Public transportation.

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Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:20 am

I have an interest in learning a little about the forms and costs of public transportation in England and other parts of Europe.

I live in the U.S. and we have very little convenient public transportation. It is okay if you live in a very large (by population, not area) city, but everywhere else it is pretty much non existent, or not suitable for your needs.

I am interested in what you think with regard to both the cost and convenience of use where you live.

Pretty boring right? I have just been wondering, and this is the only place I know of that I can hear from real people. So if you want, let me know what you think.

One specific question I have; if you are a regular user is how close to your destination, on average, can you get?

sunny
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  Sheila on Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:04 am

Ive always lived in cities until now so it came as a bit of a shock when I moved into a small village in Devon and found not only do you have to wait forever for transport it also costs a fortune.



If I go into the city for a night out the taxi to get home costs are horrendous. Theres no other way to get home either because the buses stop at 6pm and the trains at 9:30pm !! Twisted Evil
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  Moderator on Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:27 am

I live in a village about 4 miles away from the city and I've got to admit the bus routes are fantastic here, about every 15 mins or so up to 7pm and then a bus each hour afterwards so it's a great way of getting about for the day for a few quid but I have to say I've seen a massive increase in rail prices and a lot of you know I travel down to Exeter every month.

Sometimes if I know there's a gig in advance I'll book the coach and it can be about £12 each way but takes about 4 hours each way too Shocked So I've recently been using the train because it's quicker (about 2 hours) but it's much more expensive. I just booked a train for Exeter for this week which was £50 return but if I booked it a day before the price goes up £50 each way Shocked

I feel sorry for all the comuters on the trains who rely on public transport to get to work and earn a living as they've already increased rail prices by 6% this year Sad
We're always told to use public transport to lower emmisions and that it's cheaper but it doesn't always work out like that.

Obviously our system isn't working and they need to review the prices of public transport for workers before people can't afford to pay it anymore and as a result will end up on state benefits which isn't good for the economy. So it all has a knock on effect but it's not all bad a varys hugely region to region Smile

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Re: Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:03 am

Thanks for your input. I think that in general your system must be better than ours, and we have very little rail in the entire center of our country, and in fact outside of the very large cities there is very little.

My experience has been mostly with my visits to Las Vegas NV.

The last time I was there you had to buy a pass from a machine on the street before you got on, then you run the pass through a reader as you boarded. The driver was completely isolated from the rest of the coach. Not all buses are like this the older one's still have the driver and you can pay cash or use the pass.

When you bought the pass you could get it for one trip, or various different modes such as 24hr, week or month. The price was about $2 for a one way and then cheaper as you bought more. I believe a 24hr pass was about $5.

They also have youth and senior passes at reduced rates. If you live there and are under 17 or over 60 you can get a reduced rate of $30 / month. If you do not live there it is $65 for a month.

It worked well for us at that time as we were not going far off the "Strip" so it turned out to be easier and less expensive than renting a car.

In Florida where I am now that pricing is similar. I am in a community that has buses, but not enough routs to be able to go without a car. That seems to be the rub. If the public transport is not good enough to get buy without a car then you have the expense of having to have a car, and once you have one it is so much easier to use (in most cases) than not to.

As to rail, forget it! Unless you are in a very high density area it pretty much does not exist.

I did go by rail from Detroit to Chicago several years ago. It was a little cheaper than by air, and with all the security and travel to and from the airport it did not take much longer. About 4 hrs. About the same as by car.
I loved it as it took us right into the center of the city and the public transport there was very good.

The problem is that passenger rail is almost gone here. The only place you CAN go from Detroit is to Chicago. Nothing even goes south out of Detroit.

I think the key thing is that it works best when the populations density is higher, and there are enough routs to make it convenient. It is kind of a hard nut to crack. If you do not have enough people to use it, then it cant be efficient, and if they put in enough routs to make it efficient, then it becomes very expensive.

One thing I missed was, about how much is the average buss fair just to get around town?
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  bryan1 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:54 am

It's difficult to talk about U.K. public transport without getting political! Most of the bus companies and all of the railways were nationalised in the post war period. The Conservative government of 1979 to 1997, privatised first the bus companies and then the rail system.

In my view public transport is generally poorer than it was - no longer a service but a business!

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Re: Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:25 am

bryan1 wrote:It's difficult to talk about U.K. public transport without getting political!

Bryan, I understand what you are saying. Some things go better as a business and some should stay under the "Public" sector. The choices are not always clear. Then the politics start and the fun begins.
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  Sheila on Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:28 am

bryan1 wrote:It's difficult to talk about U.K. public transport without getting political! Most of the bus companies and all of the railways were nationalised in the post war period. The Conservative government of 1979 to 1997, privatised first the bus companies and then the rail system.

In my view public transport is generally poorer than it was - no longer a service but a business!

Cool



I couldnt agree more Bryan
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:42 am

Before the change, were they run by each city, (that is how it is usually done here), or were they run by a higher level of government?
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  Admin on Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:11 am

The government ran it from WW1 until the 1970's
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  bryan1 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:09 am

"British Railways (BR), which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the operator of most of the rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BR_Southern_Region

It's more complicated for bus services - although essentially most were nationalised in 1947/48. (although London buses were nationalised in 1933).

"The post-war Labour government embarked on a programme of nationalisation of transport. Under the Transport Act 1947, the British Transport Commission acquired the bus services of Thomas Tilling, Scottish Motor Traction and the large independent Red & White.

In 1980 the new Thatcher government embarked on a programme of deregulation and privatisation of bus services. The National Bus Company and Scottish Transport Group divided some of their larger subsidiaries into more saleable units. In 1986, under the Transport Act 1985, all bus services apart from those in London and Northern Ireland were deregulated. The NBC's and STG's subsidiaries were then sold, in most cases to their management and employees."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_transport_in_the_United_Kingdom

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Re: Public transportation.

Post  Sheila on Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:18 pm

We used to have a much bigger railway too. They closed many rural stations down in the 1960's which included the Culm Valley line (where I live)
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:31 am

I find this interesting. Thanks.

Here is an article I found about a year ago when I was trying to find some information on a new system here called the "Megabus". I ended up not using it, but you may find this an interesting article. It pretty much sums up a lot about our rail system.

Ironic that back in the 70's you were privatizing, that our passenger rail went into the public domain.

http://www.cabot.net/Issues/CWA/Archives/2011/08/Railroad-Systems.aspx
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  bryan1 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:17 am

1jsfan wrote:I find this interesting. Thanks.

Here is an article I found about a year ago when I was trying to find some information on a new system here called the "Megabus". I ended up not using it, but you may find this an interesting article. It pretty much sums up a lot about our rail system.

Ironic that back in the 70's you were privatizing, that our passenger rail went into the public domain.

http://www.cabot.net/Issues/CWA/Archives/2011/08/Railroad-Systems.aspx


No we (the U.K.), didn't re-privatise the rail system until the nineties. See my post above.
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  1jsfan on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:00 pm

bryan1 wrote:


No we (the U.K.), didn't re-privatise the rail system until the nineties. See my post above.

I've got it. It became public after WW2 -48' then back to private mid to late 90's. I was looking at the comment above an picked up the 70's . I really should wait until after my third cup of coffee before I try to reply to anything. Embarassed
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Re: Public transportation.

Post  bryan1 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:19 pm

1jsfan wrote:
bryan1 wrote:


No we (the U.K.), didn't re-privatise the rail system until the nineties. See my post above.

I've got it. It became public after WW2 -48' then back to private mid to late 90's. I was looking at the comment above an picked up the 70's . I really should wait until after my third cup of coffee before I try to reply to anything. Embarassed

No problem Very Happy The rail system had been run into the ground during the war and needed massive investment. However, the rail companies were all bankrupt (or nearly so). So the new socialist government (Labour) had no option but to nationalise (the "right-wing" Conservative party supported the move).
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