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  1. #1
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    How good is your public transport system?

    Adelaide's public transport system is alright but no where near perfect. One good thing is you can buy a 10 trip ticket for $19.80.
    This ticket will give you 2 hour transfers from bus, train, tram so once you board you can get on and off all you want until two hours
    has expired for $1.98. Very good.

    We have an O-Bahn bus system. The bus drives along on a specially made concrete path that holds the bus in place at 100kph/60mph
    at the end of the path the bus disembarks and can then drive on a normal road. The O-Bahn is only 12km/7ml
    long but is virtually 100kph the whole way. The bus can beat a car into town by 20mins easily. Unfortunately it cost so much
    to make that we only have this one O-Bahn.

    The main problem is with our trains, they run every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends. There just isn't enough
    frequency to make it a viable system. The other problem is that there are no conductors on the trains to buy tickets from.
    You have to buy a ticket from a machine that only accepts coins. The conductors were removed years ago to save money.
    They now employ ticket inspectors, but these guys don't sell tickets they just issue $105 dollar fines.

    Is it my imagination or is the Government trying to make the system difficult. You don't have to be Albert Einstein to see
    the problems and fix them.

    What is the public transport system like where you live?

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  2. #2
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    Public transport in Perth is said to be pretty good - by the public transport people.

    I wouldn't know too much because I never use it. I think that's the problem with it. So many people choosing to use private transport means that they can't afford to increase the service. Without an increased service - people choose not to use it. Catch 22.

    Mind you I know a few regular users who reckon it's great.

  3. #3
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    Great! Trains and busses, as well as trams and subways in the largest cities. The trains went through a rough patch for about six months when management upset the workers last year, but it is getting back to normal. All of Europe that I have seen is at least pretty good.

    And the priorities can be interesting. Last week, I bought an "all zones" train ticket in Copenhagen. I went from the business venue into Copenhagen center, then from there to the airport after a walkabout in town. Two rides, probably 60-80 Km, and about 40 minutes overall riding time.

    When I got to the airport, I had a large Carlsburg beer to while away the time. That one beer cost me about 15% more than the train ticket!

    Cheers...Gary

  4. #4
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    Not good...

    The main bus service is run by Stagecoach who put profit way, way in front of service. The buses are generally overcrowded, unreliable and expensive. I seem to recall that they cancelled one useful and fairly popular service linking several towns on the grounds that it was frequently late

    The rail service is owned by Connex SouthEast, yes the same Connex who ran SouthCentral services until their franchise wasn't renewed due to the appalling service. My understanding is that the Connex were given a longer franchise in the SouthEast because of promised improvements to rolling stock (replacing 1950's/60's slam door trains), several years later almost every trip I make in the week is on an old slam door train (although as space for cycles wasn't considered in the design for the newer trains and you've got to rely on the goodwill of the guard to let you put your bike in the doorway...). Oh, and if you want to take your bike to London for the day, (or indeed any town in a London-wards direction) forget it if you plan on being there before ten o'clock because cycles are banned before then. Trains are generally filthy and severely overcrowded (when they don't breakdown). To give an idea of the standard of service, at the beginning of the year punctuality (i.e. trains that arrive within 5mins of stated time) on the Kent Coast route was below 50%, reliability (i.e. trains that ran wasn't a great deal better).

    One good thing about our public transport system is that it was one reason why I bought a bike

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

  5. #5
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    In Brisbane, it's astonishingly bad. I have arranged things for myself so that I'm about 200m from a train station at home, and not much more than that at work. So, allowing for the pathetic frequency of trains, even at 'peak' times, it's not too bad for me, but god help me if I ever wanted to use it to get anywhere other than the city on a weekday. I pity the poor souls that rely on the bus 'service' here, even considering the BCC's obsession with building million dollar busways (ie. it's just another road)
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  6. #6
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Richard D
    Not good...

    The main bus service is run by Stagecoach who put profit way, way in front of service. The buses are generally overcrowded, unreliable and expensive. I seem to recall that they cancelled one useful and fairly popular service linking several towns on the grounds that it was frequently late

    The rail service is owned by Connex SouthEast, yes the same Connex who ran SouthCentral services until their franchise wasn't renewed due to the appalling service. My understanding is that the Connex were given a longer franchise in the SouthEast because of promised improvements to rolling stock (replacing 1950's/60's slam door trains), several years later almost every trip I make in the week is on an old slam door train (although as space for cycles wasn't considered in the design for the newer trains and you've got to rely on the goodwill of the guard to let you put your bike in the doorway...). Oh, and if you want to take your bike to London for the day, (or indeed any town in a London-wards direction) forget it if you plan on being there before ten o'clock because cycles are banned before then. Trains are generally filthy and severely overcrowded (when they don't breakdown). To give an idea of the standard of service, at the beginning of the year punctuality (i.e. trains that arrive within 5mins of stated time) on the Kent Coast route was below 50%, reliability (i.e. trains that ran wasn't a great deal better).

    One good thing about our public transport system is that it was one reason why I bought a bike

    Richard
    Amen to that brother!

    Rich
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  7. #7
    Dazed and confused Ellie's Avatar
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    I don't really go for buses in a big way. There seem to be quite a lot of them, but i live about 2.5 miles from the town centre and a one-way bus ticket will cost 1.00. Cycling's cheaper, as long as you can find a parking spot!

    I used the train quite a lot in Bournemouth to get to Poole, where I worked. The train service down there is run by South West Trains, which have been striking in a big way since Christmas, but when they're running it's actually a good service. Every train had bike space and bikes were free. I have a youg persons railcard, so the fare wasn't extortionate.

    The one place I did find a really good bus service was the Milton Keynes park and ride. It was free parking and free bus service, right into the centre of the town. Well recommended.

    Ellie

  8. #8
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    Bikes and trains go together here a lot. Here is one example - the central train station in Leiden.

    http://www.masong4.demon.nl/images/LeidenBikes.jpg

    Cheers...Gary

  9. #9
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MediaCreations

    I wouldn't know too much [about Perth's public transport] because I never use it. I think that's the problem with it. So many people choosing to use private transport means that they can't afford to increase the service. Without an increased service - people choose not to use it. Catch 22.
    This pretty well sums up the Kansas City situation.

    P. T. here could be worse, but it could be SOOOO much better. Buses can't afford to run with needed frequency because there aren't enough riders. But they'll never get the riders till they increase the frequency!

    And I can't blame anybody for feeling disenchanted with the bus system if they get on board for the first time ever and are confronted by a rude driver and/or crazy, drug-ridden, or obnoxiously loud and arrogant passengers. (See also thread about children and the failure of their parents.)

    gmason, thanks for the photo of bikes in Leiden. That has to look astonishing to anybody in the US.

    As for transport in Europe, sadly my only experience is outdated now, as it was in Paris in 1963 (yes, sixty-three, before there were even personal computers or Britney Spears). But I was very happy with the Mtro then. I truly believe the main reason we don't have transportation that viable in the United States is that the oil and automobile companies have kept it from happening. Period.

  10. #10
    Senior Member (Retired) gmason's Avatar
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    I think that rationale is correct. At least in part. But that started because of the extraordinary ability we had to move out to less densely populated areas, which meant longer distances.

    That dispersal, coupled with the ability of most people to purchase a car, and the freedom we got used to as a result, is generally credited with eliminating all but the smallest vestiges of good public transport in the U.S.

    Cheers...Gary

  11. #11
    Dazed and confused Ellie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gmason
    Bikes and trains go together here a lot. Here is one example - the central train station in Leiden.
    That reminds me. I gotta get a picture of Cambridge station. you guys would love it.

    Nice pic!

    Ellie

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Although public transportation coverage is very poor in most of inland San Diego County, it is pretty decent along the coast. I am fortunate to live near a superb 7-year-old commuter-oriented heavy rail line (www.gonctd.com), and when my company hired me and opened up a San Diego office, one of my coworkers found a space near another station on the line. Thanks to my influence and that of one of the San Francisco-based bike-and-BART-riding hired consultants, the trains feature roll-on accommodations for two to six bicycles per coach.

    My stress-free commute now comprises my choice of an 11+-mile/18km bike ride on mostly-decent roads and bike lanes, or a 2km walk/jog from home to the station, a 15-minute ocean view train ride, and a 2km walk/jog to my office. (Now that we have an active beach sand replenishment program, I should try taking the shoreline detour on the way home. Life's tough ...)

    I am looking forward to the extension of the San Diego trolley / light rail system to the SDSU campus, which is accessed via particularly bicycle- and pedestrian-hostile freeway-style streets with high-speed merges and diverges.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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  13. #13
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    Sucks. We only have busses. They do run regularly though and only the one's to downtown are overcrowded but they are the posh comfy cursers not beaters.
    After touring London and NYC we could do so much to detach our car addiction and start relying on mass transit systems but it would take a 100 years to put something like that in place here.
    MtbPhreek

  14. #14
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Agree with Toninator
    Dallas SUCKS....(transport wise!)
    there are some new trains, but they run to downtown
    only, and aren't very convenient to get to.
    and the busses.....well nuff said.
    Best transport I've ever seen was in Vienna.
    for 3 months while I was there never missed either
    car nor bike (except I wasn't riding!).

    marty
    Sono pi lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  15. #15
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    Originally posted by lotek
    Agree with Toninator
    Dallas SUCKS....(transport wise!)
    there are some new trains, but they run to downtown
    only, and aren't very convenient to get to.
    and the busses.....well nuff said.
    Best transport I've ever seen was in Vienna.
    for 3 months while I was there never missed either
    car nor bike (except I wasn't riding!).

    marty
    I know a guy who spent his entire career working on the 610 loop. They are trying to put in a tram/train downtown though. It might be ready in time for the 2012 Olympics if we get it.
    MtbPhreek

  16. #16
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Toninator

    They are trying to put in a tram/train downtown though. It might be ready in time for the 2012 Olympics if we get it.
    The Toninator, you have just given me the idea for a new Olympic event! It will be called Bus Waiting, and will be an endurance event.

    I forgot to mention earlier that KC has no local train transport. There have been several "initiatives" to build a light-rail system, but as each time they were basically aimed at tourists, they were very wisely voted down.

    One trouble with KC is that there's a prevailing attitude that tourism and entertainment (! show me ) are the way to sustain the economy. The people who have the misfortune actually to live and attempt to work here are forgotten in the process.
    Last edited by JonR; 03-07-02 at 01:00 PM.

  17. #17
    Cyclist and village idiot ridealot's Avatar
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    The public bus system here is not to bad. Like JonR said as soon as you learn to ignore the rude/obnoxius people it is ok. THe bus system here has also been promising to put bike racks on the busses for the past two years. Still hoping that it happens.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by JonR

    The Toninator, you have just given me the idea for a new Olympic event! It will be called Bus Waiting, and will be an endurance event.

    One trouble with KC is that there's a prevailing attitude that tourism and entertainment (! show me ) are the way to sustain the economy. The people who have the misfortune actually to live and attempt to work here are forgotten in the process.
    Hehehe an endurance event.

    I installed a computer network for a company in KC/mo and i went to Kc/kc (or was it KC/mo) to gamble. Sorry but i didnt really like the area. It was worse than houston (thats pretty bad.)
    MtbPhreek

  19. #19
    Carfree since '82. Grrr! JonR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Toninator
    ...i went to Kc/kc (or was it KC/mo) to gamble. Sorry but i didnt really like the area. It was worse than houston (thats pretty bad.)
    You and me both. I've lived here 38 years and if I had the means, I'd move...somewhere. Kansas City has a fantastically wonderful geographic setting and as much potential as anyplace on earth, and generations of corrupt politics, inept planning, and peabrained Midwest brainwashed thinking have kept it from developing, and in fact sent it right downhill.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by JonR

    You and me both. I've lived here 38 years and if I had the means, I'd move...somewhere. Kansas City has a fantastically wonderful geographic setting and as much potential as anyplace on earth, and generations of corrupt politics, inept planning, and peabrained Midwest brainwashed thinking have kept it from developing, and in fact sent it right downhill.
    Oh sorry i forgot to mention that the landscape and climate was very nice. With the rolling hills and all in the area i was at but it was the populace/man made stuff i didnt really care for.
    MtbPhreek

  21. #21
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    Montreal is pretty good; buses, subway and commuter trains. It's good enough that you can do without a car- like I do. With public transport it's about half an hour to downtown from where I live. It would be faster but the buses that TAKE us to the subway station are not that great; the subway itself is pretty good, but buses could be better, and some areas are better served than others. The closer you are to downtown, the better the buses are. Around here, the buses suck- often I end up walking to the subway if I miss the bus. However, it's still a good system that enables you to get to most places without having to drive. Of course, the biggest drawback is that when you take the subway or bus, you have tot take it with people who take the subway or bus.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Our transit system is very similar to Wabbit's description of Montreal's system. Unfortunately, as more and more people live in Toronto and it's suburbs, the transit commision's funding has been considerably slashed. This does not make for good service. It does increase fares considerably, however. Of course, a new subway 'line to nowhere' boondoggle being implemented here makes me laugh.

    Fortunately, I ride my bikes everywhere so I don't really care.

  23. #23
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    I dont think our city should waste their money on so many busses........they all drive around polluting with only a few people on them.

  24. #24
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JonR

    You and me both. I've lived here 38 years and if I had the means, I'd move...somewhere.
    Those US dollars go a long way in Australia right now. I think you'd like it here, Jon.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  25. #25
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Originally posted by KleinMp99
    I dont think our city should waste their money on so many busses........they all drive around polluting with only a few people on them.
    Public transit accommodates those who are unable to drive or unable to afford a car and unable or unwilling to use a bicycle for transportation. It can also accommodate those who should not be permitted to drive, e.g. because of vehicular homicide, reckless driving, road rage, physical or mental deterioration, or DUI convictions. One benefit of a good public transit system is that it can save lives by making it easier for a judge and/or jury to take away someone's driving permit. The buses need cleaner fuel sources, and transit riders need incentives, such as speed (where rail excels during rush hour), convenience, or money.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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