but the Green Line is often slow and a few of the most transit friendly sections are missed.
Many cities in the US could handle an adequate bus and rail system that proves access to most of the people that live in those cities. We are obviously far behind other countries, even our neighbors to the north. Calgary's system is half the size of Portland because Calgary is about 1/3 of Portland's metro. Portland is a great example of reducing sprawl and being a compact city in the US, but it is still a sprawling city compared to ones in Canada. Heck, Barcelona is a very dense city that provides easy access to transit and wallkability that would be amazing to have in the US.

Unfortunately the only type of cities we have that is remotely close to that are NYC and SF. Not the metros, but just the actual city portion.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
NYC population=8.4M X 55% who take transit = 4.6M
US population=316M. X 5% who take transit = 15M

So almost a third of all transit commuters in the US are in New York! But this mainly reflects the superior level of service in NYC.

What you may want to consider is this: what percentage of Americans have access to public transportation as a viable means of commuting to work (say, a travel time no longer than 1.5 times the peak-hour drive time with frequent service)? Now what percentage of these people commute via mass transit--that's a statistic I'd like to see.
Good point. I lived in Washington, DC, when they built their subway system. Guess what? People use it! The difference in the traffic was stupendous. Many of us who used to commute on hot, uncomfortable buses now got to go underground to a modern subway. The neighborhood that voted not to have subway stops in their area (Georgetown) almost immediately lived to regret it.

The Metro now goes all the way out to park 'n rides in the exurbs. When I lived in Pittsburgh and had to go to meetings in downtown DC, I'd drive to a park 'n ride near Germantown, MD, and catch the Metro the rest of the way. What a great thing!
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
American FactFinder - Results

According to the U.S. Census data as of 2013...

86% of all working Americans drive a car or carpool to work
5% use public transportation (trains, subway, buses, etc.)
5% walk, bicycle, motorcycle, taxi or other means
4% work from home

Thoughts?
Do those of us who drive to a "park and ride" facility or rail station, and then use transit, count as drivers too? Because we still are. And even with the best of transit systems, we remain so.

Last edited by NickB1967; 01-16-2015 at 01:46 PM..
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
So this supports what all the transportation fanatics preach that Americans are addicted to their cars, what are you looking for?
Perhaps the fanatics simply cannot acknowledge the reality of most people. The "politically correct" (but logistically *incorrect*) transportation system is, of course, mass transit. The only problem is that the masses donít use it. And thereís a reason. It is inconvenient for those with families after work, it is enormously time-consuming, and most of all, if it wasn't heavily subsidized, it would be cost prohibitive.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
It's surprising that Europe's model share by car is so high (80%+) considering there are lots of disincentives for Europeans to drive (ie. $10/gallon gas, high congestion charges, etc.). Maybe they should tax drivers more on gas, it's obviously not high enough!
How dare the proles try to make better use of their time--they must be punished further by the Party Commisarrs.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Journey to work driving % is 64% for England & Wales, much lower than the US. France is 73%.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_299766.pdf

Insee - Territoire - Une illustration des usages du recensement : les dplacements domicile-travail

Germany's public transport share is 16%. Together with walking, there's no way driving could be 80%+.

Americans who drive vs. use public transit (data)

From figure 3. From figure 1, you can see there's a rather large difference in public transit per capita share. Sure, driving is still the majority mode. But it's not the mode the way it is in most of the US.
In Europe, things are a lot closer together. Take a look at land shapes and densities.

The question of *how* you live is also never asked. If you want to live in tenement hives, UK "Estates" (which means something completely different than it does in the USA!!!) or French "banlieue" slums, yes, Europe has plenty of those. But even a modest home and a yard for you and your family? Not so much.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by impala096 View Post
This was how the question was phrased in the American Community Survey which was used to come up with modal share percentages:

Essentially someone who took mass transit 3 days out of the week and drove a personal vehicle the other 2 days would check one of the mass transit options. In over 20 years of my working life, i have never taken mass transit to get to work. How many people who take mass transit can say they have never taken a personal vehicle to get to work?
And even if the rail system is the bluk of my commute, I would still not get there without a car. Period. And there are oh-so-many other downtown commuters like me.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:49 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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Originally Posted by NickB1967 View Post
The question of *how* you live is also never asked. If you want to live in tenement hives, UK "Estates" (which means something completely different than it does in the USA!!!) or French "banlieue" slums, yes, Europe has plenty of those. But even a modest home and a yard for you and your family? Not so much.
I'm rather familiar with British housing stock. And I doubt most French live in "banlieue slums". I could equally say, if you want to live a walkable urban neighborhood? Far fewer choices in the US than Europe.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
I could equally say, if you want to live a walkable urban neighborhood? Far fewer choices in the US than Europe.
I am sure the single, the childless, and the gay enjoy "walkable urban neighborhoods", provided they are not infested with criminals and their workplaces are nearby. But those with families? Not so much.

Yes, there is a rise in "new urbanism" in the USA, but it comes from and with a declining birth and marriage rate.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:10 PM
 
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It's surprising that Europe's model share by car is so high (80%+) considering there are lots of disincentives for Europeans to drive (ie. $10/gallon gas, high congestion charges, etc.). Maybe they should tax drivers more on gas, it's obviously not high enough!
This kind of crazy reasoning can only be someone that lives in a compact city where there can be public transportation.

If I was still working, and wanted a job where there was public transportation I could even use to get to work no matter how inconvenient, walking to the bus stop would be unreasonable. It would be 50 miles in the morning, and 50 miles when I got off the bus in the evening, and I never did like that kind of walk to and from the closest bus stop twice a day.

And this is typical for people all over the country, as soon as you get outside a major city, and even in much of Europe.
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