Public Transport In America Sure Sucks...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ninefivezero, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    So next week I'm heading down to meet a friend in Eugene, Oregon to hang out for a few days. He is driving his car from Eugene back to Seattle at the end, so I just need a one-way trip to Eugene. It's about 280 miles south of Seattle by car.

    So There are three options to travel in America: Train, bus or car.

    Amtrak Train: $72!
    Greyhound Bus: $46!
    My own car paying for gas: $38.

    It's just absurd that the train and bus cost so much in America, and that it's cheaper to drive your own car!

    If I needed to go both ways (if I wasn't getting a ride back with my friend) you bet your ass I'd drive my own car, when it's cheaper, faster and so much more flexible.

    Maybe I'll look for a rideshare through craigslist and split gas with someone else driving down, if I can find one...
  2. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    I had a discussion about this problem with some friends the other day. Here in Cincinnati they're always trying to get trolley or incline service going, and it never gets off the ground. The reason? The people with the money to build such a system drive and prefer cars! The people who can't afford? Nobody cares.

    So the trick is getting the people with money to want mass transit, and (as you've discovered) when cars are cheaper it's a tough sell. Personally I think the answer is light rail. Get it built, connecting the wealthy burbs to the metro areas, get people out of their cars, make it affordable, and the remaining infrastructure will take care of itself.

    But there's a more sinister reason why mass transit sucks so hard here, and I've heard lots of middle/upper class people say it out loud: we don't want poor inner city people to have cheap access to our neighborhoods. It's no surprise that here in Cincinnati the Metro (the city bus service) stops at the exact spot where the nice neighborhoods begin. When we bought our current house we didn't consider anything within reach of the Metro...
  3. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    Depends on your location. Amtrak from Riverside to Fresno is $41. That 271 miles.
  4. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    Your not putting into consideration that you have to pay for maintenance on your car (oil change, breaks, insurance, ect) too. If your on a train or bus you dont have to worry about the frustration of other crappy drivers on the road
  5. 86mcss

    86mcss Devouring your Soul

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    fifty...i am officially kicking you out of America.

    please leave ASAP
  6. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    Watch out for that shit. You're beginning to sound like me :wink:. What you call: "seeing a dark hand in everything", is actually because a lot of times, there is a sinister side and motivation to most of everyday life in America. Such as: What kind of hit would the petroleum industry take if a large percent of people used high efficiency mass transit instead of using their own cars? They'd definately be crying "foul" over it.
  7. Commissar Smersh

    Commissar Smersh 2020 Staff Member

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    This is how mass transit works in Denver, light rail from the 'burbs to downtown. Though it's not cheap, $10 round trip from my station to downtown thankfully it's $30 per semester when I'm in school.

    That's ridiculous for two reasons: crimes of opportunity don't really involve taking a 30-45 minute bus ride and middle/upper class individuals seldom use public transit outside of SF or NYC because they can afford a car. No demand, no service.
  8. Jishory

    Jishory Junior Member

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    In a lot of metro areas the public transit is outstanding, if you are going further you are out of luck. Riding the BART in the san francisco area a few months back was really enjoyable and cheap, plus google maps has bus/subway/train locations and times, tells you how long you have to get to a bus stop before it arrives, it kicks ass.
  9. Goofus Maximus

    Goofus Maximus Too old to be this dumb!

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    Actually, it sort of makes sense that public transportation would cost more, if you think about it. With your car, you are paying for gas to move yourself, your stuff, and your car. With Public Transport, you are paying for your share of the gas to move the vehicle, your self, and your stuff... and your share for the driver's salary, the ticket agent's salary, and the vehicle maintenance crew's salaries, and the terminal janitor's salaries...
  10. Coleman

    Coleman fresh off the corner

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    Doesn't the pacific northwest have the best public transportation in the US?
  11. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    I would be in favor of such a system here. $10 or thereabouts would be enough of a barrier for the type of commuter most folks worry about.

    Just saying that's what a lot of folks in the burbs feel and believe. In fact there's been a recent battle in Dayton Ohio related to extending bus service from downtown to one of the nice malls in the burbs. The burbs fought against it and won, and they weren't subtle at all about the reason. They didn't want the ghetto crowd hanging out at the food court. Here in Cincinnati there are a few malls within range of the Metro bus service and they are rough! Northgate for example. Unless I need a new doo rag I have no reason to step foot in that place.
  12. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    The bay area (Bart etc) is good but nothing like Europe. But we have cheaper cars and better accessibility for road traffic. It's a tradeoff either way. Bart goes on a straight line through cities with no perpendicular lines. So if you're away from Bart it's hopelessly far sometimes, 3+ miles. It'd be cool if I was right on the line rather than an hour walk through busy roads.
  13. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    ^^^ Honestly, if I had a light rail station within 3 miles of my house, and there was a stop within a mile or two of my office, I would get a folding bike and at least occasionally take the train.
  14. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    i wish we had a sanitary, efficient, safe, cheap city transportation.. i'd say fuck having a car, ins, note, yearly $100 tag renewal, possible violation tickets. that shit costs alot of money just to be able to drive to work and back or goto the grocery store.
    friggin rediculous.

    im tempted to get a fucking scooter.
  15. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    The way to get more funding towards mass transit is to use the existing infrastructure. Talk is cheap.
  16. I'm pretty sure Corona to LA is more though. No one wants to go to Fresno. :p

    In the 20's Lake Elsinore had a light rail line that connected it to Perris/Corona/Riverside/San Bernardino/LA/San Diego. Today we have a couple hundred feet of rusted out steel running through fields. At that time I could cheaply and quickly take a train to the beach, to the city, pretty much anywhere that was even mildly populated.

    This is the fault of the oil companies and the auto manufacturers of the 20s-30s, and it's not like it's not known. If I wanted to take a train I would have to drive 30 miles to Corona, put my vehicle in a shady-assed parking lot and then pay more than my gas would cost to go to LA.
  17. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    Corona to LA Union Station is $10 on MetroLink. ;) And if you buy a monthly pass it drops to $7 (considering you travel both ways 5 days a week).

    http://www.metrolinktrains.com/farecalc/index.php

    But yeah. Nobody cares to go to Fresno. LOL Poor Fresno.
  18. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    Our transit here in Portland is pretty amazing. Between the buses and my bike, I almost never drive my car anymore.

    A 2 hour ticket to anywhere in the metro area is about $2.05 and you have the option of taking light rail (4 major lines), bus, street car (only downtown at the moment, but will be on the east side soon) or the tram up to the mountain.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Though the coverage stops once you cross into Vancouver because they don't want any "colored people" in their town.
  19. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    I came up with $51 on Amtrak from Seattle to Eugene?
    http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak
  20. smirnoff

    smirnoff Curmudgeon

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    This! Vancouver is the perfect example. They recently built a line that takes people from the burbs to downtown, the thing gets used by EVERYBODY. Businessmen, students, shoppers... next to no riff raff (very safe and well patrolled). It's cheaper by far than driving (especially when you factor in parking) and the speed with which you get there isn't even close. It's a big win.
  21. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Sadly I don't think it's even close here in Cincinnati. What will happen more likely in the mid term is that when gasoline gets uber expensive and/or traffic too horrible the affluent will just move back to the city and buy up everything. Push the ghetto to the burbs. And there will still be no reason or motive for light rail. Within the city mass transit will rapidly modernize and spread, but those marginalized and literally on the margin will be left riding horses or going nowhere.
  22. mistawiskas

    mistawiskas kik n a and takin names

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    I've thought about getting horses. I have the pasture, the barn............................................... and they are EMP proof :wink:.
  23. jake

    jake Vagabond

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    Everyone complains about Calgary's transit system but I think it is quite good considering how low our population density is. We have one million people in the city and have a daily ridership average over 250k. Transit passes are $80 a month, which is a steal considering parking is between $18 and $25 a day downtown.
  24. ninefivezero

    ninefivezero infinite resolution

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    There is a good bus system in Seattle itself, but buses get stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, so they end up being slow. We are VERY slowly building light rail in the city which would get transportation out of street traffic, but it's decades away. Transit between Seattle and the 'burbs, or between other cities has very limited options.

    Oh, and I decided to drive, haha. I was going to take the greyhound bus because it was cheaper than the train, but then I realized I would need to be downtown by 8am, and after a few too many beers yesterday I was way too tired to wake up at 6am and be downtown at the bus station at 8am :p But also I was going to have to sit around all day Friday while my friend was at work in order to share a ride with him and I'd rather spend Friday doing a tree job I've had to put off because of a hand injury.
  25. JZL

    JZL Ministry of Whack

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    Fuck public transportation. I'm driving until I finally get the rocket pack I was promised.

    When I went to Oakland, we took BARTS under the bay to San Francisco and that was pretty cool. We came back pretty late and it was nearly empty. The Metro in DC is/was my favorite though. At least in the late 90's you could go nearly anywhere for around a buck and a quarter.

    The midwest isn't exactly a great place for public transportation. Columbia, MO, home of MU, has a decent bus system, Columbia Area Transport System (CATS).