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Urbanrailfan

Best Light Rail Systems

What is the best LRT system?  

124 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the best LRT system?

    • St. Louis
      5
    • San Francisco (MUNI)
      19
    • San Diego
      6
    • New Orleans (streetcars)
      9
    • Denver
      6
    • Dallas
      18
    • Portland
      33
    • Boston (Green Line)
      21
    • San Jose
      2
    • Minneapolis
      5


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What are your favorite LRT systems?

My favorites are:

- Dallas. DART is typically the second most succesful LRT system in our time. Only of the only LRTs that is agressively expanding throughout Dallas to be the most extensive LRT ever! Currently serving Dallas Downtown, Mockingbird Station, Zoo and Plano, DART's future extensions around 2010 should include NW Dallas, Irving, Fair Park and DFW Airport.

- St. Louis. Metrolink is the most successful LRT in America since it serves the main key attractions in STL.

- New Orleans. Streetcar system is unique, especially the St. Charles. Good to see Canal Streetcar resurrected on Canal STreet this year after 40 years.

- San Francisco MUNI. Extensive LRT in the second most densely populated city; really gets you around Frisco without a car in addition to cable cars, buses and BART. I used to like San Jose's system but it's not going well with the city ever since the dot com collapse though. Though not in poll, I also like Sacramento's system.

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I could be a homer and vote Boston, but Boston is not the best.

I voted for Portland. Portland is a model that the rest of the country should be studying.

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In the future, call your polls "In America..." because many cities in the world contain LRTs far better then anything the Americans can build.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The vast majority of members here are American. If you're easily offended by Americentric posts, you may have problems.

We certainly welcome non-Americans and encourage them to participate. Feel free to jump in with a non-American perspective.

Welcome to the forum, where are you from?

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I voted for Portland. Portland is a model that the rest of the country should be studying.

Both Portland and Dallas lead the pack as prime examples of why LRT shouldn't be taking too long to expand. Now that Portland has the Airport MAX and the Interstate MAX (runs on a street called Interstate Avenue, not Interstate 5 two blocks east parallel), Tri-Met is adding the Green Line. It is to run on the Transit Mall n/s in DT where busses run, then follow the I-84 rail corridor with Red and Blue, then south in the I-205 median.

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Never been to Portland, but the Green Line in Boston was one of the best mass tranist experiences I've ever had.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Damn, I hope you haven't been on many transit systems.

The Green Line is great, but it is also over 100 years old. The T doesn't take care of it's stations or trains properly. The Green Line is plagued with crowding and delays. Waiting for the B line at Auditorium at rush hour is ridiculous, sometimes you have to let 3 or 4 trains by before there is one you can squeeze into.

I rode the Green Line for 10 years, so I have the authority to slam it.

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I've been on a few. Yes it was very crowded. I was only there for 2 days so it may not have been the best sample size. Just the same, we got a nice, cheap hotel out past BU. There was a surface stop just outside. We arrived at the Boston Common in under 20 minutes if i remember right. I don't remember ever waiting very long. But hey, maybe I was lucky.

That was a great trip.

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Is San Francisco's BART not light rail? What about Chicago's CTA?

Also, "In America" should definitely be added to the title of the poll becuase many people who have travelled abroad will be able to add useful criticism by comparing US to non-domestic systems.

If we want to talk about whether or not our systems are world class we have to be broad-minded.

Cheers,

Jake

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Is San Francisco's BART not light rail?  What about Chicago's CTA?

Chicago's CTA has one LRT line, the Skokie Express (Yellow). Other than that the entire system is graded as Heavy Rail; either subway, at grade or elevated (hence the Chicago EL). You can tell heavy rail as it will use the third rail for power rather than catenary cables above the train.

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RTD's Light Rail is a very good system.

It has had a positive impact on the community as a whole.

When T-Rex, and FastTracks is completed, Denver will have a very extensive system.

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Is San Francisco's BART not light rail?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

BART is heavy rail, but the SF Muni is light rail.

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Top 3 Boston, San Francisco, and Portland (what about Philly? although I have never riden on the system)

Criteria - Mutliple lines, high ridership and depended on for transport within the city

Boston is a victum of its own success. However, for tourists it is a great system. Stops every few blocks, frequent service, etc. For locals, it stops every few blocks and is packed like sardines during rush hour/sox games.

SF Muni is a great system, but can be susceptible to delays. It will most likely vault to the top with the completion on the Third Street rail and central subway.

I voted for Portland, clean, efficient and depended.

I am interested to see how well LRT works in LA, Denver and Dallas.

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Welcome Beantown, you need to close the tags in your sig to make it show up right, like this.

[b][font=Courier][size=7][color=red]World Series Champion Boston Red Sox[/color][/size][/font][/b]

World Series Champion Boston Red Sox

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I am interested to see how well LRT works in LA, Denver and Dallas.

Dallas' has it going well. Not only that, it worked so well that there are several shopping malls built along, and one of few apartment complexes in a suburb built right on the station -- just 10 feet from your apartment. You can just get on it, and walk to Mockingbird Station Shopping Center; or take a shuttle bus to Northpark.

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I voted for New Orleans because their system is so famous. The streetcars are really neat and although they aren't the fastest or the cleanest, their system is the most historical.

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Chicago's CTA has one LRT line, the Skokie Express (Yellow).  Other than that the entire system is graded as Heavy Rail; either subway, at grade or elevated (hence the Chicago EL).  You can tell heavy rail as it will use the third rail for power rather than catenary cables above the train.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Chicago's Skokie Swift line is now third rail power

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In the future, call your polls "In America..." because many cities in the world contain LRTs far better then anything the Americans can build.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I totally agree.

And I don't think DART in Dallas should even be considered. I grew up in Dallas and I think DART is the worst mass transit system in the world. It isn't so much the fault of DART itself but the fact that Dallas is a city designed for cars, not humans, and a mass transit system could never work well in a city so spread out.

Dallas has always been an extremely corrupt city. The transit authority has not been without its own scandals.. in all the years I lived in Big D I only rode the train once, and it was purely for the reason of "trying it out." I didn't need to go anywhere. It only goes to the Oak Cliff neighborhood (which makes sense), the zoo, downtown (which sadly since the early 90's has been a trash hole), CityPlace and places that make no sense such as Mockingbird Station (one of the snobbiest venues in Dallas). Since most of the jobs are out of the city in places like Plano and Las Colinas, it doesn't serve many people.

I've never been to Portland but I hear their system is great. I have been to San Francisco, and I love their system. It is one of the best I have had the pleasure of using. That lends much to the fact that San Francisco is a relatively small area.

As far as cities outside the USA, I think Madrid, Spain has by-far the best mass transit system in the world. Spain, in general, has an amazing rail system (RENFE) that makes it possible to walk from just about any small town to any corner of the country. The current metro system in downtown Madrid is getting very congested but it is still the most efficiently designed system I have come to know. It blows away the Metropolitain system in Paris, the light rail trains in London, Barcelona, etc. The pleasure of being walking distance from a train is a priveledge I wish everybody could understand.

http://www.metromadrid.es/ :wub:

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Chicago's Skokie Swift line is now third rail power

When did the convert it over? I didn't know it got enough ridership to warrant being anything but LRT.

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