I feel like I could have been reading about Toronto in this article, though in Toronto we often compare our public transit system to New York’s.
Like New York, we’re a public transit city. Like L.A., we’re a driving city with highway gridlock. We’re both. Some people are weekend drivers who commute to work via public transit to avoid parking costs and traffic, others drive daily.
Our subway system is a LOT smaller than NYC’s with a current new subway line being created and messing up traffic, and other subway and streetcar lines being expanded or fixed, also affecting traffic, which affects businesses.
There’s nothing the public can do about it. When the current new system is built it will be good, and improvements to existing infrastructure need to be made. In the meantime, it’s a pain in the ass and clusterfucks (an official transit term, right?) are inevitable. It recently took me nearly 2 hours and three buses to get home during rush hour from a place I’ll likely never go again because I was travelling the street that’s under construction for the new subway. Many people experience long commutes like this daily for a variety of reasons.
Subway maintenance is usually done weekends and overnight. We don’t have 24-hour service and so the powers that be try to keep the work to overnight and only close on weekends when most people aren’t commuting to work. That’s when shuttle buses run.
Hyperloop could happen but seems more like a dream than anything. Still, dreaming big isn’t a bad thing.
Andy Byford was the CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission from 2011 to 2017, so he might have taken some learnings over.
The determined commuters will squeeze into every available space until there is less than one square foot per person. They will take off their backpacks, suck in their stomach, and make a little bit more room.
One of the problems is that in my city, they don’t. They keep their backpacks on. They block the doors rather than moving into available spots. They leave seats empty (even if you’re only going one stop, it helps with the flow of traffic to take that seat!). They don’t make room for those who need a seat such as pregnant women, the elderly, etc. and they take up more than one seat. Like another gentleman pointed out, some commuters do get handsy. (A reason why I think people are more likely to keep backpacks on — as a buffer.)
But, it’s a necessary evil and part of a city’s infrastructure.