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The World's Ten Worst Public Transit Systems

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The World's Ten Worst Public Transit Systems

Old 07-04-13, 07:22 AM
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The World's Ten Worst Public Transit Systems

https://jalopnik.com/the-worlds-ten-w...mpaign=morning

Obviously a loaded statement. Obviously not scientifically researched. Obviously many flaws in the list, but I figured we could argue about it all anyway.

Toronto does not belong on that list. While the system is not ideal (no public transit system is), there is good coverage, the facilities are maintained and are generally clean, and it is widely used. With that said, our streetcars are old, and slow, but that is to be expected in a large/old city.
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Old 07-04-13, 07:30 AM
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I've never been, but I've heard the Boston train system is pretty legit.
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Old 07-04-13, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
I've never been, but I've heard the Boston train system is pretty legit.
I have used the Boston system a fair bit, DC occasionally, NYC occasionally, Chicago once, Atlanta several times.

They all have their idiosyncrasies. I don't know if there is really any way to fairly compare them. Each has it's own challenges to overcome.

I thought the comments on the MBTA (Boston) system were interesting. I have used the Wonderland Station (Blue Line) a fair bit as well as the others. It is a mix of different systems that were combined over the years. Supposedly it traces it roots to a private ferry system that dates to 1631!

My son lives and works in the Boston area and has a love/hate relationship with the "T". Of all the systems I have used I think it has the best coverage and is easy to use once you learn the ins and outs of it and where you want to go.

Yes they have outages, but I have also spent hours stuck on an interstate because it was shut down and there was no exit to access to get off.

I always look at the number of people on a subway car or bus and think to myself... I am damned glad that these people are riding this rather than driving single occupant vehicles!

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Old 07-04-13, 10:13 AM
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You have to wonder about the people who wrote those criticisms. My experience (from this forum and elsewhere) is that the harshest critics of any transit system are people who never even use the system.

For example, somebody says of the Boston system: "MBTA in Boston. Not only is in on a brink of bankruptcy, but the entire operation is run by a woman getting paid $220,000/year and it's still the worst transit system I've seen in my entire life." But 220K is not really very much to pay the CEO of a large and important company. Possibly part of the problem is that they aren't paying enough to attract good talent.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:31 AM
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My experience with the system in Boston over the years has been fine. Way way better than what most American cities have to offer, would be my guess.
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Old 07-04-13, 12:23 PM
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The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
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Old 07-04-13, 01:16 PM
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I do believe that Los Angeles area transit should be positioned more at the top (closer to #1 than the bottom # 10). Not only it is beyond just terrible and doesn't really go anywhere important (except mainly designed and intended for shuttling tourists to popular points of interests and overpriced clip joints), we just prefer cars around here. Our major loss over here!

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Old 07-04-13, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
Amen, brother.

Locally, our public transit system took the holiday off.
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Old 07-04-13, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
So right! Our local bus system has been named the best in North America for a medium size city. But many suburbs have no service because they opted out when the regional authority was established.

And, like Artkansas said, no holiday buses. 50,000 people will be coming to the downtown fireworks tonight and no buses. Seven dollar event parking but no buses.
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Old 07-04-13, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
And, like Artkansas said, no holiday buses. 50,000 people will be coming to the downtown fireworks tonight and no buses. Seven dollar event parking but no buses.
That's mad! Whenever there's a special event here, extra trains and buses are put on and people are encouraged to use them.
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Old 07-04-13, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
And, like Artkansas said, no holiday buses. 50,000 people will be coming to the downtown fireworks tonight and no buses. Seven dollar event parking but no buses.
I think those 50 000 people should just leave their cars at home and walk or take a bike instead, I am sure it wouldn't kill them to walk or bike few blocks. Finding a parking spot during special events must be a nightmare.
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Old 07-04-13, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jared. View Post
https://jalopnik.com/the-worlds-ten-w...mpaign=morning

Obviously a loaded statement. Obviously not scientifically researched. Obviously many flaws in the list, but I figured we could argue about it all anyway.

Toronto does not belong on that list. While the system is not ideal (no public transit system is), there is good coverage, the facilities are maintained and are generally clean, and it is widely used. With that said, our streetcars are old, and slow, but that is to be expected in a large/old city.
I lived in Toronto for many years and did a lot of biking there when I was yo0nug and it was fine as long as you stayed away from the street car tracks but where I am know I wouldn't dare go on the road. They drive like they are in India here.
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Old 07-04-13, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by werwer2012 View Post
I lived in Toronto for many years and did a lot of biking there when I was yo0nug and it was fine as long as you stayed away from the street car tracks but where I am know I wouldn't dare go on the road. They drive like they are in India here.
Which area/city are you in ??
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Old 07-04-13, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
I'd call no system at all a tie with a system that has dangerous bus drivers and no safety program.

Our bus drivers are horrific, largely in response to management-imposed time constraints. I sometimes wonder if the bikes on the front racks belong to riders or are trophies of the day's kills.
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Old 07-04-13, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I sometimes wonder if the bikes on the front racks belong to riders or are trophies of the day's kills.
I wish there were bike racks on our buses.
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Old 07-05-13, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Amen, brother.

Locally, our public transit system took the holiday off.
Ditto... no bus service at all on July 4th,

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Old 07-05-13, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
You have to wonder about the people who wrote those criticisms. My experience (from this forum and elsewhere) is that the harshest critics of any transit system are people who never even use the system.

For example, somebody says of the Boston system: "MBTA in Boston. Not only is in on a brink of bankruptcy, but the entire operation is run by a woman getting paid $220,000/year and it's still the worst transit system I've seen in my entire life." But 220K is not really very much to pay the CEO of a large and important company. Possibly part of the problem is that they aren't paying enough to attract good talent.
Exactly. And its Jalopnik.. so credibility kind of goes out the door.
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Old 07-05-13, 06:27 AM
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The Boston system could be one of the best, however corruption and politics have damaged it. The lack of maintenence is a scandal, and there have been financial manipulations which have shifted a lot of debt to the T, thus handicapping its ability to function. But you can't do without it, and it is beter than those cities with no public transit.
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Old 07-07-13, 06:31 PM
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I had to ride the train/tram/whatever into DC with a few friends once. There's no way to buy a SINGLE ticket, you have to purchase a card, but then you can use the card to pay for multiple people and somehow they end up with their own ticket stubs. It was thoroughly confusing.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
The worst system is no system at all.

I'll bet there are quite a few people who live in areas where there is no bus or train service who wouldn't mind having one of those 'ten worst' in their town.
Too true. They recently removed an unreliable, once an hour bus service from near my auntie to use the resource elsewhere. Now her and a lot of other people who are too old to drive can't get to the shops, trains stations, doctors etc without relying on someone else or shelling out for a taxi.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I had to ride the train/tram/whatever into DC with a few friends once. There's no way to buy a SINGLE ticket, you have to purchase a card, but then you can use the card to pay for multiple people and somehow they end up with their own ticket stubs. It was thoroughly confusing.
Don't feel bad. I'm sure a lot of ppeople who use transit one time are so confused and intimidated that they never try it again. We teach kids how to drive in high school but we never teach them how to take a trip by bus or train.
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Old 07-10-13, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Don't feel bad. I'm sure a lot of ppeople who use transit one time are so confused and intimidated that they never try it again. We teach kids how to drive in high school but we never teach them how to take a trip by bus or train.
It really is a shame. There should be a national bus card like they have in Europe for rail. You should be able to board any bus with this card for an entire month as many times you need. The exception would be for interstate bus lines like Grayhound for example.

A major complaint from the writer was that the buses do not intersect at all points forcing you to head downtown each time. Here's a good idea, why not use the bus line to get within a mile or two of your destination and just walk instead of going downtown to catch another bus that leaves you door to door? Heck, bring a Xootr kick scooter and now your one or two mile walk becomes enjoyable!

Or better yet, just move downtown and now you have access to every bus line! LOL!
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Old 07-10-13, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post

A major complaint from the writer was that the buses do not intersect at all points forcing you to head downtown each time. Here's a good idea, why not use the bus line to get within a mile or two of your destination and just walk instead of going downtown to catch another bus that leaves you door to door? Heck, bring a Xootr kick scooter and now your one or two mile walk becomes enjoyable!
Isn't that the rationale behind all bike-sharing programs... to get you to the last mile of your destination? I guess it's not the only tool in the box, but there are a lot of ways to tackle this issue.

And yes... moving downtown or to a good bus route is a smart move. For myself, I am about 300 feet from the best bus line in Des Moines... and it makes all the difference to my Plan B (ie, non cycling) transportation.
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Old 07-11-13, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Isn't that the rationale behind all bike-sharing programs... to get you to the last mile of your destination? I guess it's not the only tool in the box, but there are a lot of ways to tackle this issue.

And yes... moving downtown or to a good bus route is a smart move. For myself, I am about 300 feet from the best bus line in Des Moines... and it makes all the difference to my Plan B (ie, non cycling) transportation.
Or if no bike share, there should be bike racks on the buses. And I also agree about living downtown or on a good bus route. If I ever move again, it will probably be to a house within a block of our Number One bus route.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
It really is a shame. There should be a national bus card like they have in Europe for rail. You should be able to board any bus with this card for an entire month as many times you need. The exception would be for interstate bus lines like Grayhound for example.

A major complaint from the writer was that the buses do not intersect at all points forcing you to head downtown each time. Here's a good idea, why not use the bus line to get within a mile or two of your destination and just walk instead of going downtown to catch another bus that leaves you door to door? Heck, bring a Xootr kick scooter and now your one or two mile walk becomes enjoyable!

Or better yet, just move downtown and now you have access to every bus line! LOL!
National Bus Card... that would be interesting but with over 1,000 different bus systems in the country I don't see it happening anytime soon.

We have one of the hub and spoke type bus systems in the town nearby, at the outer ends of the routes they are 2-15 miles apart, walking those distances along a multilane highway with no sidewalks, crosswalks or any other sort of pedestrian facilities is deadly. Not to mention in many areas the roads don't fully connect so you would have to walk quite a bit more to not have to walk through woods and swamps.

Around here downtown is the last place to live, excessive crime and no services, no grocery stores. They are in the process of attempting to "revitalize" the downtown, again. Currently there are some boutiques, a few bars and bistro type places. Closest grocery store that is safe to access is over 5 miles way along a 6 lane road with no sidewalks and no direct bus service. Been there, lived there. All the buses have bike racks, but they are quite often full from the outer points all the way in.

BTW here is a link to the American Public Transportation Association Fact BooK a lot of interesting information in it.

Aaron
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