U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 05-03-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
1,312 posts, read 1,656,546 times
Reputation: 1487

Advertisements

I've been thinking about this, and I'm interested in what other people have to say.

Does having a rail system in place that people use on a daily basis help make a city great? Or important?

I'm not saying that "Rail transit = Great and important city", but it doesn't seem to stop a city from obtaining that distinction. It might even contribute to it. That is, having a rail transportation system that is used is something that the "best" cities in the world have. But having a rail system doesn't necessarily mean the city is by default great. Its kind of like whiskey and bourbon. All bourbon is a whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbon.

GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2010

Unless I'm mistaken, I think all the cities in the Alpha tiers have a form of rail that people can use on a daily basis to travel to other places.

So is having a rail system something that an important and "great" city, especially in a global context, has to have in order to be considered important or "great"?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-03-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: NYC
7,258 posts, read 11,807,917 times
Reputation: 3659
It's quite important, I think.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2012, 12:10 PM
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: NYC
46,070 posts, read 45,108,291 times
Reputation: 14963
Yes, but it's not the rail itself that makes a city great. But rather, that rail helps create a dense vibrant core and handles high volume within and out of the core better than any other form of transportation.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,702 posts, read 4,000,804 times
Reputation: 1776
I'm travelling in Central Europe now, currently I'm in Budapest. They have buses, trams and subways, as well as commuter trains. It took me only about 30 minutes to get to downtown from a more close in suburb, although that's more because of the short distance (5 miles). I went by bus and then tram in the city, and I'm pretty sure the bus was faster, since it went on relatively fast roads and didn't stop excessively often. The tram didn't stop too much either, bus it was moving slower in the city. Even though it had it's own lane, they only have low blocks separating the tramway from the road so cars and pedestrians could get in even if they weren't supposed to. All vehicles were moving more cautiously in the city though.

What was really nice was that you could take transit without knowing the schedule. The were four periods I could have had to wait, at the start of the trip, and at the transfer point, and again on the way back. We waited something like 2 seconds, then 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then a few seconds again (literally).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2012, 01:20 AM
 
3,054 posts, read 4,113,310 times
Reputation: 1540
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, but it's not the rail itself that makes a city great. But rather, that rail helps create a dense vibrant core and handles high volume within and out of the core better than any other form of transportation.
Yeap. The car is nice, but it limits how dense an area can be(i.e. Need parking and can you imagine how much parking a sky scrapper needs?).

Rail allows a City to be able to have less land dedicated to parking and unlike the bus, it does not get stuck in heavy traffic...making it an very attractive option for travel during rush periods.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2012, 07:12 PM
 
12,735 posts, read 16,256,313 times
Reputation: 8731
Having a rail system doesn't by itself, but seems to help. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco have it. Detroit and Las Vegas don't.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-05-2012, 07:20 PM
 
8,375 posts, read 15,222,859 times
Reputation: 4145
It helps if your rail system is actually functional and useful, not a toy monorail that runs between tourist destinations on the Strip--or a small token system in Detroit where the central city is already so vacant that there is plenty of unused capacity on the highways.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-06-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,702 posts, read 4,000,804 times
Reputation: 1776
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Yeap. The car is nice, but it limits how dense an area can be(i.e. Need parking and can you imagine how much parking a sky scrapper needs?).

Rail allows a City to be able to have less land dedicated to parking and unlike the bus, it does not get stuck in heavy traffic...making it an very attractive option for travel during rush periods.
Well busses only get stuck in traffic if they don't have dedicated rights of way. Streetcars operating in mixed traffic would encounter the same problem. If busses or rail vehicles operate in their own ROW, traffic won't be a problem. Rail has other advantages (capacity, operating costs, image).
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top