How many people here trust their local transit authority?Would you ever consider using it?Are you scared to use it due to SOME of the shady looking people?
Uh, it's just gross due to filthy and smelly people. No wonder bus drivers get paid royally here. After taking the bus or train I have to wash all my clothes immediately. I use local public transportation maybe once or twice a year when there simply is no other option, for example when there's a large event an no chance of parking. The shady people generally stay clear, because, according to my friends I "look like a cop." Must be my urban warfare outfit.
I use public transport in big cities. In a place like Indy public transport is close to useless.
BTW, how do you design a rationing scheme to keep 'poor' people away from an 'upscale' mall? You keep bus routes 5+ miles away from that location.
I rode the (then) NOPSI buses all during my junior high, high school, and college careers. They were air-conditioned, and in those days the dregs of society hadn't completely taken them over, but it was still horrible to wait in rain and heat or cold at the stops. Believe me, I'd have loved and cherished the meanest beater car on the streets rather than ride the buses, but I had no choice. Then.
In '02, though, I had a week's temp work in downtown, about 5-6 miles from my place and across the bridge. Driving and parking downtown, as I'm sure a lot of you will agree, is no worse than the inner circles of H*ell. Fortunately RTA, as it's now called, had an express bus that stopped outside my compound and dropped me off two blocks from the temp job. I rode it all week, spent a lot less than I would have in gas and parking fees, and got home way earlier in the afternoon.
The express is gone now, and in any case it wouldn't get me to work uptown unless I transferred to another line. Big hassle.
If public transport were convenient -- meaning with frequent runs, on time, less expensive, and with fewer problems (including fewer felons-in-training) than using the car . . . you know, the way public transport once was . . . sure, I'd use it.
I don't currently have a need for it because my office is 4.9 miles east of my house, and the train runs north and south. Dallas does need to extend their service though. Atlanta's system is pretty sweet, going directly into the airport and having lines running east and west as well. But..I'd never ride it late at night. There are some scary folks on it during the day...I can only imagine it at night.
When Dallas' system comes closer to mirroring Atlanta's (ours doesn't even go to the airport...yet), it'll be useful to a lot more people. I know I'd use it, versus paying for parking out there. Right now, it's only useful for people who live in the northern or southern suburbs who are going downtown.
When I'm in San Franciso, I usually park my car at my parent's place and take MUNI (bus) downtown. The parking problem makes riding the bus the fastest and most reliable way to get there.
Wife takes the train to work on a regular basis, because the company she works for pay for $120 per month on public transit, and $4 extra per day if you don't drive your car (they have parking problem) or carpool. So carpooling + train with company shuttle cuts her commute cost down to 1/3 of what it used to be.
I use it when possible. Commuter products in NY, Philadelphia, DC and Chicago are mainly what Ive used. No issues on any.
I do agree about the shady people. Unclean is relative - Most anything handled by the public is unclean, mass transit is slightly worse, but nothing impossible to deal with.
I wish that by me they would have better bike lanes. Forget mass transit... for a nine mile commute, a bike is perfect. In case of rain, Ill live...
I can take a park and ride bus to work but rarely do, usually only if my truck is in the shop. The park and ride is only about half a mile away, so I could walk there. But it's always stressful as I can't walk to the park and ride I get this sense of urgency that I have to catch the next bus and so end up running to the park and ride. Then waiting downtown for the bus home you are subject to street people hitting you up for money or whatever. They know you are stuck standing there for a while.
Then there are the characters on the bus. You may want to read a book but some loud mouth is spouting off about himself to some hapless victim and you can't concentrate. Or the stinky guy gets on and sits next to you on the day the air conditioner in the bus is not working.
I usually run some kind of errand on the way home, so the bus only delays that anyway.
It sucks, plain and simple.
In university we had excellent bus service from downtown to the campus, every 15 minutes and on time. Those runs didn't have any problem riders that I recall at all, just drunk students at night but that wasn't really a problem.
Ontario is pathetic for public transport across jurisdictions, 2 years ago a friend got married and her great aunt from Germany arrived at the Toronto airport expecting to be able to get to Guelph, a fairly large city 70km away without much hassle... In Germany their would be a highspeed train or buses atleast.
Here you have to take a cab to get on the subway line, go to downtown Toronto, then make your way to the Greyhound terminal and hopefully a bus runs that way today...
Her limited english wasn't up to organizing all this on the fly so she took an airport limo to Guelph for alot of money...