As we all put our thinking caps on for this “save the environment” thing, and Americans begin to scream under the weight of rising fuel costs, one of the best ways around leaving a giant carbon footprint, or paying an arm and a leg, is to take the bus. Or the train. Or a subway.
After all, why take a car? CNN filmed people paying for gas yesterday like it was news!
So, without further ado here are the five best places for you to be shacked up on this planet if you want to have somebody else take you from place to place.
The huge Chicago Transit Authority covers the Windy City as well as 40 suburbs and operates 24 hours a day, moving 1.6 Million people daily. With over 144 stations for the elevated train, not much of the city is out of range for the famed “el.” There are even commuter rail spurs that go as far away as South Bend, Indiana. Nice.
The Paris Metro boasts being both the second-most heavily trafficked subway system in the world, carrying 4.5 Million people every day, and having more stations closer to one another than any other system – 245 stations in 41 square kilometers. You might want to bring a book to escape from the sardine can.
London, which features the oldest subway system in the world, moves 3.4 million people every day on the tube alone, but that’s only part of the story. Transport for London, the comprehensive system administered from the mayor’s office, operates light and commuter rail and buses, and offers comprehensive trip and traffic information in real-time on their website.Traveling on the tube is not a particularly pleasant experience, but is by far the most efficient way to get round.
2. New York
One in every three mass transit users in the entire United States, uses the New York system or if you like, 4.5 Million people a day. They’re so effective as a matter of fact, that New York is the only city in the U.S. where more than half of the households don’t own a car. Up to 75% of the population of Manhattan is without four-wheeled transport. Now that’s a statistic to beat.
1. Hong Kong
For sheer volume, Hong Kong is the most effective system in the world: 90% of all traveling is done by mass transit. The 7 million daily riders have access to something known as an “octopus card” which is accepted as currency not just to move them around the city, but also at parking meters, convenience stores, and fast-food restaurants. Looking towards the future, shouldn’t all cities be copying this system?