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Friday fun poll: how many cities have you tried transit in?

If you like, you can skip to the end of this post to answer the poll about riding transit in other cities.

Results from last poll: collecting tickets

Last week I asked whether you collected your tickets and passes.

And out of 122 votes, the majority said they collect passes solely for the income tax deduction (56%). 39% say they just collect passes in general, and just 15% didn’t collect their tickets at all.

Well, I guess a tax cut is a great incentive to hold on to your pass! Although here’s why David Arthur saves his tickets:

I find they make nice bookmarks – at the moment, I’m using several Vancouver passes, a Toronto transfer, and a pair of Swedish railway tickets for this purpose.

And Dora said ticket collection sometimes just sort of happens.

These days I collect my passes for the tax deduction, but for a while when I was in high school/university I’d just randomly keep my transfers or passes. Sometimes I’d use a transfer as a bookmark for a while, but usually I’d just take my transfer (the old newsprint tear-off ones), folded into a little packet so I could stick it in the corner of my pocket, and put it in a box…by the time I moved out from my parents’ house and finally got rid of them, I had the equivalent of a shoebox full of folded-up transfers from high school and summers, and two years of monthly passes from university before the UPass program started at UBC.

But Nimo from Argentina gave us a reminder that smartcard technology will definitely replace our current tickets and passes — perhaps a reason to hang on to a few, if you’re nostalgic. Nimo wrote that his system only has plastic RFID tickets now: here’s a picture of the ticket and machine on a bus.

Have a look at all the comments at the original post.

This week’s poll: have you been on transit in other cities?

Since I was just in Chicago riding trains all over the region, I thought I’d put the question to you guys: how many cities have you tried transit in?

Feel free to share which cities you have been to in the comments!


  • By Cree, June 19, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Counting all of Metro Vancouver as one city, then I’ve been on transit (be it train or bus) in 5 different cities in Japan — Tokyo, Kanazawa, Osaka, Kyoto, & Nagoya. Love it, Love it, Love it; I love JP Transit!

  • By Cow, June 19, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

    I admit to being a transit (and travel) nerd, but let’s see…Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis (they have light rail now!), San Francisco, New York (used to live midstate; Dad took the Metro North Railroad two hours each way every day), Washington DC. Also, off the continent: Malaga and Granada in Spain (Malaga has an excellent suburban rail system–and they just finished the bullet train line to Madrid, which I haven’t been on yet), Tokyo, Osaka (and the shinkansen between! 300 kph train!), Kobe…

    There used to be one of those blog memes where you could check off all the Metro (/subway/light rail/etc.) systems you’ve been on. I liked thinking of it as a checklist. :D

  • By Alexwarrior, June 19, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    Let’s see… Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Portland, Ottawa, St John’s, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Venice, Florence, Rome.

    Ottawa has a neat thing going with their “Transitway” network, i.e. roads for just buses, sometimes grade separated. But, they have lots of space there for that type of thing there.

    I got a 40 Euro fine in Paris. I paid the wrong fare, d’oh! (Wasn’t on purpose) I framed the ticket and it made a nice souvenir for my wall.

  • By Daniel Quinn, June 19, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

    As you can see from the results, you might try running this same poll again but with the options in the higher registers: 1, 3, 5, 10, 15+ maybe.

    For my part I’ve used transit in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Acapulco, Amsterdam, Berlin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Seoul, Yeosu, Tokyo and Kyoto.

  • By Mike, June 19, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

    Greater Vancouver, Powell River, Abbotsford/Mission, Edmonton, Victoria, Las Vegas, Seattle, Bellingham.

    My ATM card didn’t work at the machines in Vegas so I was given a complementary fare for the monorail.

    It’s possible to take only public transit from Vancouver to Seattle by leapfrogging from transit system to transit system. Doing that is five transit systems in and of itself.

  • By david yip, June 19, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

    Just returned from Portland. With a 7 day all zone pass ($22.50) rode LRT, street car and regular transit. Did not ride aerial tram ($4
    round trip) as pass did not qualify.
    Last week, down in central Puget Sound, purchased
    new Orca card for travel in participating transit agencies including Wash. ferry. Also used Jefferson County and Callam County transit enroute to Port Angeles to catch Blackball ferry to Victoria.
    In Ontario used transit from Hamilton to
    Oshawa. Obtained money’s worth with GTA weekly
    ($47) valid for Brampton, Mississauga, Toronto
    and York Region transit systems. Separate fares required sytems outside this area. Also London before going to Toronto.
    Other cities include: Nanaimo, Victoria, Calgary LRT (lines prior to winter Olympics),
    Edmonton buses and LRT, Saskatoon, Las Vegas,
    San Francisco BART (1988) and cable cars, Reno,
    Bellingham, Mt. Vernon and Whidbey Is.

  • By frank, June 19, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

    Calgary, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Seoul, Busan, Paris, Rome, Munich, London, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vegas, Disneyland.

    I remember seeing the system in Portland when I was there but can not remember if I rode.

    I always look for to use a train system over the bus system. Always check what system is available and the routes to where I want to go and stay before booking my trip.

    I wish more cities in Canada and USA had city to city train systems.

  • By ;-), June 20, 2009 @ 8:39 am

    @Mike… there are times I wonder why there is no weekend Translink bus service to the Border, especially when sometimes the line up is 5hrs long by car.

    Unless I want to pay for Quick Shuttle, Greyhound or Amtrack, I guess I will continue to drive. Otherwise take the bus to White Rock and catch a taxi.

  • By Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, June 20, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    Over the years I have travelled transit in these cities: Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Grand Prairie, Montreal, Saint John NB, Moncton, London UK, Paris, Nice, Monaco, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Koln, Braunschweig, Hannover, Kassel, Bonn, Konstanz, Basel, Zurich, Aarau, Winterthur, Lausanne, Geneve, Montreux, Firenze, Venezia, Roma, L’Aquila, and Barcelona.

  • By Sungsu, June 20, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    About 24 for me.

  • By Mike, June 20, 2009 @ 11:22 am

    ;-), It would be great if they had a bus down to Peace Arch Park utilizing the NEXUS lane. I can tell you as a NEXUS user, I wouldn’t be annoyed at all to see that (maybe even a little delighted). It could use the U-turn in the median just north of the Canadian Customs Building. Even a dial-a-bus type service to extend service past the 8th ave terminus would be sufficient to serve the border and get to Bellingham. The problem with weekend service to the border is that then you’d have to convince Whatcom Transit to run the 70X on weekends as well. (I think they run a trip or two on Saturday, though.)

    It appears that the 70X Bellingham is somewhat timed to meet up with the 321 White Rock South because I noticed that the departure time on the 70X is about 25 minutes after the 321 arrives at 8th avenue. That’s the perfect amount of time it took to walk the 8 blocks, clear customs, and walk another two blocks to Blaine’s city hall to take the 70X.

    On a sidenote: in Windsor they have the tunnel bus in which the bus actually goes to Detroit; all the passengers and the driver have to clear customs.

  • By Eric, June 20, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

    Here’s my list: Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Seattle (KC Metro), Portland, Los Angeles MTA, Santa Monica, Montreal, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, Belfast (whose system is named Translink!), Dublin, Cardiff, London, and Paris.

  • By Bryan, June 20, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

    As for me its: Victoria, Whistler, Kitchener, Toronto, Niagara, Seattle, Porland, San Francisco, Oakland, Budapest and Amsterdam.

    @ Mike That would be a good idea and hey thanks for the tip about taking transit to Bellingham now I have the option to either take Amtrak to go back to Seattle or take transit or Greyhound. But that would be nice taking transit to the US, and why not have the West Coast Express link up with Sounder Trains.

  • By Mike, June 20, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

    @Bryan Note that return trip is only possible on Monday to Friday and only as far as Mount Vernon. Any further south and you’re staying for the day. Oh and have an itinerary handy; US Customs thought it wasn’t possible until I showed them the itinerary and a return trip too.

  • By ;-), June 21, 2009 @ 8:18 am

    Thanks for the tip on the 70x (ironically the same number for the Swartz Bay to Victoria bus). Click on my name for a transit map of the Washington service.

    I’m addicted to Google Map’s transit planner when traveling in a foreign city. It’s too bad that not all services are converted to it.

  • By ;-), June 21, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    In addition to the 70x, there is a Saturday 55 service to Bellis Fair that runs on a BC Ferry frequency. Click on my name to see it.

  • By David, June 21, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

    Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Oxford, Amsterdam, Berlin, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Munich, Hong Kong and probably a few more that I can’t recall just now.

    By the way, Alexwarrior, the Ottawa busways are a well documented failure. When they opened transit ridership began dropping. A decade after the first busway opened ridership on the system was down 15%. It has taken many years of growth and other initiatives like the O-Train to get the numbers moving back in the right direction in our nation’s capital.

  • By Arnold, June 21, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

    My list:

    California: OCTA (Orange County), LACMTA (Los Angeles)
    Washington: WTA (Bellingham/Whatcom County)
    British Columbia: TransLink, BC Transit (Victoria)
    Hong Kong: too many to name, but only when I was younger

    Also, I’ll be working in Seoul this fall so I’ll be able to experience a few over there as well.

  • By Donald, June 22, 2009 @ 8:49 am

    Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Windsor, Ottawa, Montreal, Detroit, New York City, Portland, and last but certainly not least Tokyo (and its surrounding suburbs).

    Heck just with Translink alone we’ve all probably travelled in at least a few of the over 20 cities and districts Translink serves from Anmore to White Rock. ;)

  • By Jamey, June 22, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    Everytime I travel, I try to use transit in the city I visit.

    Victoria, Whistler, Calgary, Montreal, New York, New Jersey Transit, Los Angeles, Anaheim (OCTA), San Francisco, Seattle, Manila, and Wellington, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia

    But none of these compare to Translink. There’s just a certain quality about the Skytrain and Seabus that make Vancouver’s transit system tops!

  • By Robert, June 22, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    So far Victoria, Skagit Valley (free at the time!), Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto (including GO Transit, York Region), Kitchener, Ottawa, Montreal, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Hong Kong (incl. Peak Tram), Penang, Singapore.

  • By Scott, June 22, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    Mind the Gap!

  • By Dave2, June 22, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    New York, London, Paris, Munich… and many others

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 22, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    Hey, that’s a line from Pop Musik!

  • By Kris, June 22, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

    I’ve used transit in Edmonton, Calgary, Greater Vancouver, Seattle, Tokyo, Kamakura, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima. I’m sure there are still a couple I forgot.

  • By david yip, June 22, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    For those interested in doing more transit in
    the pacific northwest, log onto Hope to try Seattle to Salem
    in the fall.

  • By Dora, June 22, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    Hmm…let’s see.

    Metro Vancouver, Victoria, the Sunshine Coast, Edmonton, Frankfurt, Budapest (& suburbs), Munich, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Paris, London, Edinburgh, York, Cornwall*, and the Isle of Skye. This summer will also add Dublin, and possibly Bristol and Bath, to the list. I definitely think this poll would be worth repeating with more breakdown in the 5+ category! :)

    I once got a talking-to (but thankfully no ticket) in Frankfurt because the group of us accidentally go into the first class section of the commuter train (who ever heard of a first class section on an intra-city train?). I often find myself missing London’s Oyster card system and wishing we had something similar here at home.

    *Which is of course region and not a city, but listing the villages and towns I rode the regional public transit between would feel like cheating since it’s all one system — my dad and I were walking a portion of the Cornish coast, until I developed tendonitis in my ankle and we had to spend four days bussing instead while the swelling went down.

  • By Derek, July 31, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    I’ve ridden the MBTA (Boston) and the MTA (New York). I have to say, the New York subway experience is definitely not something anyone’ll want to miss. It’s definitely one of the best systems in the world.

  • By ;-), August 13, 2009 @ 7:48 am

    Shortly after the Canada Line starts operation next week. On the 19th, we will be able to take the Amtrak for shopping day trips without delays. Click on my name link for details.

    Currently the single Vancouver train departs at 5:45pm and leaves Seattle at 7:40am

    The new train departs Vancouver at 6:40am for Seattle (arrive 11am) and Portland. It leaves Seattle at 6:30pm and arrives in Vancouver 10pm. It’s $35 each way.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, August 13, 2009 @ 3:29 pm

    That’s exciting news!

  • By Mark, November 2, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Rome, Paris, London, Florence, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok

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