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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 02-08-14, 10:12 PM   #51
Dahon.Steve
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Maybe it's time to abandon the ubiquitous hub-and-spoke transit routes and move on to a grid pattern?

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/com...us-system/118/

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=194545
These were two good articles Roody. I spent alot of time researching the pros and cons searching for disatisfaction but didn't find many. It looks like the jobs all left the downtown area as a result of white flight and spread into the burbs.

Looking at the bus map, it appears the trips are much longer as the buses have to travel further into the burbs encircling a much wider distance than ever before. This added cost can be seen by the lack of night and weekend service. I was shocked to see most of the lines ending by 7 pm with little or no Saturday and Sunday service.

It's quite sad to see this radical departure in public transit for the following reasons. The bus stops were changed causing passengers to walk half a mile or more without sidewaks to the new stop. To get most locations requires a "transfer" to another line and if you miss this transfer, it's major wait time.

Another article pointed out the savings in time was minimal overall from the old system. What was eliminated was weekend and night service so the transit user saw huge cuts in service.
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Old 02-08-14, 10:44 PM   #52
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Maybe it's time to abandon the ubiquitous hub-and-spoke transit routes and move on to a grid pattern?

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=194545
I found the article in Skyscraperpage interesting.

You know something must be wrong when the article is using statistics to lie. You can see how the writer took the "Direct Services" system which is the type most transit is in America and made it look longer.

First, the transit rider who knows the bus schedule does not wait 15 minutes in the morning at the bus stop. The writer did this to make the trip look longer than it should. Since the wait time at the bus stop is 5 minutes, the entire trip is 25 minutes, a full 5 minutes less than using the more complex system of transfers.

Direct Services -- Old system
Wait 15 minutes
+ Ride 20 minutes
= 35 Minutes

Connective Option -- New System
Wait 5 minutes
+ Ride 10 minutes
+ Wait 5 minutes
+ Ride 10 minutes
= 30 minutes.

Furthermore, a lot more can go wrong when you depend on a system of transfers because traffic or an accident can delay a bus causing you to miss the transfer. Furthermore, if the driver calls in sick, a bus breaks down or any numerous issues can cause a missed connecction. Finally, transferring might mean having to stand in a crowded cabin of the next bus! No thanks!

I think a better option would be to eliminate bus stops so they are quarter of a mile apart, similar to lightrail. Better yet, why not have bus rapid transit and skip this whole transfer business.
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Old 02-09-14, 12:00 AM   #53
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Many cities are not built on a grid system.

Hobart is built on the sides of hills and Mt Wellington. There's very little that is "grid" about it. And it make sense to have the centre of town as the hub.
Further to this ...

Hobart is shaped sort of like a sideways T .... like this:

^ |-

The carat is Mt Wellington, the vertical bar and dash are where people live. The gap between the vertical bar and dash is the Derwent River and the area below the dash, and to the right of the vertical bar is bay ... all water.

If you want to go from the end of one point to the end of another point, you pretty much have to go through the centre of town. That sort of setup lends itself very well to a hub-and-spoke style, and not very well to a grid system ... and that's where terrain can make quite a difference.
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Old 02-09-14, 12:19 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
I found the article in Skyscraperpage interesting.

You know something must be wrong when the article is using statistics to lie. You can see how the writer took the "Direct Services" system which is the type most transit is in America and made it look longer.

First, the transit rider who knows the bus schedule does not wait 15 minutes in the morning at the bus stop. The writer did this to make the trip look longer than it should. Since the wait time at the bus stop is 5 minutes, the entire trip is 25 minutes, a full 5 minutes less than using the more complex system of transfers.

Direct Services -- Old system
Wait 15 minutes
+ Ride 20 minutes
= 35 Minutes

Connective Option -- New System
Wait 5 minutes
+ Ride 10 minutes
+ Wait 5 minutes
+ Ride 10 minutes
= 30 minutes.

Furthermore, a lot more can go wrong when you depend on a system of transfers because traffic or an accident can delay a bus causing you to miss the transfer. Furthermore, if the driver calls in sick, a bus breaks down or any numerous issues can cause a missed connecction. Finally, transferring might mean having to stand in a crowded cabin of the next bus! No thanks!

I think a better option would be to eliminate bus stops so they are quarter of a mile apart, similar to lightrail. Better yet, why not have bus rapid transit and skip this whole transfer business.
Good observations.

I didn't understand the need for a 15 minute wait time either. I think they were just using that as a median wait time for a bus that runs twice an hour. But in real life you wouldn't wait that long if you knew the schedule. I usually get to the stop 4 or 5 minutes early, just in case the bus is running a bit early. But usually they are punctual here.

Another disadvantage of the grid pattern is that you have to wait for transfers at a street-side bus stop. With a hub-and-spoke system, you transfer at the central bus station (the hub).

A disadvantage of the hub-and-spoke is that it's annoying and counter-intuitive to many people that you "have to go south (to the bus station) in order to go east." This is a complaint you see on this forum a lot: "I have to go five miles out of my way in order to travel two miles." This never really bothered me personally, but it does annoy people who are accustomed to driving their car directly to their destination.
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Old 02-09-14, 12:31 AM   #55
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Further to this ...

Hobart is shaped sort of like a sideways T .... like this:

^ |-

The carat is Mt Wellington, the vertical bar and dash are where people live. The gap between the vertical bar and dash is the Derwent River and the area below the dash, and to the right of the vertical bar is bay ... all water.

If you want to go from the end of one point to the end of another point, you pretty much have to go through the centre of town. That sort of setup lends itself very well to a hub-and-spoke style, and not very well to a grid system ... and that's where terrain can make quite a difference.
Thanks for the explanation. I was also looking at a map of Winnipeg, which you mentioned earlier. The main streets do radiate like spokes from the downtown. It looks like there are three or four different grid areas, each aligned on a different directional axis. Weird! Was it planned this way, or just spring up? It looks, from the map, like Winnipeg could have arisen from three different towns that merged together.
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Old 02-09-14, 02:16 AM   #56
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Thanks for the explanation. I was also looking at a map of Winnipeg, which you mentioned earlier. The main streets do radiate like spokes from the downtown. It looks like there are three or four different grid areas, each aligned on a different directional axis. Weird! Was it planned this way, or just spring up? It looks, from the map, like Winnipeg could have arisen from three different towns that merged together.
It sprang up that way ... and was several little towns, villages, municipalities or whatever you want to call them.

Winnipeg itself was built on the junction of the Red River and Assiniboine River, and I'd guess that all the other little villages around just took the quickest, most direct route to Winnipeg, and that's how the roads developed like spokes.


http://winnipeg.ca/Services/CityLife...calProfile.stm
"In 1972, the unified City of Winnipeg was created by amalgamating the following 13 municipalities, towns and cities:"

And then it lists the 13 municipalities, towns and cities.
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Old 02-11-14, 08:31 PM   #57
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This is what counts for public transportation in my area: http://www.newarkohio.net/city-servi...ograms/transit

It's basically a bus-shaped taxi service, primarily intended for the elderly and disabled (they get half-price) and presumably single parents (first child is free, subsequent children are $1).

If it's between 06:00 and 21:00 M-F, 10:00 and 18:00 Saturday, and 08:00 and 15:00 Sunday, and you call one business day before the ride, it's $4. Call the same day, it's $6.

If you want service between 05:00 and 06:00 or 21:00 and 23:00 on M-F, or 08:00 to 10:00 Saturday, you have to call two business days ahead, and it's $5.

There's no fixed bus routes, although that has been a political issue here as of late.
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Old 02-11-14, 09:07 PM   #58
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This is what counts for public transportation in my area: http://www.newarkohio.net/city-servi...ograms/transit

It's basically a bus-shaped taxi service, primarily intended for the elderly and disabled (they get half-price) and presumably single parents (first child is free, subsequent children are $1).

If it's between 06:00 and 21:00 M-F, 10:00 and 18:00 Saturday, and 08:00 and 15:00 Sunday, and you call one business day before the ride, it's $4. Call the same day, it's $6.

If you want service between 05:00 and 06:00 or 21:00 and 23:00 on M-F, or 08:00 to 10:00 Saturday, you have to call two business days ahead, and it's $5.

There's no fixed bus routes, although that has been a political issue here as of late.
This kind of service is a little better than nothing, but it still sucks!

I lived in a small town briefly with similar on-demand bus service. The town was 21 miles from the city where I worked. The little shuttle bus would take me through two other small towns and dump me off at a mall on the outskirts of the city. From the mall I took a city bus to work. I had to leave at noon to get to work at 3:00 PM. Coming home eight hours later, there was no bus at all.
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Old 02-12-14, 11:07 PM   #59
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This is what counts for public transportation in my area: http://www.newarkohio.net/city-servi...ograms/transit

It's basically a bus-shaped taxi service, primarily intended for the elderly and disabled (they get half-price) and presumably single parents (first child is free, subsequent children are $1).

If it's between 06:00 and 21:00 M-F, 10:00 and 18:00 Saturday, and 08:00 and 15:00 Sunday, and you call one business day before the ride, it's $4. Call the same day, it's $6.

If you want service between 05:00 and 06:00 or 21:00 and 23:00 on M-F, or 08:00 to 10:00 Saturday, you have to call two business days ahead, and it's $5.

There's no fixed bus routes, although that has been a political issue here as of late.
Wow! You have my condolences. That is expensive.

What's so funny is the city in New Jersey that has the most transit with over 20 bus lines, 6 rail lines including light rail is Newark! LOL!
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Old 02-13-14, 12:03 AM   #60
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A disadvantage of the hub-and-spoke is that it's annoying and counter-intuitive to many people that you "have to go south (to the bus station) in order to go east." This is a complaint you see on this forum a lot: "I have to go five miles out of my way in order to travel two miles." This never really bothered me personally, but it does annoy people who are accustomed to driving their car directly to their destination.
The time factor can be significant. In my first job in Arkansas, I lived across the street from the end of one bus route, and the parking lot of the company I worked at was the end of another bus route. But I always pedaled to work. It was a half an hour pedal but a two hour bus trip. I could walk the trip faster than taking the bus.
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Old 02-13-14, 01:01 AM   #61
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The time factor can be significant. In my first job in Arkansas, I lived across the street from the end of one bus route, and the parking lot of the company I worked at was the end of another bus route. But I always pedaled to work. It was a half an hour pedal but a two hour bus trip. I could walk the trip faster than taking the bus.
That sounds like a problem with route timing and scheduling. I bet there was a long wait at the bus station (hub) for the second bus. I don't know any other way to account for a two hour trip time, which I feel is excessive in a city the size of Little Rock.

This is poor planning by the bus company, and passengers should call them to task. It should be fixable.
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Old 02-13-14, 06:06 AM   #62
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I found the article in Skyscraperpage interesting.



First, the transit rider who knows the bus schedule does not wait 15 minutes in the morning at the bus stop. The writer did this to make the trip look longer than it should. Since the wait time at the bus stop is 5 minutes, the entire trip is 25 minutes, a full 5 minutes less than using the more complex system of transfers.
Maybe... out local transit system has schedules posted at the stops. I have used the system in the past, buses could be as much as 10 minutes early or 30 minutes late, resulting in a 45 minute wait in a worst case scenario. They currently only run on the hour, so you definitely DON'T want to miss one. My parents live about 20 miles from me, closest bus stop is 12 miles away, leaving 7 miles to take by bus, it would take almost an hour to make that 7 mile trip, involves a transfer AND you still have a mile to walk on the far end. Route coverage is piss poor and is concentrated on the low income areas and does little to service the general public. It is the first thing to get cut when money becomes tight. I rode the bus regularly back in the 1980's and the service was better then.

Aaron
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Old 02-13-14, 06:24 AM   #63
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Here, they post the schedules at the bus stops ... and also online.

So the other day, I knew I was going to have to take a later bus than I usually take, and I wasn't sure when it left. Instead of dashing out to the bus stop to check or just taking my chances ... I checked the online schedule.

If I had one of those Smart Phones or something similar, I could probably get the schedule there too, as well as info about any delays.
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Old 02-13-14, 08:58 AM   #64
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Here, they post the schedules at the bus stops ... and also online.

So the other day, I knew I was going to have to take a later bus than I usually take, and I wasn't sure when it left. Instead of dashing out to the bus stop to check or just taking my chances ... I checked the online schedule.

If I had one of those Smart Phones or something similar, I could probably get the schedule there too, as well as info about any delays.
Not all systems provide "real time" information. The one nearest me most definitely does not. I also use the mass transit in Boston, MA a fair bit, a goodly part of that system does have real time info. In some cases the station boards will let you know too. The one line I use the most doesn't have real time information... yet.

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Old 02-13-14, 10:11 AM   #65
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Not all systems provide "real time" information. The one nearest me most definitely does not. I also use the mass transit in Boston, MA a fair bit, a goodly part of that system does have real time info. In some cases the station boards will let you know too. The one line I use the most doesn't have real time information... yet.

Aaron
the bus company here isn't doing it yet either.

As I understand it, the transit company doesn't have to do much of anything to provide real time information. They just have to give google and other apps permission to access data that they already have. Most companies already have GPS systems to track their buses or trains, so it's a matter of making that info public.

Like you imply, it seems like this is so easy, cheap and helpful that it's only a matter of time....
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Old 02-13-14, 10:20 AM   #66
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That sounds like a problem with route timing and scheduling. I bet there was a long wait at the bus station (hub) for the second bus. I don't know any other way to account for a two hour trip time, which I feel is excessive in a city the size of Little Rock.

This is poor planning by the bus company, and passengers should call them to task. It should be fixable.
Not easily fixable. The problem is that, as I said, both locations were at the end of the bus route. To connect the two, you had to ride all the way into the Transit Center in downtown. So it was approaching an hour's ride each way. And with about a 15-20 minute wait between rides, you've burned two hours. They have made changes. The route that terminated by where I worked was rerouted so it now terminates by a new shopping center. Problem solved.
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Old 02-13-14, 11:56 AM   #67
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Not easily fixable. The problem is that, as I said, both locations were at the end of the bus route. To connect the two, you had to ride all the way into the Transit Center in downtown. So it was approaching an hour's ride each way. And with about a 15-20 minute wait between rides, you've burned two hours. They have made changes. The route that terminated by where I worked was rerouted so it now terminates by a new shopping center. Problem solved.
This is what we are stuck with. There really shouldn't be a 15-20 minute wait for the second bus at the hub station. All of the buses should arrive and depart at the same time.

The funding is always the main problem for public transit. But it doesn't help when they do a bad job with what little they have been given.
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Old 02-14-14, 10:16 PM   #68
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We had snow storms this week and now I have a new found respect for the Mexican Jitney vans. The buses run by New Jersey Transit were told to stop providing service due to the storm! However, I had no trouble getting to work thanks to the Jitney vans. The Mexican drivers were riding in that horrible weather to earn their money and I have alot respect for that. I was able to arrive at work 20 minutes early since my driver was fast! We have multiple bus lines but the vans are an added service that really comes in handy when the weather is terrible. I don't know why more cities don't employ them and they are 40% less than the bus!

The beauty of being carfree is that I did not have to spend any time or energy digging out an automobile. That are hundreds of cars on the street burried in snow and ice as we speak. There's no place to park because mounds of snow are taking up 20-40% of on street parking. If you do dig your car out, you'll lose your spot and have to dig yourself another spot! No thanks.

I also noticed the lightrail still working during the heart of the storm while the buses (except Jitneys) were told to discontinue service for safty reasons. The lightrail was the main reason I moved to my town in the first place. This past snow storm affirmed my decision.

One more thing. I usually see one person going to work on a bicycle but this past storm took them all off the road. I'm glad being carfree did not force me to ride my bike on the streets for transportation during this storm.
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Old 02-14-14, 10:27 PM   #69
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Not all systems provide "real time" information. The one nearest me most definitely does not. I also use the mass transit in Boston, MA a fair bit, a goodly part of that system does have real time info. In some cases the station boards will let you know too. The one line I use the most doesn't have real time information... yet.

Aaron
We have "My Bus" in New Jesrey. It's an automated system where you call and enter the bus stop ID located at bus stop and it will tell you when the next one arrives. I don't use this but it does work for those don't make use of the bus schedule.
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Old 03-07-14, 04:45 AM   #70
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We have "My Bus" in New Jesrey. It's an automated system where you call and enter the bus stop ID located at bus stop and it will tell you when the next one arrives. I don't use this but it does work for those don't make use of the bus schedule.
They had that in Winnipeg too, when I used the bus there a decade ago. I used it a few times, and it was helpful.
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Old 04-17-14, 05:02 PM   #71
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I live in the mid-west, a rural county, though its growing..the nearest big city (170k) is 29 miles south.
There is a county transit, but it is demand response system..meaning you have to call for a ride..that would be good, except due to cuts, they only have a handful of buses on the road at anytime, so you must call a few days ahead time (usually like 7) to reserve your ride. The one way fare is $4.00. The buses do serve door to door, but are often late..also service stops at 6pm..you better be on the bus by 5pm, I been told.
The county commissioners can care less about transit here..they have said publicly that only 4%of the county ever uses transit anyhow.
now there is a cab service that serves the three rural counties adjacent to each other..it comprises of regular people using thier cars as cabs..often very old cars at that..the fare within town $10 oneway, to other towns $20 one way, to the big city (29 miles away) $50 one way.
there use to be a greyhound bus stop in town, that would stop like twice a day..but was eliminated five years ago.
No train service..except the freight trains that roll through town!
the nearest fixed route is the county south of me..which is 21 miles a way..those buses have bike racks, and run about every hour..though go through a real bad part of town before hitting downtown.
the county North to me has the same demand response system as well as the county west of me..but that county actually has great service I been told.
so..I walk or ride my bike everywhere..borrow a car from time to time in the cold months..I was car free for awhile in mid 200's, but got married and that went to the waist-side..but now, this month actually we are both going car free!
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Old 05-21-14, 06:15 PM   #72
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I was chatting to a coworker the other day ...

He told me he occasionally sees me standing at the bus stop as he drives by ... but that I arrive at work before he does.

The bus is actually quite efficient. It pushes its way through traffic, the route is fairly direct, there is only one stop between where I get picked up and where I get dropped off, and where I get dropped off, it's only a short walk to work.

Whereas, although he drives past the bus stop and I'm still standing there, he ends up sitting in traffic, and then has to find parking some distance away and walk from there.
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Old 05-21-14, 06:29 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by carfreeforme View Post
I live in the mid-west, a rural county, though its growing..the nearest big city (170k) is 29 miles south.
There is a county transit, but it is demand response system..meaning you have to call for a ride..that would be good, except due to cuts, they only have a handful of buses on the road at anytime, so you must call a few days ahead time (usually like 7) to reserve your ride. The one way fare is $4.00. The buses do serve door to door, but are often late..also service stops at 6pm..you better be on the bus by 5pm, I been told.
The county commissioners can care less about transit here..they have said publicly that only 4%of the county ever uses transit anyhow.
now there is a cab service that serves the three rural counties adjacent to each other..it comprises of regular people using thier cars as cabs..often very old cars at that..the fare within town $10 oneway, to other towns $20 one way, to the big city (29 miles away) $50 one way.
there use to be a greyhound bus stop in town, that would stop like twice a day..but was eliminated five years ago.
No train service..except the freight trains that roll through town!
the nearest fixed route is the county south of me..which is 21 miles a way..those buses have bike racks, and run about every hour..though go through a real bad part of town before hitting downtown.
the county North to me has the same demand response system as well as the county west of me..but that county actually has great service I been told.
so..I walk or ride my bike everywhere..borrow a car from time to time in the cold months..I was car free for awhile in mid 200's, but got married and that went to the waist-side..but now, this month actually we are both going car free!
carfreeforme, just wondering what you'll eventually do when you are unable to ride you bike? Do you have some other transportation lined up. It seems like the stars of public transit are not aligned in your favor.
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Old 05-21-14, 07:02 PM   #74
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I've got two options train and bus. The train runs often typically every 12 mins., but low coverage. The buses have excellent coverage, but poor time schedule, except major routes to city center. The bus schedule for my inner burb location to train station is horrible time table. I have to walk a mile to get to it. At the far terminus of the train route I have to transfer to a different bus which lets me off 1/2 mile from work, in the inner burbs at the far opposite side of town. I have a consistent start time and can actually string together a nice route in the morning, but in the evening my hours vary and the first bus I need to catch only runs every hour. Then doesn't sync up well with train schedule or bus at other end. For now I bike train bike.
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Old 05-21-14, 07:11 PM   #75
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In Pullman, we have a pretty extensive bus system. I have a stop not 200 feet from my apartment. It gets you where you need to go, but it takes a long time (~30 mins to get to campus 2.5 miles away...). Some areas have the "Express" busses, which run every 10-15 mins so that nice, but it'd be good if they sped up some of the other routes. I like it because, as a student, the bus fares are covered with our student fees, so you show your student ID you get on the bus. I also like that they've recently introduced "hybrid" busses, but honestly, I'd rather ride in. It's faster and not as smelly
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