#1 Transit System in America? Bite me!

In NY they always threaten to take the train out of service if some knuckleheads are trying to stuff into the last car and refusing to let the doors close. They’ve also followed up on that threat many times over the years by actually doing it.

BART’s OK. Of course you can’t get to fuckin’ 34th & Lawton on BART. That’s what MUNI’s for!

I was equally dubious when Denver’s RTD was named #1 a few years ago. I think they just kinda pass it around, so every city can go around putting up “We’re #1!” banners everywhere for a few years.

The only satisfaction I can derive from thinking about the CTA while reading this thread is that there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that it will ever be ranked the #1 transit system in the country.

Except possibly #1 for the number of sexual assaults and homicides on it’s property.

God almighty the T has a schedule? There should be a picture of it in the dictionary right next to the word “quixotic.”

They certainly are not. The signal relays and switches are all automatic. When a switching room caught fire a few months ago, they had to use manual signalling (i.e. some guys in the tunnels with flashlights) to control distance between trains, and this temporarily crippled one of the main lines.

However, I’m also a big fan of MTA transit - considering the huge number of people they have to deal with, they do a pretty good job. But most importantly, the subways in New York RUN ALL NIGHT.

I just don’t see the point of a transit system that closes before the bars do - it practically forces people to drive drunk to get home. Boston, I’m looking at you.


RTD is very good, as long as you want to go from Popular Point A to Popular Point B. If you want to go from Parker and Iliff to Arapahoe and Potomac, well you’re fucked.

And light rail will be no better. “Let’s follow the freeways,” they say. Ignoring the fact that there is no real rush hour to downtown in this town. Rush hour is in from every direction and out from every direction decided only by where the highways meet because there are NO direct through routes on ANY street in this metropolis. People drive from Random Point A to Random Point B. Light rail thinks people will take the train from Random Point A to Popular Point A to Popular Point B to Popular Point C to Random Point B. Don’t get me started.

As a nice RTD gentleman told me once, just after I’d gotten off the full fleet of busses getting to the DTC only seconds after he’d waved on the empty fleet of busses leaving the DTC, “The busses have to run on time.”

After living in the city and having to depend on Muni, and now living in the East Bay and trying AC Transit for a couple of years, I’d say BART is the best in the Bay Area… But I think it’s a real stretch to say best in the country…

When I used to use BART to commute from the city every day, I got to watch various people smoke crack, smoke cigarettes, throw up and do cartwheels the length of the cars… (Not at the same time, obviously!) Doing a commute out of SF every morning was a treat!

Best thing about BART now is parking at West Oakland and being at Embarcadero in 7 minutes…

But I’m not going to give it an award for that…

The BART and the Golden Gate Bridge were the only things I found impressive about San Francisco. I was amazed at how clean and modern the carriages and stations were. Much better than where I live.

I agree with this. The New York subway system is enormously useful in ways BART can’t compare. Then again they were built for slightly different purposes - BART is a longish-range distribution hub network for a very spread out, mostly suburban area, designed to feed into other forms of mass transit, like the assorted bus lines. A reasonable idea to my mind - the Bay Area isn’t the boroughs and building anywhere near as comprehensive a subway system as NYC’s for the entire SF region would likely have been impossible, both logistically and cost-wise.

I do remember coming to the Bay Area from NYC nearly thirty years ago at a tender age and being awed by the quiet, clean, modern feel of BART compared to NYC’s.

I live in El Cerrito a few blocks from the tracks and almost never notice the trains anymore. I rather like my place, really ( admittedly a little of that is situational ).

I don’t feel particularly stupid either.

But then maybe self-assesment isn’t my greatest strength ;).

  • Tamerlane