A simple 1 hour train ride during rush hour in the Netherlands (Ede-Wag to
Amsterdam Central) costs euro 11.80 (~US$ 15.93).
On NJTransit, during rush hour, Allendale to NY Penn (also about 1 hr)
Who is subsidizing more?
In that rare case, probably the Americans, but simple ticket price
dosen't provide enough information.
On the other side of NY, a one way, rush hour ride on Metro North,
from Bridgeport, CT to Grand Central Terminal, which is also about an
hour, is $15.50 US. The New York metro area has good commuter rail
service. As a whole, our longer distance rail system is a joke to
what I have experienced in Europe.
I was lead to believe that high road fuel taxes help pay for the
high-quality European railroads. Is that not the case?
That's the easy way to compare for me at this time. I have found
similarly several or more years ago. Rail service in the Netherlands has
declined in general, first with decreasing investments and maintenance by
the state owned company, then gotten worse with privatization. Maybe
I'll have better reports after my next trip.
When I lived just outside Queens in Floral Park, LI, prices and travel
times were similar to what one now pays from Fair Lawn, NJ. Notable
differences are in the treatment of passengers by rail road staff, much
better in NJ (at least on the Bergen line).
And choices between different rail road lines, and buses.
Only real long distance was NY to Seattle. What an experience! Speed
and absence of priority over freight was sort of a bummer, but the
ability to take a shower on the train was very good!
I also like the Acela (and the "regional") between NY, Boston, and DC.
It takes only a little longer than the torture via airports and the mini
seats in planes, butn then I can walk to the local train here and walk to
my son's place in Somerville, from the T.
European high speed trains are indeed comfortable and relatively fast.
Brussels - Paris is really great on the Thalys. I also traveled Florence
to Netherlands once, but that is really now better by cheap air,
especially when time becomes a factor.
European fuel taxes go to the general funds, generally speaking, they
aren't dedicated AFAIK. The European experience is also if you build it,
they will come, or traffic will fill the roads no matter how much is
built and widened. Traffic jams should (IMHO) be encouraged so that more
will be spent on (subsidized) public transportation, which is also more
There really is no way to have effective mass transit in Southern
California without tearing down the entire state and starting over.
It just wasn't designed that way. Most of the currently existing mass
transit we have runs nearly empty because it just doesn't fulfill the
needs of the majority of potential users.
Brian Henderson wrote:
> There really is no way to have effective mass transit in Southern
> California without tearing down the entire state and starting over.
> It just wasn't designed that way. Most of the currently existing mass
> transit we have runs nearly empty because it just doesn't fulfill the
> needs of the majority of potential users.
Seems there may be a change underway.
Trying to use the mass transit system to get someplace in a hurry, is
a lost cause at present; however, every time I ride the light rail, it
is full, especially the Long Beach run.
Other "commuter" runs are showing an increase in ridership.
Personally, would like to see $10/gal gasoline.
Suddenly, there would be a whole new way of looking at things.
Don't know whether it would. It might kill a bit of the road and auto
industry, but people will need food. Currently (at least here in North
Jersey) there is a growing "need" for people to feel good and shop for
groceries/veggies/whatever that is grown "nearby". That would impact
faraway growers as well, be they West Canadians or Australians. IMHO,
things that will reduce petroleum production are good, for very many
a tiny yuppie filled feel good niche.....The other 80% depend on the
efficient farm or the norm.....Incidentally even local farms require lots of
fuel for tractors and equipment .......Transportation of crops to the market
accounts for a tiny slice.
The Sierra club would be proud however sloppy thinking is still slop
.....personal affordable transportation based on oil has done more for the
"everyday man" than almost any other 20th century invention.......The
freedom for work, play and life necessities would fill volumes. The very
fact that virtually all alternatives require massive subsidies often as not
from oil itself to become remotely viable tells volumes....we have to make a
"good thing" pay for those things "not so good'...doesn't this beg the
question of why? Rod
I do the same, and only drove to work twice in May. I'm seeing more
and more folks out there on bikes! Short trips are the most
inefficient, and are actually fun to walk or bike!
The overall MPG on my Tacoma goes up 3+ MPG when I remove most of the
trips under a one way distance of 2 miles.
Although it is under 20 miles from home to work (07410 to 23rd Str & First
Ave), I'm not about to brave NY City traffic on my bike. Seen too many
near misses and a few not misses, which generally do not favor the bicycle
I hear that!
The only time I ride NYC is during the 5 Boro Bike Tour, on closed
One year, I took MNCRR in from New Haven, had a beautiful ride from
GCT to Battery Park at 6 AM, a great day of touring, and a HELL RIDE
back to GCT ~ 3 PM. And that was on a Sunday! Now, if I take the
train in with the bike, I'll use the subway to get to Battery Park.
We usually use the subway to get around when visiting, but one of
these days I need to learn the bus system. The bus would be so much
faster when I have to change trains or do the marathon walk in Times
Square Station. I like the newer trains with the electric station
maps, working A/C, and automated announcements.
NYC has a such an excellent mass transit system, I'd also leave the
bike home during commuting hours.
Never got my act together to do any part of the bike tour <sad>.
Bus maps are free at Grand Central somewhere, most likely at a subway
Sometimes, the problem with buses is the choked up traffic, and a subway
ride is faster then, depending on a lot.
For those unfamiliar with the NY City system, everything is Metrocard
nowadays (or cash in coins on the bus, where you can get a free transfer
if you ask).
A single fare is good on the whole subway system plus a busride, or on 2
separate busrides. A transfer is implied when you validate the
metrocard, and is good for departure on the next trip within 2 hours of
starting the first. Metrocard validation only occurs when entering bus
Which doesn't help when you go shopping, does it? You can't carry
groceries for a family on your bicycle, much less trying to carry a
dozen 4x8 sheets of plywood on your back. This is the woodworking
newsgroup after all. :)
Since beer is appropriate for this newsgroup <grin>, I'll mention we
carried a 12 pack on the bike. It is resting now before we use the car and
take it (them) to a birthday party tomorrow.
(while originally Dutch, I'm not a beer connoisseur.)
I shop on a bicycle often, with some thought and planning. With
racks, panniers, and/or a big 'ol messenger bag, it's amazing what a
cyclist can carry. Every day, I ride 5 miles with my laptop and some
papers, dress clothes & shoes, breakfast and fruit, and misc small
things (PDA , cell phone, Ipod, watch...) in a messenger bag.
Did you know Steve Knight has used a bicycle with a trailer for wood
runs? "Woodshop News" recently did an article about a cabinet shop
that bought bikes for interested staff to ride to work. <G>
I use my car and truck for some situations, as "whenever we can"
dosen't have to mean *always*. 4x8 sheets, 12' 8/4 planks, 5 gallon
lacquer cans, kitty litter, Diet Coke @ 5/12 packs for $10? Yeah, I
drive with those. I also drive when it's really freakin' cold, in
thunderstorms, or when the roads are snowy or icy.
I don't use the bike for political reasons or simply to save fuel. My
clothes or bikes don't have "one less car" written on them and I don't
scowl motorists. <G> I like to drive my vehicles from cradle to
grave, 2 mile trips are pretty tough on a vehicle. Cycling is fun
and good for you, and I can hear the birds and see what's really going
in the 'hood. Little kids at the bus stop wave to me. I arrive at
work wide awake with a lot less coffee.
By simply seeing 41 year old me doing it, three coworkers now ride to
work on a regular basis. One of the guys is 54 and hadn't had a bike
since he was a kid. Now he does a 40 mile round trip commute twice a
week. I'm the "kid" of the group! <G>
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