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Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 08:56 PM   #1
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Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

This question is related to the thread about walking.

Although I will very likely stay put here, a question I have been wondering about is what US cities have subway systems or elevated rail? I lived in Boston ˝ block off the Huntington Avenue Line and found it totally handy for everything. I lived in Manhattan and found the subway all I needed. I was in SF for only a little while after BART was completed. Then I guess there is Chicago and the DC Metro—any others?

Ha

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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:08 PM   #2
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Boston and Chicago are the only places I've lived that had good mass transit.

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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:12 PM   #3
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

I guess Las Vegas isn't there yet!
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I guess Las Vegas isn't there yet!
Is Vegas building a system? Even something that only ran down the strip from Tropicana to downtown would be a massive help to that gridlocked place.

Ha
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

I can't speak for how good a system any of these are, but there are a lot of cities that have rapid transit. Since you asked specifically about subway and elevated I'll list those that I found that have at least part of their rail system elevated above ground or below ground.

Baltimore
St. Louis
Atlanta
Los Angeles
Jacksonville
Cleveland
Miami
Seattle
Las Vegas

There's others that seem to be exclusively at grade systems. Some of them are

Dallas
Houston
Denver
Portland
San Diego
Sacramento
San Jose
Memphis

Modified to remove Canadian cities since the original Q was about US
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Don't forget Washington DC.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Is Vegas building a system? Even something that only ran down the strip from Tropicana to downtown would be a massive help to that gridlocked place
It starts just across the street (at the MGM) and goes as far as the Sahara to the North. Possible expansion would be continue North to Downtown from the Sahara and go South to the Airport from the MGM.

Quote:
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Don't forget Washington DC.
Ha already listed it.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I can't speak for how good a system any of these are, but there are a lot of cities that have rapid transit. Since you asked specifically about subway and elevated I'll list those that I found that have at least part of their rail system elevated above ground or below ground.

Baltimore
St. Louis
Atlanta
Los Angeles
Jacksonville
Cleveland
Miami
Seattle
Las Vegas

There's others that seem to be exclusively at grade systems. Some of them are

Dallas
Houston
Denver
Portland
San Diego
Sacramento
San Jose
Memphis

Modified to remove Canadian cities since the original Q was about US
I'm confused. You mention Seattle. Although they are building a very limited underground system, to my knowledge it doesn't exist yet and won't for quite a while. There is the Monorail, which was built as part of theWorld's Fair and runs I would guess less than a mile, and the Sounder Trains which I think run from Tacoma on the South to Everett in the North. But there are no laterals, no eastside service, and a schedule which gets pretty sparse outside of rush hours. There are pretty good express buses, largely oriented to commuters

Ha
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
It starts just across the street (at the MGM) and goes as far as the Sahara to the North. Possible expansion would be continue North to Downtown from the Sahara and go South to the Airport from the MGM.
Thanks, I remember this now.

Ha
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

The Houston light rail system is not that useful yet. However, it is very good at attracting cars that wish to collide with it.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I'm confused. You mention Seattle. Although they are building a very limited underground system, to my knowledge it doesn't exist yet and won't for quite a while. There is the Monorail, which was built as part of theWorld's Fair and runs I would guess less than a mile, and the Sounder Trains which I think run from Tacoma on the South to Everett in the North. But there are no laterals, no eastside service, and a schedule which gets pretty sparse outside of rush hours. There are pretty good express buses, largely oriented to commuters

Ha
Well, I did say I couldn't speak for how good any of the systems were (except for DC and NYC). I didn't spend a lot of time looking at the systems, but I do remember that Seattle's was weird. It has a little bit of everything. The monorail, the BRT tunnel, the at grade trains, and the Sounder. I don't have a clue how it all works together, but I did notice that the citizens seem to be at war with their local gummint in getting them to expand the train system.

Speaking of DC,I wonder if any long time DC residents could comment on the current status of that system. I've been travelling there since the late 60's almost always use the Metro. I haven't been back for several years now, but the last few times I went the Metro seemed much more crowded, not as clean as it once was, and the trains were much slower. I assumed at the time that it was just part of what seems to be DC govt incompetence, but thought it a shame because I had always liked the Metro.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 10:21 PM   #12
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Miami's Metro Fail Rail is an odd one. Does not go to airport. Same for other high traffic nodes you would think would be common sense and help build critical mass. Hello, McFly!?!?
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 10:29 PM   #13
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Should NYC be on the list?
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-20-2007, 10:34 PM   #14
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Leonidas didn't re-mention the cities that had already been listed-

Boston, New York, Chicago, Bay Area and DC metro.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 12:10 AM   #15
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

I think you've mentioned most of the US cities I know of that have reasonable rapid transit. I've spent time in all of those cities without other transporation and found it okay. I have also spent some time in Philidelphia using only rapid transit and it worked mostly okay.

Places like Portland and Atlanta have systems that are at least adequate to get you around downtown and to the airport.

Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US and is just starting to build it's first light rail system. I'm afraid it's too late for us. We are spread out and way too dependent on our cars.

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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 12:17 AM   #16
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
The Houston light rail system is not that useful yet. However, it is very good at attracting cars that wish to collide with it.
LOL... (the poster)

LOL... (the other LOL)... I agree and was going to post about it when I read yours.... the Houston system is crap and will be so forever... it is a big city and even with the planned expansion it will not be a system that you could live without a car.

And from what I read it has the most wrecks with cars in it's short history than other big systems with many more miles of rail... but I think it has slowed down, OR they have just stopped putting it on the news...
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 07:56 AM   #17
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
Speaking of DC,I wonder if any long time DC residents could comment on the current status of that system. I've been travelling there since the late 60's almost always use the Metro. I haven't been back for several years now, but the last few times I went the Metro seemed much more crowded, not as clean as it once was, and the trains were much slower. I assumed at the time that it was just part of what seems to be DC govt incompetence, but thought it a shame because I had always liked the Metro.
We spent a couple weeks riding it last July. Stayed for a week on U Street and commuted regularly to the Mall for the Smithsonian museums and over to Arlington. We even used the bus link to Mount Vernon. Plenty of trains, no dirt, no crowds out side of rush hour and rush-hour crowds not too bad. It was the type of experience that's so good you don't even notice it.

I don't know how recent this improvement is, but the platforms now have digital displays that let you know when the next train is coming. It eliminates a lot of guessing.

We still gamed the fares. If we'd known that we were going to ride the Metro as much as we did then we would have bought a pass. Commuters are strongly encouraged to buy fare passes that reduce the gate time. But the fare machines were pretty painless and I managed to charge almost every ticket on a well-worn credit card.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 08:02 AM   #18
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
Speaking of DC,I wonder if any long time DC residents could comment on the current status of that system. I've been travelling there since the late 60's almost always use the Metro. I haven't been back for several years now, but the last few times I went the Metro seemed much more crowded, not as clean as it once was, and the trains were much slower. I assumed at the time that it was just part of what seems to be DC govt incompetence, but thought it a shame because I had always liked the Metro.
I have lived two blocks from a Metro station for 25 years. The system still seems to be fine and has gradually expanded to cover more and more locations. The good public transportation and walkable nature of the city are key reasons that DW and I plan to stay here during retirement. My brother (15 years older) lives nearby in the suburbs - but not walking distance of metro. He, like me, loves to eat out. But he can no longer drive at night which puts a big crimp in his style. Accessibility to transportation or ability to walk to attractions is a big factor for me.
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 09:20 AM   #19
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

There are some true success stories - DC, NY... but I just wish fans of mass transit would keep in mind what makes it work, and where it doesn't 'scale' well.

IMHO, the moves around mas transit in most political spheres are traditionally a very safe way to be involved in a politically correct boondongle, that will guarantee 'churn' of legislation, contracts for brother's in law, re-election campaign fodder, chance to grandstand on how you are for 'green' issues, garner blocs of inner city votes with false promises, etc.


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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?
Old 02-21-2007, 09:37 AM   #20
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Re: Name Some US Cities With Rapid Transit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRiP Guy
IMHO, the moves around mas transit in most political spheres are traditionally a very safe way to be involved in a politically correct boondongle, that will guarantee 'churn' of legislation, contracts for brother's in law, re-election campaign fodder, chance to grandstand on how you are for 'green' issues, garner blocs of inner city votes with false promises, etc.
And the fact that most rail-type mass transit is primarily (~80%+) federally funded. It's a good way to bring money back to your city/state from the federal coffers. And it pumps money into your local economy (for construction and professional work). We're talking many hundreds of millions or many billions for most of these projects, the great majority of which are paid for by "someone else".
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