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Old 02-13-2014, 06:50 PM
 
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What city do you think has the best rapid transit system? New York City or Chicago? New York City has the most expansive rapid transit system in the United States, while Chicago comes in 2nd, so the temptation might be to say that New York City has the best, yet, everything isn't size. There are other criteria one can use to determine which city has the best rapid transit system, such as the on time reliability of the subways, their cleanliness, safety, accident stats, crimes-in-the-subway, comfort, seating, overcrowding, and even the architectural beauty of the stations.

Any thoughts? MTA or CTA?
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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As a Chicagoan, I'd say MTA because it's more expansive and it's not dirty enough to turn me away. The train system is pretty expansive in Chicago, but where New York definitely wins is for the fact that not every line has a convergence point like in Chicago. In Chicago, if you are in Lakeview and want to get to Logan Square, for example, just by train, then you have to go all the way down to the Loop, then back to Logan Square on another line even though they're only 2 miles apart. In a NYC equivalent, you'd just ride across. For that reason alone, NYC wins.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Fountain Square, Indianapolis
628 posts, read 821,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
As a Chicagoan, I'd say MTA because it's more expansive and it's not dirty enough to turn me away. The train system is pretty expansive in Chicago, but where New York definitely wins is for the fact that not every line has a convergence point like in Chicago. In Chicago, if you are in Lakeview and want to get to Logan Square, for example, just by train, then you have to go all the way down to the Loop, then back to Logan Square on another line even though they're only 2 miles apart. In a NYC equivalent, you'd just ride across. For that reason alone, NYC wins.
Wouldnt it be easier to take a bus in that instance?
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Originally Posted by IndieIndy View Post
Wouldnt it be easier to take a bus in that instance?
Yes, but we're talking about rapid transit. Bus doesn't equal rapid transit in my mind unless it's BRT.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:15 PM
 
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MTA, I can't see what category CTA would come ahead in, they're about tied in cleanliness and both are utilitarian, but every other metric, MTA is ahead by a wide margin.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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I wouldn't say by every other metric. On time percentage is about equal, and IMO the CTA is easier to learn. However, the reasons I stated above are better in NYC and I think that size in this case does matter. CTA is big, but MTA is huge.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:29 PM
 
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This isn't a very good comparison.

Doesn't the NYC subway have like 15 times the ridership of the Chicago L?

I'm pretty sure DC has the #2 subway system in the U.S., BTW.

DC vs Chicago would be a better comparison, or you could compare Chicago to Boston, Philly, or SF. But NYC has a rail transit system with much greater patronage than every other rail transit system in the U.S. combined.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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^ No, it's more like 7-8 times the daily ridership (700k-750k for Chicago and about 5 million to 5.5 million for NYC). I don't think that the measure of how good a public transit system is should be its ridership though. It's kind of frivolous to compare that type of thing, especially when you have a city whose population not counting the suburbs is not much less than the other's entire area counting all suburbs.

Obviously we agree that NYC > Chicago for rapid transit, but other metrics are more important to this such as size, on time percentage, number of stops, how easily you can get to any part of town using that transit, etc.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
^ No, it's more like 7-8 times the daily ridership (700k-750k for Chicago and about 5 million to 5.5 million for NYC).
No, NYC has more like 12 times the ridership of Chicago.

Here's the latest comparative stats from American Public Transit Association-

NYC has 8.3 daily ridership, 8.6 if you include PATH subway and Staten Island rail.

Chicago has .737 daily ridership, so absolutely gigantic difference.

http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...rship-APTA.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
I don't think that the measure of how good a public transit system is should be its ridership though. It's kind of frivolous to compare that type of thing, especially when you have a city whose population not counting the suburbs is not much less than the other's entire area counting all suburbs.
Really? NYC subway covers around 2-3 times the population of the CTA L, yet has 12 times the ridership. You don't think 5-6 times the per capita ridership is a notable difference?
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
^
Obviously we agree that NYC > Chicago for rapid transit, but other metrics are more important to this such as size, on time percentage, number of stops, how easily you can get to any part of town using that transit, etc.
I would guess that on all those metrics, NYC is considerably better. On most of these metrics, so much so that they aren't good comparisons.

NYC has 500 heavy rail stations, mostly four-track local-express operating, mostly underground/grade separated, better integrated with suburban rail and other forms of transit, and just generally a more monumental system. You have individual transit terminals, that are really only comparable to the biggest and grandest transit hubs on earth.

Chicago is very good for North American standards but in a different class and generally very similar to the systems in DC, Boston, Philly, and SF, especially in obvious metrics like size, ridership, and transit orientation. You can throw in the Montreal and Toronto systems too. NYC is more comparable to the huge networks in London, Paris and Tokyo.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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NYC is the best based on coverage, frequency, reliability, average speed, and station spacing. Chicago has the best "L".

Other than that I'd rate DC ahead of Chicago in terms of rapid transit.
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