So far at transportation Tuesdays, we’ve brought you the Top 5 Greenest Sports Cars and the Top 6 Sexiest Bicycles. Now, in the spirit of green civic pride, we’d like to focus on public transportation. Good public transportation can mean a number of things, but it is generally defined as being easy to use, efficient, clean, and get you where you want to go with as little fuss as possible. A tall order indeed. Here are our top five cities…
5. Moscow, Russia
There are few things by which you can set your watch to, the sun, the wavelength of an atomic clock, and the Moscow Metro. Said to be the most precise subway in the world, the Moscow Metro is a marvel of efficiency, speed, and beauty. On an average weekday, the metro carries over 8.2 million passengers, making it one of the busiest in the world. And as if that wasn’t enough, every station in the subway system features beautiful ornate architecture worthy of being featured in a museum. So in Moscow, the subway trains run, and they run well.
4. Paris, France
Ah Paris, the city of love, beauty and metro stations everywhere. The Paris Métro is the second oldest subway system in the world, it is also the one with the best coverage, as you are pretty much only going to be about 500 meters from a station if you ever need to get anywhere. And just in case that you cannot get to where you want to go via metro? just take a bike!
3. London, England
Not content with being able to brag about having the oldest subway system in the world, by almost 40 years, the city of London also distinguishes itself from every other thanks to their iconic red double decker buses. So what can you expect if you were to travel to London? Well, there’s the Tube, as it is affectionately known, which carries over 3 million people a day. Then there’s the DLR which is an automated light rail system covering the docklands, and a suburban tram system. Add to all this the infamous double decker buses and you end up with one of the best public transport systems in the world. There are a few things which detract from making London the best transportation system in the world, namely, the fact that once it gets past midnight, it gets sort of hard to move around, as the subway system shuts down. Having said that, the fact that you can easily see when the train is coming next with digital signs, and the cushy interior design (by NYC and Paris standards), can help mitigate that little fact.
2. New York, United States
Remarkable for having the largest subway system in the world track wise, transportation in NYC is a combination of ferries, buses, trains, subways and pedestrian and bicycle pathways. It is the only city in the United Stated in which more people use public transportation that private transportation, and the only locality where more than half of the population has no cars. If you can make it here in New York, you probably made it through public transportation. Now unlike London, and most of the public transport systems in the world, you can travel at any time that you want in NYC, even after midnight. Unfortunately, unlike London as well, NYC subway stations are dirty, generally unkept, could use some serious maintenance and work. You also have to guess as to whether or not the train that you are getting is the one that you want, as there is no indication of when the next train will be coming next. And if you get on it, do hope that it doesn’t change course.
1. Tokyo, Japan
Probably one of the most complex transit systems in the world, the public transportation system in Tokyo can only be describe as massive. The public transportation system in Tokyo is bases on a combination of light rail, ferry, bus, and the famous, and privately owned, subway lines of Tokyo. To put the sheer magnitude of the Tokyo public transportation lines in perspective, if you were to combine the entire number of trips done in the city (all 10.6 billion of them), you would get the same number of trips from all the transportation of the continental United Stated and Canada combined. Needless to say, if you want to get anywhere in Tokyo, you can do it via public transport. You might just have to shuffle from line to line, to do so.