Would/Do you take mass transit?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by osx11, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    Do you take mass transit?

    Would you take mass transit if it were available?

    Do you have to take mass transit?

    What's your opinion on mass transit in general?
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Nothing against it, would like to see it expanded in my city, I still prefer driving.
  3. osx11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    I take mass transit.

    I'm in Vienna, Austria and the Subway, tramway, and Bus networks are amazing.

    Vienna's Modal Split:
    By public transportation: 39%
    By foot: 28%
    By car: 27%
    By bicycle: 6%

    In comparison:

    Indianapolis's Modal Split:
    By public transportation: 2%
    By foot: 2%
    By car: 92%
    By bicycle: 1%

    Obviously things are more spread out in the States, but are people truly happy with the long distances? Is a house worth the long commute and travel times?
  4. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    When I lived in Northern Virginia and commuted from Falls Church to Arlington, I LOVED taking the bus. It picked me up basically right outside my apartment and took me right to work in 30 minutes.

    And it was free, as the Fed Gov will reimburse you if you take mass transit.

    It allowed the wife and I to only have one car, which was also awesome (although we had no kids then).
  5. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    20 minutes by car from my house to work. 25 if there's traffic. The same commute on public transit would add at least an hour to that.

    Maybe that qualifies as a long commute in Europe, but mine's average to below average by American standards, and yes, it's worth it.
  6. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Mass Transit is not as well developed in the US as it is in Europe. Difficult to say if it would get more use if it was more readily available. On the East coast the Subway in New York, Metro-North and Long Island railroad are examples of well developed systems that get extensive use. However, if you are in New Jersey there are few Mass Transit options available.
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Yes, I take mass transit. No, I do not have to take it. I think we should build out mass transit as much as possible.
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    This pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

    Having been to to NY, and if I lived in NY, I would sing a different tune. But here in LA it is horrible. So nope, the car and driving it is for me.
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I live in London. Only the most dedicated sadist would drive to work
  10. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I have some health issues, so although I have a licence, I choose not to drive. Everybody is safer that way. :eek: Thus:

    Where I am in Scotland the bus service is reasonably good, as is the train. However, both are expensive and getting to some locations is difficult or impossible by bus, and the services are being pruned back a great deal. One of the ironies of visiting the Scottish Highlands is that one needs a car to get to the most interesting destinations. You'd think the local tourism boards would understand and subsidise rural bus routes, but they don't to any appreciable degree. I also use the bus in the US (Northern VA). The services are OK but geared wholly toward commuting and very few people other than students and the recently immigrated use the bus routinely midday (which makes riding both interesting and fun). FWIW I prefer to walk if I can - it's cheaper and healthier. I walk about 45 minutes into work (nearly 2 miles) and people look at me like I suffer some horrendous burden.
  11. osx11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    Yeah the problem with mass transit is that you need a well-established network to convince riders to ditch their cars. Since mass transit networks are usually owned by the local governments, they can afford to not make a profit and built out the system so as to secure future profits. In the US, the transit companies can (typically) not afford to make a loss and thus have to always provide service that also makes economic sense.

    I used to live in the states and a perfect example of the problem with mass transit is something I witnessed with bus intervals. Due to financial difficulty, the local transit authority decreased the number or routes and runs, thereby increasing the intervals significantly and reducing riding options. The result? more financial difficulties and even a decreasing ridership. This is a viscous cycle that can only be avoided if mass transit options are very attractive. And by very attractive, I mean running a bus until midnight even if it's almost empty. Because when you know that there is a day-long option of public transit will you want to rely on it.


    Yeah I can understand your situation. I'm from Vienna, Austria and here public transportation is amazing and they are NOT cutting down their service. In fact they are adding lines, expanding the subway, adding bus routes, buying a 100+ new buses....etc.... People like the public transportation offerings and it is super convenient.

    Price: I always wondered how the price plays into public transportation usage. In Vienna, almost everyone has an annual pass which costs (365 Euros, 300 British pounds, 500 US Dollars) and it allows you to use as much of the public transport system as you want. For an entire year! And there are no barriers where you have to show your card or add a couple of coins. It's the honor systems with occasional random ticket inspections. It works and it's awesome.
  12. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Yes I would use it if it was available to go where I wanted to go. When I lived in Minneapolis, we sometimes took the light rail from the Mall of America to downtown for a ball game at the Metrodome.
  13. SoAnyway macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011
    I take public transportation when I can and as often as I can. I really don't like driving as much as I used to because of the amount of congestion there is on the roads these days. On top of that, the fact that I have to put gas in a car. I can't wait until full range EVs are more affordable.

    The only issues I have with public transportation in my area is the fact that since I live in a suburb, the local buses don't run as often as they do in downtown and that the nearest bus stop (to the bus I would normally use) is nearly a mile away. When ever I'm in the city however, I'm taking the trains and busses as much as possible.

    Also, I've been to Vienna and public transportation there is fantastic. I was really amazed how well it ran even in the more suburban part of the area.
  14. SLC Flyfishing, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Yes, I take mass transit.

    It is always available, everywhere I've lived.

    No I have never been told I "have" to take mass transit.

    In my opinion, it's a little less convenient than driving, but it is better for air quality and I can generally study or read the news while riding mass transit so I do it. The best system I've used in a city I actually lived in rather than visited is in Salt Lake City, Utah. A huge, clean, fast, express train that runs the 90+ mile Wasatch Front, paired with Light Rail and Busses. They even have light rail to the Airport, University, and major suburban population centers now.

    Portland Oregon was decent too, but it consists of mostly light rail and it was dirty and didn't feel as safe. It was also notoriously off schedule most of the time. It was also more expensive and seemed to increase in price fairly regularly.

    I also walk or bike whenever possible.
  15. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Haven't owned a car since 2011. When you live in an urban environment you'd be surprised how much stress is vehicle related. I definitely don't miss searching for parking for 20 minutes after sitting in rush hour traffic for another 40 minutes.

    Now if there is traffic I'm reading anyways, and if I need to go anywhere I can just rent a car.
  16. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2002
    Sarasota FL
    That sums it up well enough. I would love to see more mass transit options if it means there would be fewer cars on the road with me.
  17. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Like others, I can't argue this answer. In my case though, public transit IS available but to get me from home to work and back would be a convoluted process. I'd have to take an "express" route to a larger city then a more local route to the city I actually need to get to. It would double my commute time. I'd also still have to drive (though only 2 miles a day vs. 30) to get to the park and ride stop.

    Is the house worth the long commute? I don't own a house but I'd MUCH rather live where I am than within reasonable public transit distance of work, there isn't much desirable in this city, having grown up in suburbs. While the rent is lower in the city compared to where I am, you get what you pay for...
  18. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I have, yes.

    I would, yes, though it depends on the city I am in. Sydney and Melbourne, absolutely; some of the best mass transit in the world. In fact, that was the only way I got around in those towns.

    Again, it all depends on the city you're in. When I was young, when I was old enough to (read: 12 - 16), I took the bus everywhere I wanted to go, within reason. Otherwise, I biked or walked. But for the town I was in, the only mass transit there was was the bus.

    Same for when I moved to Las Vegas, though I was driving then. Then again, Vegas only had buses as well for mass transit (I am not including taxis or shuttles to/from the airport and casinos as mass transit).

    When I was in Australia, it was a complete contrast, where over half the population took mass transit, where you had a choice of trains, trams, or buses. It cost $11AUD/week for an all day pass to ride any of those three I wanted (Monthly pass was $45AUD). Even adjusting for the currency exchange, that came out to no more than $40USD for the month. It cost me $57/month to fill up my car, which had a 15 gallon tank in it, with gas being at $.95/gallon (this was 1995/1996 prices).

    No brainer there.

    Would I take it again? It depends on the city, and how safe they could be. As much as it is used in NYC, I'd take it, but that's a hell of a city to get around on.

    I've taken it in DC, but that was in 1988 during your obligatory middle school trip to Washington to see Congress/White House, etc.

    Chicago? Last time I was on that, I was 4 years old, in the era of Good Times.

    San Francisco I haven't tried yet, though I'm only 2 hours drive from it now. Sacramento just started its light rail, but it is limited to where it would go.

    My wife loved Portland's mass transit, but that's a given for her, because she's blind and went to the blind school in Vancouver, WA. So she's used to it, and if it worked for her and she's comfortable with it, I would be. Her comfort is paramount for me.

  19. applesith macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2007
    NJ Transit everyday. They run the trains like Mussolini.
  20. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I missed one. Philadelphia's was nice, especially for day trips. Taking the train from the airport straight to Market Street to spend the day there was great. Didn't have to worry about cab fare, or traffic, especially since the airport is a good 25 miles out of town. Though, I didn't go much past downtown Philly, so I can't say anything further than that for sure.

  21. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    The mass transit system here is limited and I generally need to be able to go from place to place rather quickly.

    However, on office days or teaching days, I ride my bike. It's faster than waiting for the bus and I get some exercise.

    And, a new street car system is currently under the final construction phase and I think I'll take that often to get downtown rather than bike or drive.
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    I'm lucky enough to live close enough to my work to ride a bike these days so no, no, no.

    Previously I did however take public transport. I had an hour commute which I loved. I could have driven the same time but driving didn't even compare in my mind.

    For me the best thing about public transport (especially trains, I love trains) is that it is passive. I can get on with a coffee, my iPad, a book, a DS etc, and relax whilst I am taken to my destination. I often had a snooze too. The travel was part of the wind-down for the day. I found this didn't happen if I drove - I'd invariably end up more worked up and tired.

    Nothing compares to cycling though <3
  23. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Not at the moment, but when I move to Melbourne I'll use the trams and trains to get around since I won't have a car.
  24. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    I agree. I had a temporary gig in a city with a great mass transit system and I really enjoyed reading on the train, but cycling also works really well for me.
    I get a chance to think about nothing but pedaling for 20 minutes.
  25. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    This is my situation. It takes ~15 minutes to drive to the office, ~60 minutes to get there via public transportation (plus $10, one-way).


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