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Transit Review

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by AssamMilkTea, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    7:11 AM
    Milkerino
    ok so I will be reviewing the transit system of every city I visit in my lifetime, provided the city metro area has a population of over 1M
    [​IMG]

    The review consists of the following components:
    extensiveness - how far do the trains go? are there areas without transit?
    frequency - how often do the trains arrive, peak and non-peak?
    cleanliness - how clean are the trains, tracks and stations?
    safety - how frequent do crimes occur and does the transit police patrol the trains?
    punctuality - do the trains arrive with minimal delays or breakdowns?
    affordability - how is fare calculated? are the passes cheap?
    ease of transfer - how convenient is it to transfer between lines?
    ease of navigation - how easy is it to use the transit system as a first timer?

    The first two will be scored out of 10 whereas the rest will be scored out of 5
    The maximum score will be 50, which I will then convert to a percentage and grade them based on the following scales:
    Superb: 90-100%
    Reliable: 80-89%
    Functioning: 70-79%
    Dilapidated: 60-69%
    Exists: 50-59%
    You might as well, and may I be forgiven for saying this word, drive: <50%

    A summary of transit mode to work based on the survey report.
    Note just because people use transit doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good, it could mean other options are worse.
    [​IMG]

    Cities visited
    Chicago
    Boston
    New York
    Philadelphia
    Washington DC

    stay tuned for more!

    useful links
     
    • Great Work Great Work x 1
  2. OP
    OP
    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    Milkerino
    The first city shall be my beloved home of Chicago!
    [​IMG]

    Managed by the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago “El” or elevated train was established in 1892, making it the 2nd oldest transit system in the US, after the Staten Island Railway
    It is iconic for its elevated tracks that go above ground for most of its journey, even in the downtown area!
    [​IMG]

    Here is the review:
    extensiveness - 6/10
    + can reach both Midway and O’Hare airports
    + reaches the suburbs of Evanston and Oak Park
    - less stations as one goes further away from downtown
    - far northwest and southwest are not connected to transit
    frequency - 6/10
    + 5 min on brown line peak hrs
    - 15 min on blue line off peak, sometimes up to 20 min
    punctuality - 3/5
    + train arrives fairly on time
    - can be delays on blue line
    cleanliness - 4/5
    + trains are pretty clean on all lines
    + stations are pretty clean too
    - underground stations smell weird
    safety - 1/5
    - green, blue from downtown towards forest park and red lines are known to be unsafe at night
    - CPD rarely patrol trains
    - usage of powered rail and lack of platform doors pose risk
    affordability - 5/5
    + monthly pass costs $75
    + 1, 3, 7 and 30 day passes exist for flexibility
    + constant fare regardless of travel distance
    + free transfers of any kind for 2 times within 2 hours
    ease of transfer - 2/5
    + pulsing is practiced (where different trains arrive at stations at same time to negate transfer time)
    - can only transfer in downtown, lines dont intersect in neighbourhoods
    - circle line suggested but proposal dropped 12 years ago
    ease of navigation - 5/5
    + lines dont split up except for green, so no need to pay attention to different numbered trains on same line
    + station names printed huge at stations
    + colour system easily recognisable
    + stations are easily noticed due to them being elevated

    OVERALL SCORE: 64%
    I don’t wanna say this but Chicago’s transit needs some redesign to provide inter-neighbourhood services instead of just sending people to downtown. It also requires proper law enforcement. There’s a reason over 60% of Chicagoans still drive to work. That, and stopping people from selling weed on trains would be a good start.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    7:11 AM
    Milkerino
    Coming up next, Boston - the land of delicious lobster rolls
    [​IMG]
    NOTE: the grey line indicates bus service whereas purple is commuter rail so those don’t count

    Unlike Chicago, Boston’s transit is regionally managed, hence the agency’s name - Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). It is interesting to see the system still using old street cars as the rolling stock, which fits into the overall theme of Boston being one of the oldest cities in America.

    Here is my experience with it as a 3 day tourist:
    extensiveness - 4/10
    + transit serves the Boston bay area including Cambridge
    - require a few min walk to reach station at the coast
    - stations quite a distance apart
    - no connection to only international airport in Boston
    frequency - 7/10
    + about 10~15 min in between trains
    punctuality - 5/5
    + train arrives pretty much on time
    cleanliness - 3/5
    - trains are ok but some stains due to old rolling stock
    + train stations fairly clean
    safety - 4/5
    + havent seen suspicious behaviour
    + stations well lit all the time
    + usage of overhead wire to power trains reduces risk
    - no platform doors
    affordability - 3/5
    - transfer fare is inconsistent and depends on type of transit and method of payment
    + 1, 7 and 30 day passes provide flexibility
    ease of transfer - 2/5
    + can transfer between lines in haymarket and north station, which are popular tourist destinations
    - can transfer only in downtown
    - red and blue lines do not connect, passenger required to make a double transfer
    ease of navigation - 3/5
    + transit map fairly easy to navigate
    - trains terminate in certain stations instead of end of line

    TOTAL SCORE: 62%
    Overall, Boston’s system is reliable and seems well maintained. However, some of the design choices that plagued the CTA are also present here, such as the ability to transfer only in downtown. I justify the slightly lower score of Boston’s trains due to the stations being further apart. I believe an immediate improvement would be to connect the airport to the train system and allow inter-borough travel.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Ainz
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    Ainz Zakum

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    1:11 PM
    So many I keep forgetting
    0
    Countries/cities with functional public transport visited: 0 :')
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  5. OP
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    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    Milkerino
    you haven’t seen my review of the city with the cleanest, safest and most punctual transit in the world - New York
     
  6. OP
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    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    7:11 AM
    Milkerino
    This is a big one. The New York subway is a symbol of the transit-oriented design of the city.
    [​IMG]

    The subway, managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, is the largest rapid transit system in the world by number of stations, at 472. The massive number of lines covering what is effectively the capital of the world provide easy access to almost every part of the city, contributing to NYC’s status as being the only city in America where a majority of people take transit to work. It is also in my opinion, the golden standard for how to design transit.

    After spending a week there, here be my thoughts:
    extensiveness - 9/10
    + a lot of stations everywhere
    + can reach many parks / museums
    + stations not too far apart
    + in manhattan, stations within 5 min walk
    - east side of queens a little neglected
    frequency - 10/10
    + train arrives every 3 min peak
    + train arrives every 10 min off peak
    + express and local trains help serve flexible customer needs
    + runs 24/7 on most of it’s lines
    punctuality - 2/5
    - significant delays
    - mechanical failure caused the 1,2,3 trains to be jammed
    cleanliness - 1/5
    - stations are dirty and smell
    - some trains have stains
    - rats
    safety - 4/5
    + NYPD actively polices subway
    + pretty safe at all times
    - news of ppl being pushed
    affordability - 4/5
    + many unlimited pass options
    + passes not too expensive
    - need to satisfy ticket machine while inserting ticket at an angle; it was my first time so i was a bit nervous
    ease of transfer - 4/5
    + can transfer from one line to another in places outside Manhattan, with how often the subway lines intersect
    + trains practice pulsing in a lot of stations
    - following the signs can be confusing when transferring to another line in the same station due to complexity of system
    ease of navigation - 3/5
    + 2 versions of transit map (simplified and actual)
    + stations are indicated with colourful signs on streets
    - confusion and inconsistency in denoting train route; signs often include a combination of burough, final stop, popular stops, where trains will stop pass midnight, etc
    - station names printed small on the pillars

    TOTAL SCORE: 74%
    A very functional system that does it’s job well. I am impressed by the number of people who rely on it everyday, and how it uses express and local trains to skip stations as needed. Unfortunately, while it is a golden standard for designing transit, it is an example of what not to do when maintaining it. The frequent delays, mechanical failures and lack of sanitary conditions can have an impact on the reliability and reputation of the system. I am sure with some patchwork, the NYC subway can shine again.
     
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  7. OP
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    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    Milkerino
    I will now be reviewing Philadelphia’s transit. This laid back midwestern city was the first capital city of the US before it was relocated to DC.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    NOTE: Only blue, orange, purple and green lines are counted.

    Although based on the community survey, it is ranked 6th among US cities with the highest transit ridership rates, I did not find the transit system to be very extensive. Maintained by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the system moves people among the Philly city centre as well as the surrounding suburbs, crucial to Philly’s recently population and economic growth.

    My experiences with the train can be summarised as follows:
    extensiveness - 2/10
    + reach edges of city
    - stations are pretty far apart
    - southern neighbourhoods of city underserved
    - northern part of city only served by commuter rail
    - had to walk for 20 min in southern philly to reach orange line
    frequency - 4/10
    + train arrives every 15 min on weekdays, 6am to 9pm
    - train arrives every 20 min outside the above hours, and frequency goes even lower during non peak weekends
    - less frequent service on weekends
    - services runs until midnight only and shuttle bus takes over
    punctuality - 3/5
    + slight delays but manageable
    - a lot of stations don’t indicate when train will arrive
    cleanliness - 4/5
    + stations and trains were all clean
    + interior of trains very comfy and don’t smell
    - tracks littered with trash and some sewage water
    safety - 5/5
    + police patrols the stations
    + police enters train to check on suspicious behaviour
    + officers can be seen in many places
    affordability - 5/5
    + offers 1, 3, 7, 30 day passes for flexibility
    + passes pretty cheap at $96/mo
    + flat rate fare regardless of destination
    ease of transfer - 1/5
    + signs indicating which way to get to desired train line
    - two busiest lines, blue orange, only intersect at one point
    - trains do not practice pulsing
    - transfer between lines inconvenient due to station design
    - some stations dont allow changing direction of travel without leaving the station
    ease of navigation - 5/5
    + system is simple so easy to navigate

    TOTAL SCORE: 58%
    Yeah no. I am sure as a commuter it is still a great utility seeing how many people rely on it based on the survey. However, as a tourist who wanted to get around the city without driving, it was painful to use and I found myself using the bus most of the time to reach places, including when I travelled to a totally transit-neglected neighbourhood to grab the famous Philly Cheesesteaks. I am not sure how to fix this but we can start by making the orange line less straight like Hiyo, i.e. curve around and criss-cross with other lines to cover a wider area and provide more intersections.

    Sry I dont even have a fun video to share about this. Writing the review made me feel down.
     
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  8. OP
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    AssamMilkTea
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    AssamMilkTea King Slime

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    Milkerino
    Time to finish what I started by reviewing the transit system of the capital of the leader of the free world.
    Code:
    int score = reviewItem(freeWorld.leader.capital.transitSystem);
    
    [​IMG]

    This is by fair the most luxurious transit system I have ever stepped foot in. The entire system is air-conditioned, including the underground train stations (I wonder if the euros wish they were here during the summer wave). Note that in the US, there are no barriers between the trains and the platform, hence the AC basically delivers cool air into the tunnels. The energy cost must be very high for powering the DC metro, but that is fine since everyone here is rich. I noticed the iconic patterns on the walls of the stations resembling a strongly-reinforced bunker. When I first arrived at DC to visit a friend, I knew I was also there for another reason.
    Wikipedia image I know. I took pictures myself but I archived it somewhere and am lazy.
    [​IMG]

    My experiences with the train can be summarised as follows:
    extensiveness - 8/10
    + reach edges of city and the greater DC area, such as Arlington (to pay respect to America's soldiers) and Bethesda (gaming poggers)
    + stations are moderately far apart
    - train lines do not run near or below government buildings
    frequency - 8/10
    + train arrives every 10 min on weekdays
    + even outside peak hours, train still consistently arrives every 15 min
    - no 24/7 service
    punctuality - 5/5
    + rarely any delays
    + every station visited displays arrival times of next 2-3 trains
    cleanliness - 5/5
    + stations and trains were all clean
    + interior of trains very comfy and new
    + tracks are clean without any traces of dirty water
    safety - 5/5
    + DC police patrols the stations and checks interior occasionally
    + officers can be seen in many places
    + emergency contact booths are readily available
    affordability - 2/5
    - its expensive (hence the luxury)
    - ticket price is higher during peak hours, which the basic transit pass does not cover fully
    - total charge depends on journey distance
    ease of transfer - 5/5
    + signs with colours at transfer stops indicate where to get on another line
    + blue, orange and yellow lines intersect very frequently
    + transfer between lines is easy as the lines are sometimes visible from one another
    ease of navigation - 5/5
    + maps are clearly labelled
    + pillars with the DC Metro logo printed on them to indicate the entrance to stations are easily noticeable

    TOTAL SCORE: 86%
    By far the best, which makes sense given DC's political status. Although the fare prices are higher, DC residents are generally wealthy enough to handle that. I do not have anything negative to say about it. In fact, I much enjoyed the transit system much more than the city itself which was quite lackluster in my opinion. I also like the fact that the lights at the edge of the platform blink when a train is about to arrive. Despite all that, I still decided to place the DC Metro at the 80% score range as I have not reviewed transit systems from other parts of the world yet, which are at a different league entirely.

    Stay strong America.
     
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