Monday, December 29, 2014

Public transit around the world

"- Do you want to go from Korsvagen or the City center? Bus goes from Korsvagen at some minutes over every hour, then you take the same bus all way over the mountain, or, you can take the other way around; catch the bus at Svingeln, you go by a tram there, hurry! you have to go now! or, well, we can go together to Heden and then you take the bus in either direction.. [..] another option is to go from Linné to the center, change to the express bus and change in Partille Centrum at '45".. but at what time does that leave..?"

Maps are good to have for public transit, and some imaginary maps clues into our heads. Transit seems to have endless of solutions both as the visual system and as the vehicles, as these dubbel-busses from Luzern and the tripple-busses from Hamburg.

In the book from 2007, Transit Maps of the World, Mark Ovenden and Mike Ashworth collected all urban rail systems on earth and here we can take a closer look at some of the cities with rail-ways; above a picture from Geneva, the street is a mix between cars, trams, walking people and bikes.

Above: Freiburg, trams have the space in the middle of the road, and cars at the sides. they have to cross some. In Vauban where cars are limited and ground covered with grass to reduce the sound (left above), the tram takes most of the transportation to the citycenter, as well as bikes. City center in Freiburg is also car reduced and it's only the tram you have to watch out for.
Heidelsberg is an old town in Germany which is not so beautiful in the new part as in the old part. What can be done in this picture? Some grass maybe?

A little funny sign in Stockholm, which got a new tram line 2012. The city also runs a big subway system, light trains and buses.

Oslo, again a mix between pedestrian, buses, cars and trams. A little bit chaotic at this sight.

San Francisco, famous for their hills with old trams for the tourists also got a more modern kind of tram system Muni, buses in town and BART (Bay Area Rapit Transit), a mix betweeen subway and train, for longer distances in the San Fransisco Bay area. But most, they use cars. As a tourist it is quite hard to find the bus routes if you don't know them, and it seems as they don't allow people who are not in the system to go to the system.

Another city in Europe: Warszawa has a tram system from 1865, which converted to electric trams in 1907. The system is actually the second largest in world. Another beautiful thing in Warszawa is the 1/4 green space, see more pictures from the city here.

Above; Göteborg runs with both several tram lines and buss routes. In the picture, one of the old tram cars. Göteborg are having plans to make Västlänken, a subway with a wish to reduce the car commute to the city, but opinions are divided whether it will help or hinder the city to go more green.

 Istanbul, the city with an estimated number of 10 million inhabitans: a tram road without cars, and pedestrian on the sides. Cars have to turn another way (right picture). A very common sight were the trams are is that it is a little bit more harmonic, with people walking and not so many cars, but were the cars are.. it's a lot of cars.

From a terrible city of car jams and accidents to a city with a bus system that works as a subway, and that with less money invested; the city with a big change was Bogota in Colombia (click to read more).
What can we expect from future? Bigger and more systems for public? In this picture, Lausanne in Switzerland, the new metro line; "the mountain goat" goes straight up the hills.

And Zermatt with no cars, a so called completely car free city, use the lift system to go to the mountains and also a mountain train, The Gornergrat Bahn, which takes you from 1,604 to 3,089 meter above sea, a distance of 9.34 km. The line opened in 1898 and was the first electric rack railway in Switzerland. If you want visit the small town, you got to leave the car in the city before, travel in by train, then walk or use small electric vehicles (only for packaging and police, actually) to go around.

What do we see more of in future? More public transit or more roads and cars? A complete listing of Light Rail, Light Railway, Tramway, Metro systems throughout the World, can be found at this homepage.

If you still consider cars before public transport, just watch this video in another future before you say decide.