Monday, December 17, 2012

Istanbul Shames DC Transit

I have been meaning to write this post for a while since I was in Istanbul about a year ago, but George beat me to it.

My experience was the same, though I was only there for a few days.

I remember the "PIDs" for the funicular up to Taksim Square even counted down by the second.

Be sure to leave your impressions of other cities' transit systems here.
I just got back from several months in Istanbul, Turkey. While there, I didn't have a car and depended on mass transit for pretty much every move.

Let me start by saying Istanbul puts DC to shame. I never, ever ever was offloaded there, and I was a heavy user of the buses, subway, streetcar and even ferries.

Furthermore, it seemed almost magical. When I needed to take a subway to a bus, the bus was there. When I needed to take a streetcar from the subway, the streetcar was there.

And in Istanbul, they even have ferries mixed into the picture. Yeah, they go on a schedule, too. Amazing how a schedule helps riders.

Mind you, I'm talking rush hour, late night, Saturday, anytime.

To paraphrase Steve Jobs, it just worked.

Fares are just over a buck, though on some transfers you do have to pay again. 

That was my first experience with a mass transit system outside of DC, and it really opened my eyes. Metro is really not a good value at all, not to mention how shaky the service is.

The U.S. ranks first in nominal GDP while Turkey ranks 17, behind Mexico.
Other items:
26 rail cracks this year (Examiner)
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