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The Tally Ho

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Response to State of Public Transit Post

This is my first post to date for the Tally Ho since i've been in the midst of moving and settling in a new location. I moved to Portland, Oregon in July from the near-western suburbs of Chicago. Being used to the CTA in Chicago, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of pubic transit available in Portland, a much smaller city than Chicago. Portland has light rail, a streetcar, and, of course, buses. What's great about it is that all of them are free to use downtown! Traffic in downtown Portland, even during morning rush hour, is non-existant. Most people I know park at a Transit Center and take the train/bus downtown. I drive downtown, but that's only because I start a bit later in the morning and by the time I would get on the train, the parking garage is full! In no way is this system perfect. I think the buses should run more frequently and the train stops running late at night. However, the light rail has been so successful that a new line has recently opened extending to the north part of the city.

Did I mention all the bike lanes? Portland has an unbelievable amount of bike lanes including the suburbs! You can also take your bike on any bus or train. Amtrack is also here in Portland but I have yet to check it out. I have a feeling that it's just as unreliable as in the midwest.

I guess Portland can be used as an example of public transit that's heading in the right direction. There is plenty room for improvement but I will say it's pretty darn good and much cleaner than Chicago's CTA!


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