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    Thread: What will it take to get/force you out of your car and into some other form of transit?

    1. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 07:26 AM #106
      I don't think I will go without a car for a long time, but my car has taken a back seat to my motorbike for the last year, and I like it that way.
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      10-09-2012 07:37 AM #107
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      I don't think I will go without a car for a long time, but my car has taken a back seat to my motorbike for the last year, and I like it that way.
      So the mixed metaphors mean walking, bicycle, or public transportation for your kids?
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    3. 10-09-2012 07:44 AM #108
      I already do it almost everyday.

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      10-09-2012 08:32 AM #109
      Can't get rid of car.

      Live in rural area.
      Work in rural area.
      No mass transit between those two, or to anywhere populated.
      Not moving to where I work.

      The only thing that exists for me is carpooling and vanpooling, and the vanpool would require even more changes to life style (currently would require me leaving the house 40 minutes earlier, and drive 15 minutes to get to rally point)

      So yea...
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      10-09-2012 10:14 AM #110
      All this just reminded me of when I read a book on the history of Grand Prairie, TX. Now Grand Prairie is part of the Metroplex (greater DFW area), the Mid-Cities specifically and has no public transportation to speak of, nor is it in any way bicycle friendly. In other words, it's the typical Southern city.

      But at the turn of the 19th Century in the time of horse buggies and the almost non-existent automobile (the first of which was purchased IIRC by a doctor in 1904 or 1908) Grand Prairie, dirt roads and all, had a trolley system that connected all the way into Dallas (and perhaps Fort Worth, but I don't remember).

      This is the story of many US cities: there was better public transportation at the dawn of the 20th century than during the 21st century.

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      10-09-2012 10:32 AM #111
      I have been riding my Cannondale mountain bike to work off and on since 2005. In Detroit I used to ride 3x per week and drove my car in the other two days.

      Here in Nashville the routes are not as friendly to bikes, so I ride once a week.



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      10-09-2012 10:40 AM #112
      decent rail system.... right now if i was to take a bus to work it would take me 1.5 hours to get there with a transfer.

      Driving it takes me about 20-25 minutes each morning.

      I thought of taking rail to see my family that lives 1.5 hours down I5.... it costs $40 each way

      it is near 80 miles (85 to be exact), and say i get 20mpg driving like an idiot (i can avg 27-30 on the freeway). That is 4 gallons I use one way, so gas would have to get over $10/gallon
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      10-09-2012 11:09 AM #113
      I finally did it today. I am back on the bus. The truck is about out of gas, and I decided that I am not putting any gas in it at all until my next paycheck.

      All it really took was my wife kicking me out of bed 10 minutes earlier than normal today. She also dropped me off at the bus stop on her way to work, so that makes it a bit more convenient. I am going to stick with it though....it will save me over $150 a month if I can stay on the bus just for my work trips.
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    9. Member Egz's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 11:10 AM #114
      Quote Originally Posted by BluMagic View Post
      decent rail system.... right now if i was to take a bus to work it would take me 1.5 hours to get there with a transfer.

      Driving it takes me about 20-25 minutes each morning.

      I thought of taking rail to see my family that lives 1.5 hours down I5.... it costs $40 each way

      it is near 80 miles (85 to be exact), and say i get 20mpg driving like an idiot (i can avg 27-30 on the freeway). That is 4 gallons I use one way, so gas would have to get over $10/gallon
      I know the feeling.

      To visit my family, it is 300mi each way. Cheapest toll route is $10 total.
      Roundtrip: 600mi / 37MPG * $3.60 = $58 for gas + $10 tolls = $68 total

      I took a one-way train home because I brought a car up to them. It was $70 one way (and another 30 for business, but not counting that). And that still puts me an hour away from home to the train station, and the 45 minutes from my family to their station.

      Needs to be a better way.

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      10-09-2012 11:20 AM #115
      Quote Originally Posted by uncle_scott View Post
      I finally did it today. I am back on the bus. The truck is about out of gas, and I decided that I am not putting any gas in it at all until my next paycheck.

      All it really took was my wife kicking me out of bed 10 minutes earlier than normal today. She also dropped me off at the bus stop on her way to work, so that makes it a bit more convenient. I am going to stick with it though....it will save me over $150 a month if I can stay on the bus just for my work trips.
      Listen to music or read a book/magazine while on the bus. It makes things a lot more fun and relaxing.

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      10-09-2012 11:21 AM #116
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      Convenience.
      This.

      If I had access to a good public transportation system (something like in London/Tokyo/Paris), then I'd get rid of the car in a heart beat.

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      10-09-2012 11:21 AM #117
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      10-09-2012 11:35 AM #118
      Quote Originally Posted by Elbows View Post
      While I'll always own a car - I'd gladly take another form of transportation if it was available. But it would have to be a better alternative.

      -Convenient
      -Cost effective (I spend perhaps $5 per day on gas, a little over a gallon or so)
      -Timely (I'm not going to spend an extra 30 minutes each way etc.)
      -Available at all hours
      -Clean and decent

      I would also ride my bike to work if I lived within say 2-3 miles of work, which I don't. It's not some diehard addiction to the car, merely no genuinely alternative.
      pretty much this. the problem is that public transit systems like this are nearly non-existent in places that aren't major metro areas. i used to ride my bike to work on occasion, but its 4 miles and i'm not doing that during winter in Michigan.
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    14. 10-09-2012 12:15 PM #119
      I currently drive to our commuter light rail system, as I work in downtown Chicago. For me, Metra is the only way to efficiently get to my job and back, and its very stress free and relatively low cost.

      For my wife, public transit is ABSOLUTELY NOT an option, as she commutes suburb-to-suburb with no public transport option. She also commutes from our suburb out to Northern Illinois University, 45 minutes west of us out in the sticks. In anticipation of this, I bought her a Prius which we will be keeping long term. This has to continue for about 3 years...once she graduates, we might sell our house and move to a suburb where we can both use the same train line (i.e. a trainline that allows her to commute suburb-to-suburb using the inbound train....UP-NW from Crystal Lake to Arlington Heights, for those of you Chicagoans)...

      In short - we both need cars, but we are trying to use public transit as much as is convenient.
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      10-09-2012 12:37 PM #120
      How many cities in the US have good public transportation systems?

      By good I mean that a person can get around with real flexibility. Not just 1 commuter bus to and from suburbia to city center at 8am and 6pm.

      NYC, Chicago, Boston... where else?

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      10-09-2012 12:47 PM #121
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      How many cities in the US have good public transportation systems?

      By good I mean that a person can get around with real flexibility. Not just 1 commuter bus to and from suburbia to city center at 8am and 6pm.

      NYC, Chicago, Boston... where else?
      It's a pretty short list, you might ad DC and Portland but otherwise not much.

      By American standards, our bus system here is pretty good but by international standards it's barely adequate. When I worked in the burbs, I could take the bus but my commute more than doubled vs driving. Now going downtown taking the bus is about +10 minutes, which is reasonable given how much money I save.

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      10-09-2012 12:52 PM #122
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      How many cities in the US have good public transportation systems?

      By good I mean that a person can get around with real flexibility. Not just 1 commuter bus to and from suburbia to city center at 8am and 6pm.

      NYC, Chicago, Boston... where else?
      I am guessing many major U.S. cities have decent bus services and connections.

      But if you are talking more specifically about cities with rail, probably not many.

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      10-09-2012 01:11 PM #123
      Quote Originally Posted by Egz View Post
      I know the feeling.

      To visit my family, it is 300mi each way. Cheapest toll route is $10 total.
      Roundtrip: 600mi / 37MPG * $3.60 = $58 for gas + $10 tolls = $68 total

      I took a one-way train home because I brought a car up to them. It was $70 one way (and another 30 for business, but not counting that). And that still puts me an hour away from home to the train station, and the 45 minutes from my family to their station.

      Needs to be a better way.


      yeah so dumb... if i want to go to a football game and everyone can drink it takes a bus and a train to get there then like 3 buses and many hours to get home unless I want to stop drinking and get back on the train to go home at like 6:30pm yeah right.
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      10-09-2012 01:20 PM #124
      I really like the idea of a non-car dependent life (still own a car but don't have to use it daily).

      I take the metro to work every day, but have to drive to the metro station. I have taken the bus to the metro station and if the timing works out is good, but I'm typically waiting for the bus in at least one direction. I am looking for a new job and talking with 3 companies, all within 12 miles of home (one is 2 times form my house). If I end up working for any of these, I'll bike to work when it's decent out, hopefully averaging 3x per week.

      I live in an area where I can walk to shops, a few restaurants and bars, the grocery store, etc. I really like that. I hate needing to drive to short errands.

      Our next house will be in an even more walkable area. Not downtown but maybe one of the neighborhoods just outside of the city where there are lots of places within walking/biking distance, you can walk to transportation, etc., but still have a bit of space to yourself. To me, that is a great way to live.

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      10-09-2012 01:22 PM #125
      Already kind of out of my car to go to school. I take the bus because parking and gas it too expensive. We also have a really good bus system where I live with a reserved bus lane to go to Montreal so its faster too.

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      10-09-2012 01:26 PM #126
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0_Mazda View Post
      Already kind of out of my car to go to school. I take the bus because parking and gas it too expensive. We also have a really good bus system where I live with a reserved bus lane to go to Montreal so its faster too.
      Montreal has the best transit system of any major city in canada.
      I've read that it was designed at a time when montreal was expected to be canada's largest city, hence the capacity and reach.
      The TTC in toronto is massive, but completely overwhelmed by demand.
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      10-09-2012 01:36 PM #127
      id leave my car for a different form of transportation today if i could. if something as cheap and convenient was available to me.

      as a hobby, i will never leave cars. nothing besides no more roads could change that.
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      10-09-2012 02:04 PM #128
      Having to work in DC was the tipping point for me...no way I'm driving in.
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      10-09-2012 02:20 PM #129
      Quote Originally Posted by JMURiz View Post
      Having to work in DC was the tipping point for me...no way I'm driving in.
      When I lived in NW DC I ended up working in as a car-based courier for larger packages. It sucked- so many parking tickets. The Metro was great for meeting friends and seeing the city though- unless I was going to Georgetown.
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    25. 10-09-2012 02:29 PM #130
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      How many cities in the US have good public transportation systems?

      By good I mean that a person can get around with real flexibility. Not just 1 commuter bus to and from suburbia to city center at 8am and 6pm.

      NYC, Chicago, Boston... where else?
      That's the thing with our public transit system....it only works if you want to go into the city.

      If you want to go from the western Burbs to the NW burbs (i.e. Elgin IL to Arlington Heights)...well...forget it. We don't have a transit system for that.

      Honestly we should have a radial train system with two or three rings around the city to service suburb-to-suburb.
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      10-09-2012 03:32 PM #131
      Quote Originally Posted by moose82 View Post
      I live in an area where I can walk to shops, a few restaurants and bars, the grocery store, etc. I really like that. I hate needing to drive to short errands.

      Our next house will be in an even more walkable area. Not downtown but maybe one of the neighborhoods just outside of the city where there are lots of places within walking/biking distance, you can walk to transportation, etc., but still have a bit of space to yourself. To me, that is a great way to live.
      That's the way to go.

      When I was growing up, my family lived in a 400sqft condo (probably even less)--in the densest, grittiest neighborhood you can imagine. Public transportation was totally awesome, but everything else wasn't.

      In the U.S., we have the luxury of space. Sometimes people take that for granted and think that the only responsible way to live is to pack like sardines in high-rises.

      To me, a walkable suburban neighborhood with effective public transportation is ideal.

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      10-09-2012 03:36 PM #132
      Well I currently reside in the city and parking is not an option, so I guess in general if I move from a rural to an urban environment, then that'll force me out of my car.

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      10-09-2012 03:56 PM #133
      Quote Originally Posted by Preppy View Post
      Montreal has the best transit system of any major city in canada.
      I've read that it was designed at a time when montreal was expected to be canada's largest city, hence the capacity and reach.
      The TTC in toronto is massive, but completely overwhelmed by demand.
      Have you been to Montreal? Public transport here SUCKS. Its great if you live within a few sq kms of downtown, but the island of montreal is not covered. Not even close. I live almost 40 kms from the nearest metro station. Our train system is OK, but if you miss the train at 6 45 or 715, the next one is at 9 I think? And then it does not resume till morning...
      The Buses aren't good in the suburbs either (Im not THAT far from downtown) some times it makes more sense (time wise) to walk. The subway cars are not air conditioned either, and the number of stations that are accessible to people in wheel chairs is quite sad.
      For the taxes we pay here, id expect more. A LOT more.
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      10-09-2012 04:00 PM #134
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      That's the way to go.

      When I was growing up, my family lived in a 400sqft condo (probably even less)--in the densest, grittiest neighborhood you can imagine. Public transportation was totally awesome, but everything else wasn't.

      In the U.S., we have the luxury of space. Sometimes people take that for granted and think that the only responsible way to live is to pack like sardines in high-rises.

      To me, a walkable suburban neighborhood with effective public transportation is ideal.
      Agreed. Being able to wake up on Sunday morning, walk your dog, grab a coffee then sit in the park for a bit. Walk to a restaurant or a friend's house. If you can walk to a bus or metro stop to easily get to work. The whole idea of that is so appealing to me. I'm in the burbs now and it makes everything more time consuming than it needs to be. Luckily I can walk and bike to several places.

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      10-09-2012 04:02 PM #135
      complete financial ruin

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      10-09-2012 04:05 PM #136
      Quote Originally Posted by MK5golf View Post
      Have you been to Montreal? Public transport here SUCKS. Its great if you live within a few sq kms of downtown, but the island of montreal is not covered. Not even close. I live almost 40 kms from the nearest metro station. Our train system is OK, but if you miss the train at 6 45 or 715, the next one is at 9 I think? And then it does not resume till morning...
      The Buses aren't good in the suburbs either (Im not THAT far from downtown) some times it makes more sense (time wise) to walk. The subway cars are not air conditioned either, and the number of stations that are accessible to people in wheel chairs is quite sad.
      For the taxes we pay here, id expect more. A LOT more.
      I've always found public transit in mtl to be awesome... though, that said, I was only really in the few sq km area of downtown. So perhaps that's why I'm biased.

      Your taxes go to your stupid separatist gov't

      Seriously though, for the size of toronto, the TTC blows goats in terms of usefulness, reliability, and convenience.
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      10-09-2012 04:21 PM #137
      Quote Originally Posted by moose82 View Post
      Agreed. Being able to wake up on Sunday morning, walk your dog, grab a coffee then sit in the park for a bit. Walk to a restaurant or a friend's house. If you can walk to a bus or metro stop to easily get to work. The whole idea of that is so appealing to me. I'm in the burbs now and it makes everything more time consuming than it needs to be. Luckily I can walk and bike to several places.
      This is actually possible in quite a few cities, you just need to have picked your place of residence and place of work well (and in tandem), and in this economy, both are fairly difficult.
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    33. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 04:35 PM #138
      Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
      I am guessing many major U.S. cities have decent bus services and connections.

      But if you are talking more specifically about cities with rail, probably not many.
      Sorry, I didn't describe very well what I was getting at is ... how many cities can I leave my home, take my kid to day care, get to work, then do the reverse *at any time of day*? What if my kid is sick and I have to leave work early, pick him up, and get us both home. With my experience in NYC and Boston, I think I could do it, but was wondering where else in the US there is that level of "flexibility."

      Around here, there ARE buses and they mostly run in and out from the burbs to the 2 or 3 major "work" (College, Hospital, etc) areas then back again at the end of the day *(commuter bus) Good luck getting back to the burbs in the middle of the day if you have to go home early.

      There is a bunch of local bus routes but they (sorry this sounds bad) basically are there for low income folks and the elderly. There's a bus stop near every large public housing areas, senior center, library, the grocery store, town hall, etc. They are incredibly time consuming and are only used by people who literally have no other choice. (my non-driving sister is one of them).

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      10-09-2012 04:59 PM #139
      Quote Originally Posted by nm+ View Post
      This is actually possible in quite a few cities, you just need to have picked your place of residence and place of work well (and in tandem), and in this economy, both are fairly difficult.
      Yep, I am aware. When the time comes to sell my current house, this will be a big factor in our next house. We could stay in this area (Northern VA) and either go to Alexandria, Arlington, or one of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of DC. After living in the suburbs the past 3 years I want to be closer to everything.

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