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Old 04-09-2016, 09:51 AM   #541
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I used to live by King/Bathurst (2 blocks west) and most mornings could walk faster to my office at King/Bay than the streetcar would take me. Usually because 4-5 would pass me by totally full before I even got on.

TTC is brutal.
Ha, you lived at the exact same place I did until last weekend. I do the same thing but have to go to Queen and Yonge and it's true, i've walked there faster than the streetcar more than once.

My worst day was in February, it was - 20 and snowing and I had to let 7 full streetcars pass before i could squeeze on, and even then I was hanging off the back steps the whole way. Brutal. Can't wait to get my new bike.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:32 AM   #542
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I live that this thread has turned into a discussion on mass transit
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:35 AM   #543
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What the hell is this "public transit" of which y'all speak?

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What're the cities like?
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:35 AM   #544
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I live that this thread has turned into a discussion on mass transit

Was this deep's fault?
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:48 AM   #545
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I hope so
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:37 AM   #546
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What're the cities like?
Short answer: we drive everywhere.

More detail: The key takeaway is that the cities are really spread out with people commuting in all sorts of directions that make it really difficult to identify good urban-area-wide lines. And it'll all be very expensive. So we drive. A lot. But there are occasions where rail is useful in Dallas and Houston.

Here in Austin, we have a slow bus system combined with a somewhat bizarre commuter rail line that goes from one particular suburb to one particular area of downtown, and is useful for a very small number of commuters who happen to live in that one area of that suburb and work in that one area of downtown. And it took ten years of political fighting to get that. Austin voters just rejected a more comprehensive urban rail plan for reasons that are, frankly, kind of understandable. The city is just kind of scattered all over the place, with people living and working everywhere; from what I can tell, it's a bit hard to identify useful lines and it would all cost a ton of money. Meanwhile, city leaders spent twenty years pretending that Austin wasn't growing while it was actually exploding, so our highways are bursting and there's no money to improve them, as the gas tax is woefully low and the State has prioritized Dallas and Houston. I'm able to get to some places by walking from my apartment (most notably, of course, my university), but I drive a fair amount.

San Antonio is about the same as Austin, except they don't have any rail at all. Driving in San Antonio is maddening.

Dallas/Fort Worth has probably the most well-developed rail network in the state, but it obviously pales in comparison to even the shittiest rail networks in most other metro areas of comparable size (say SEPTA or the BART/Muni clusterfuck). But people still drive a lot, enabled by the fact that D/FW actually has a damn good freeway network with reasonable traffic. And the place is huge; the D/FW Metroplex is larger by land area than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Houston is a mess of sprawl with psychotic drivers who always do 30 mph above the speed limit when there's no traffic. But their traffic is pretty bad during rush hour, even with freeways that have 26 lanes. They are working on a rail network that's improving to the point of usefulness if you live in the inner loop. I'll probably be moving to Houston after I graduate from UT in May. My office is downtown and I plan to live in an inner suburb with a direct rail connection to right by my office, so that will actually be useful. But driving still happens a lot. Unfortunately, the trains all run at-grade, which causes the maddening problem of cars running into the trains quite often.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:45 AM   #547
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About Texas, though, I will say that it's hard to leave. I hate the summer heat and the social conservatism, no doubt. But it's also a rare place that offers plenty of the sort of upper middle class jobs we've been talking about on top of reasonable cost of living. There are plenty of nice suburbs like Plano (north of Dallas) where you can buy a perfectly good house for 300-400k, commute 30-45 minutes into your well-paying job downtown or uptown, and send your kids to the excellent nearby public school. I grew up dreaming of moving to the Northeast or California, but instead I ended up staying in Austin (where I grew up) for university and moving only to Dallas or Houston for full-time work after that. It's just so damn practical to live here in so many ways.

And we have the best damn tacos here.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:11 PM   #548
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Short answer: we drive everywhere.

Short response: you described Florida, its suburbs, and its cities to a tee. We drive everywhere. There's some funny bus systems that don't go anywhere. You see bus stops but you don't see busses. You're not sure who those busses service. There's two medium rail services in Florida: TriRail and SunRail (South Florida and Orlando). They both service very select people, and you still need a car to get to the stations.

Then, in some cities, there will be gimmick public transportation. In West Palm you'll see little "trollies" that don't seem to be on rails. Because they're not. They're just busses in skirts. Nobody knows why they're there. Tampa has an inner city rail system. People might use it to go from the parking lot to the Amalie Arena. Miami has a monorail system. I can't speak for that particular system, but I'm sure people drive to it.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:17 PM   #549
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I can't recall seeing any public transit anywhere in Florida, and I spent a week doing a loop of Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando. If you didn't have a car and needed to get somewhere it seemed like your only good option was a taxi.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:36 PM   #550
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I can't recall seeing any public transit anywhere in Florida, and I spent a week doing a loop of Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando. If you didn't have a car and needed to get somewhere it seemed like your only good option was a taxi.

I wouldn't call it a "good" option. It would be your "only" option. You'd have to call one up. Uber is your only option here, really.

Miami does have public transportation, albeit shitty. I can't speak for Jacksonville. As for Orlando, if you're caught in the Kissimmee/LBV bubble, there's Disney busses to and from parks to a couple of destinations. However, Orlando proper will not have anything aside from SunRail, which isn't something a tourist or visitor would see or be able to use.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:52 PM   #551
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Train transport in USA is naturally developing in corridors that have population density similarities to Western Europe.

I had a great experience taking Amtrak from Philadelphia to Raton, New Mexico with my Boy Scout Troop when I was 15. It had a double decker observation car and I'll always remember waking up to the Great Plains and Cattle Stockyards of central Kansas. I was Listening to my buddies Matthew Sweet cassette staring at the treeless expanse then a little boy tapped me on the shoulder and said 'Fuck Ted Cruz'. I was shocked at his salty tongue but looking back I believe him to be a modern-age prophet.


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Old 04-09-2016, 12:59 PM   #552
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I grew up in places where mot people use some kind of public transportation and i've used it pretty frequently. I didn't love it but it's fun sometimes.

in my country I think experience for public transit differs so much from places to places. ones in Tokyo/Yokohama are excruciatingly crowded and jam-packed, which really make you hate yourself riding it.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:24 PM   #553
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Short response: you described Florida, its suburbs, and its cities to a tee. We drive everywhere. There's some funny bus systems that don't go anywhere. You see bus stops but you don't see busses. You're not sure who those busses service. There's two medium rail services in Florida: TriRail and SunRail (South Florida and Orlando). They both service very select people, and you still need a car to get to the stations.

Then, in some cities, there will be gimmick public transportation. In West Palm you'll see little "trollies" that don't seem to be on rails. Because they're not. They're just busses in skirts. Nobody knows why they're there. Tampa has an inner city rail system. People might use it to go from the parking lot to the Amalie Arena. Miami has a monorail system. I can't speak for that particular system, but I'm sure people drive to it.

Florida does have the Walt Disney World Monorail System, though, which is (if I'm remembering correctly) the second most heavily used monorail system in the world. So there. Public transport.


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Old 04-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #554
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About Texas, though, I will say that it's hard to leave. I hate the summer heat and the social conservatism, no doubt. But it's also a rare place that offers plenty of the sort of upper middle class jobs we've been talking about on top of reasonable cost of living. There are plenty of nice suburbs like Plano (north of Dallas) where you can buy a perfectly good house for 300-400k, commute 30-45 minutes into your well-paying job downtown or uptown, and send your kids to the excellent nearby public school. I grew up dreaming of moving to the Northeast or California, but instead I ended up staying in Austin (where I grew up) for university and moving only to Dallas or Houston for full-time work after that. It's just so damn practical to live here in so many ways.

And we have the best damn tacos here.
Best tacos? Thems fighting words. I'll take my Baja style street tacos over anything.

Though SoCal public transit definitely has the same issues as Texas. We are so sprawled out its difficult to link things up. I'm one of the few people who live and work on the rail line. I only drive on weekends.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:25 PM   #555
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Florida does have the Walt Disney World Monorail System, though, which is (if I'm remembering correctly) the second most heavily used monorail system in the world. So there. Public transport.


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Hah, nice. In our little utopia, too, eh? Imagine all the places it might take you! Epcot? Yeah! Magic Kingdom? For sure! Animal Kingdom? Probably!
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