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Subway (mass transit) systems

Subway (mass transit) systems

Old Dec 17, 19, 5:34 am
  #61  
 
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Iím personally a huge fan of Japan and Europeís metro systems. I have to try Chinaís Iíve heard a lot of about it. This comes from a native New Yorker living in Washington DC. We so have to get on board with these lovely and convient systems. I also love the tech in Japanís system. I also like systems who have WiFi. Ofc I love my nyc subway.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 5:39 am
  #62  
 
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No love for Taipei's MRT and HST? I love the neighborhood maps at every station, the polite passengers, contactless payment, WiFi everywhere, and aircon malls attached to (nearly?) every station, a real boon in the tropical weather.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 6:08 am
  #63  
 
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Sorry, folks. I hate to tell you that you are all wrong, but when I don't even see Moscow on the first page, I need to set things right. Moscow has the best metro system in the world. First of all, let's forget the fact that Moscow has absolutely THE MOST BEAUTIFUL stations in the world. They are like works of art, with statues, mosaics, artwork, marble, bronzes. Feel free to google a few of my faves--Novoslobodskaya, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya. No let's forget that--let's talk about efficiency. Did I mention the trains run every 90 seconds? Yeah, that's right. You don't need to go running at breakneck speed to catch your train--there is literally one behind it in 90 seconds. Wherever you go in Moscow, you are usually only 2 blocks away from a metro station. And the crossings from adjoining stations are underground, so you needn't come all the way up and buy another ticket. No, you can travel around on the one ticket. Also, they are clean--an army of cleaners work to keep them spotless, and another army of metro police keep them safe. So my vote goes to Moscow.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:08 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by bobbytables View Post
The use of contactless/RFID tech alone isnít that big a deal really. Itís the use of the existing (visa/mc/amex/etc) payment system that makes London streets ahead. Why should I have to bother getting yet another card just to ride public transport?

I believe you can register on the Transport for London website with the payment card you want to use and then you can buy a custom ďtravelcardĒ - not actually a card but just associated to your payment card. Iím usually there for a bit longer so I donít bother and it works out all the relevant fare caps automatically.
You can use your RFID payment card in Singapore as well - register it on the TL SimplyGo app and you're good to go. I THINK even Apple Pay is possible, but haven't tried that.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:11 am
  #65  
 
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What is your favorite subway system, and why?

For me it is Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The stations are fantastic examples of Soviet grandeur and tickets are less than US$0.20 each to ride as long as you like.

best station: Kosmonaut.
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Last edited by camsean; Dec 17, 19 at 7:16 am Reason: Add heading
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:20 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Travlinteach View Post
Sorry, folks. I hate to tell you that you are all wrong, but when I don't even see Moscow on the first page, I need to set things right. Moscow has the best metro system in the world...So my vote goes to Moscow.
And let's remember, the Moscow Metro is probably the only sure way to get from point A to point B. On the surface you'll get stuck in traffic that competes with the worst of them. No wonder that most addresses also include the nearest Metro station as well. I haven't been there in a while, so I'm not sure if they still have the 60's-70's style carriages - those are just too old.
So while I wouldn't vote for the Moscow metro as the best in the world, but surely Moscow would just grind to a total halt without it.

My favourite system is Tokyo - with its several subway operators' networks + the many JR lines + the several private rail lines. And they all work seamlessly with the Suite/Pasmo cards, no matter who is the operator.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
No debate or arguments at all. I haven't seen Santiago after the riots. Too bad so many stations were damaged.
Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
While I am generally loathe to debate others FT, this comment requires a reply. 80 of the 136 metro stations in Santiago were damaged in the riots last month. The videos show the destruction as horrible and senseless. I have no idea how many are operational but its not business as usual for the metro in the Chilean capital.
As a gringo living in Santiago who takes the subway every day, much of the system is back up and functioning normally, with regular hours (11 PM close) set to be reinstated tomorrow. Several stations were damaged to such an extent (by an organized anarchist (oxymoron?) attackónot common people demonstrating) that they will need to be rebuilt almost completely; these will be closed for most if not all of 2020 (fewer than 30 remain closed today). The worst damage was at the southern end of Line 4 and the western end of Line 5. Yet much of the system was completely unscathed or sustained only mild vandalism (graffiti, broken glass), including most of Lines 1, 2, 3, the northern half of Line 4, and much of Line 6. As for damage in general after the riots, it was confined to certain sections of town (not everywhere as the international media may portray). Santiago and the Metro are largely up and running!

Worth noting that most lines in Santiago do run on rubber wheels, but the newer lines (Line 3 for example) are on super-smooth metal rails.

Damage aside from the riots, Santiago's subway is clean, extensive, ever-expanding, and efficient.

And...no one mentioned Atlanta for easy ATL-to-downtown/midtown/Buckhead access on the MARTA train? The MARTA isn't very extensive, but if you need to go where the train goes, it works out well.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 7:44 am
  #68  
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Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
what are some of the metro systems that have the best coverage? I liked paris and tokyo where I didn't have to ever take the bus.
When I first read this, I was thinking 4G coverage. Is Paris the best in this respect? Most of the lines have full 4G coverage, but I am not sure all do. Funny in the same country in the city of Marseille, there is no coverage at all in the metro.

NYC now has 4G coverage and Wifi in all the stations, but not on the trains themselves. Though that is in the works and will hopefully begin later next year.

Is NYC the biggest or is Tokyo? I love how Google maps now works perfect with the NYC MTA for buses, subway and more. The times are nearly, but not quite represented perfectly. It seems that during the morning, google maps subway times are right on. But not so in the evening rush hours.

An interesting memory from the subway in Santiago, Chile about 20 years ago, they had a type of TV display on the wall of the tunnels that flickered in time to show you a video while the train was in motion. I think that was the first of its kind in the world.

HKG is great in that they have the best payment card. The Octopus card works not only for public transport, but for many types of shopping. And the trains are large and well run.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:05 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post

Is NYC the biggest or is Tokyo? I love how Google maps now works perfect with the NYC MTA for buses, subway and more. The times are nearly, but not quite represented perfectly. It seems that during the morning, google maps subway times are right on. But not so in the evening rush hours.
Aren't both Beijing and Shanghai MUCH BIGGER?
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Aren't both Beijing and Shanghai MUCH BIGGER?
All depends on your definition of biggest...

Shanghai is largest by route length
Beijing is largest by ridership
NYC is largest by number of stations
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:22 am
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Bluehen1 View Post
All depends on your definition of biggest...

Shanghai is largest by route length
Beijing is largest by ridership
NYC is largest by number of stations
Yes thank you. I was thinking of stations. I see now that the Chinese cities have passed Tokyo in this respect, but NYC is still larger. Maybe it will get passed someday.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:54 am
  #72  
 
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I love this thread! I grew up with the NYC subways, when you had to keep straight if you were riding the BMT, the IRT or the IND lines. It is still one of the best values-- being able to ride the system plus one transfer for $2.75, especially when compared to the time and expense of any other method of transportation in the city. So, I go out of my way to ride the subway, if at all possible, to/from airports and then to get around.

I will tell you, absolutely, the Q70 non-stop bus to Roosevelt Avenue, where you can connect to the E, F or 7 train, is the only (almost) sane way of getting out of LaGuardia-- as the express busses (Q70 and M60) are the only vehicles allowed to come right up to the curb-- otherwise you are on a shuttle bus to a pick up spot.

One of the factors, to me, that makes a great subway system is the efficiency especially when compared to the alternative of riding in a cab or bus above ground. Here, I think that Shanghai and Beijing are amazing, even with their faults, as both cities are nightmares to be stuck in a car, and the subways are efficient, widespread and cheap. I put London right behind them, as long as you have a tube map.

DC is great for to/from DCA, but pretty lousy for everything else-- especially the aged red line, which has truncated service or maintenance issues every day.

The one greatest disappointment is Chicago-- while the traffic to or from ORD is horrible, the blue line is so slow, and the closest you can get to the Michigan Avenue hotels is Clark/Lake, which still means a hike with luggage, not to mention trying to get out of the station onto the street there with luggage. The service around the loop may be good, but if you are further uptown, there is almost nothing.

I agree about PDX being efficient--Denver not so much.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 9:01 am
  #73  
 
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What is your favorite subway system, and why?
Paris is my first love. You can get anywhere. I love maps and Paris metro maps are a thing of beauty.
As far as mass transit, Amsterdam's tram system is great. You can still see shops and attractions but has the efficiency of a subway. The actual subway system is ideal to get to the North from the South. My other fav is Istanbul's ferries. Seventy-five cents for up to an hour on a boat with indoor/outdoor seating and tea. I spent most of my time just riding the ferries for fun but in all honesty it was faster than the bus.


What are some of the most enormous subway stations that you know of? How do you deal with them.
Tokyo's Shinjuku: I stayed near there and just researched a ton but in the rush hour I just went with a directional flow (I needed to exit east) and hoped for the best. Same with Shibuya.
Paris's Chalet-Les Halles honestly I avoid like the plague as you could probably get off a stop earlier and walk and get out faster.
In London, I appreciate the signs they have with maps showing the exits and where on the map you can exit. They have the same in Paris on the actual exit signs and it makes such a difference.


What is your favorite airport for subway access to the downtown area it serves?
London City is a dream! Heathrow is direct but takes forever. Same thing with Munich.

Do you have any general tips to offer on the systems you know best?
London: often the "accessible" stations are not in any way accessible. They are getting better at making it clear if there is step-free access but often even then lifts will be out of order. If you are traveling with someone or you yourself have different needs when it comes to access or even just travelling with large cases, buses are going to be your best bet.
Paris:
Arts et Mťtiers station on Line 11 is gorgeous and one of the most soothing spaces I've been in (is it the warmth of the cooper?)
Amsterdam: check an updated tram schedule before you go. Amsterdam have switched lines and numbers frequently, and at least yearly to adjust for where people live and work.
Berlin has a really great, integrated mass transit system. The trams, S-bahn, U-bahn and buses all work together well so you have multiple routes you can take. This is very handy in bad weather or when there is an accident on the roads. I used to race Google Maps and the Berlin transit app to see if I could come up with a better, more efficient route and often could just because there were so many routes.

What's your protocol for identifying optimal station exits?
Amount of steps, how far away it is from the platform (is it easier to go up quicker and then just cross the street instead of criss-crossing underground), does it spit you up in a precarious place (everyone crowded around a crosswalk on a busy street). The really handy station exits go straight into key department stores (Paris and Tokyo have this and during hectic shopping hours it's lovely!)
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Old Dec 17, 19, 10:26 am
  #74  
 
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Favorites: DC and London, because you can almost always navigate them with no (or minimal) stairs. At age 73 with arthritis, this is important. I have used NYC a lot and still do on the occasional visit, but it's not pleasant. I have also had good experiences with Vienna and Munich, but it was many years ago.

Airport connections: Stockholm and Oslo.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 10:36 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
What's your protocol for identifying optimal station exits?
Google Maps is typically my initial weapon of choice for this mission, but when I'm hauling luggage, I take 2 minutes to do more research (often on the transit company websites themselves). After I experience a station, I simply take a picture of the station map, and save it to my phone.
For London Underground, there is an app called Station Master which has an offline 3D map of each station, allowing you to work out optimal routes around the station and exactly which set of doors to get on and off trains at each station. Good if you are waiting for a train and want to save a couple of minutes at your arrival or transfer station.
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