More on car-free travel

According the American Public Transportation Association, lots of folks who travel to major U.S. cities this summer will use public transit to get around those cities. From a recent press release:

In its Green Travel Forecast, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimates that 90 million American adults will travel to large American cities this summer. On average, one out of three people surveyed said they will tour green by using public transportation (34 percent)… A ranking of the top ten city destinations and their transit use among visitors follows:

• New York City (48%)
• Washington, DC (46%)
• Boston, MA (43%)
• San Francisco (40%)
• Philadelphia (34%)
• Chicago (31%)
Seattle (30%)
• Las Vegas (26%)
• Los Angeles (26%)
• Atlanta (22%)

I love taking public transit in unfamiliar cities. Yes, there is the anxiety associated with learning a new system–how and when to pay, where to get off, etc. (thank God for the Internet)–but that is easily offset by the adventure factor. Plus, you learn a lot more about a city on a public bus (or train) than you ever would on a tour bus.

Here are some of the reasons the people surveyed are choosing to ride:

Sixty-two percent said it would be less expensive than taxicabs or rental cars, followed closely by 61 percent who say they won’t have to worry about finding a parking space for their vehicle. Another 48 percent say they will use public transportation when traveling because it is easier to use, while 42 percent like not having to drive around an unfamiliar city…

For those of you who are planning to travel to another city this summer, APTA has put together this guide: “Green Travel Forecast, a Consumer’s Guide to Touring American Cities in a More Environmentally Friendly Way.” The section on Seattle isn’t all that informative (it doesn’t really explain the relationships among the agencies or distinguish between commuter and city service), so I’m not sure how useful the stuff about the other cities is. Still, at the very least, it’s a good place to start for links.

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