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Coconut Flan

Dillards 82: Derick Spills the Tea

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AliceInFundyland

We will never start generating a car less culture until we do the things that make it possible.

Vote for transit expansions whenever possible. Vote for gas prices to go up. Consolidate your errands. Take a neighbor.

Anything that decreases our dependance on cars helps. It's like the whole disposable dishes argument.

Whatever we can do, yes? Not all solutions are feasible for everyone. The United States is huge. Everyone had different requirements.

Whenever we have these discussions they devolve into "but me" confessionals.

We aren't the ones flying the private planes.

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neuroticcat

We used to live in the suburbs and not having a car was a stretch. For awhile we tried one car for a big family but it was hard.  But we recently moved to a small town for affordability - population about 8000 and I absolutely adore it. I can walk to everything - library, pediatrician, market, bank, etc. 

Obviously for urgent cares or discount grocery we’d meed to drive but even mostly pedestrian is a huge thing.

BUT we can make it happen because my husband works from home several days a week. Other days he has to drive 30ish minutes to area we used to live. I work from home part time and also am at home with kids. 

Most other people who live here at least have to commute to work. It’s tough in our area because urban living is extremely expensive. So most average families have to move further out which means long can minutes and traffic. Kind of a catch22

Just now, neuroticcat said:

We used to live in the suburbs and not having a car was a stretch. For awhile we tried one car for a big family but it was hard.  But we recently moved to a small town for affordability - population about 8000 and I absolutely adore it. I can walk to everything - library, pediatrician, market, bank, etc. 

Obviously for urgent cares or discount grocery or other hubs we’d need to drive at least 15-20 minutes but even mostly pedestrian is a huge thing.

BUT we can make it happen because my husband works from home several days a week. Other days he has to drive 30ish minutes to area we used to live. I work from home part time and also am at home with kids. 

Most other people who live here at least have to commute to work. It’s tough in our area because urban living is extremely expensive. So most average families have to move further out which means long commutes and traffic. Kind of a catch22

 

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ALM7

I was going to pass on this sensitive subject, but here goes.  Some times everything isn't black or white.

I'm appalled at the state of the US public transit situation.  But, I also live in reality.  I can not speak or those in rural areas, I can't imagine the daily turmoils they experience, lack of local health care providers, commuting a long distance for continued education, personal business they must attend to at their closest city, etc. They either drive, or must make other arrangements. 

But I can speak for myself, and the tens, and tens of millions in my position. I live in a city within a major metro area, my city is 8 miles from OKC  proper.  I'm 20 miles from downtown OKC [doctor, meetings, and entertainment], and I'm 27 miles away from my other doctor. 

OKC is the second largest city in the United States by total land area, following Houston [when not including consolidated cities]. Everything is spread all over the place. 

My city, and the surrounding metro cities, do not have the option of light or commuter rail, there is no bus service to these areas, nothing.  For the most part bus service is within the heart of the city.  We do have street cars, if you're already downtown

Now, within my city in the suburbs.  My preferred grocery store is 4 miles away.  As was suggested by a certain poster, use a bike!  Well, I fill up over 30 canvas bags when I shop, we do have to eat, and we entertain guests.  I hate fast-food, dislike restaurants, because all I can think about is cross contamination, so I cook!  Sure, if I'm downtown I'll grab a bite, but I mainly cook, and have to drive to the damn grocery store!  Guess what, no buses or rails in my suburban city.

Ah, some may say what about ride share going in to OKC, well, Lol, I have tried and tried and tried to organize my community, to no avail.  The only ones that are remotely interested are older seniors, a group of us help them get around, using cars.   

I have paid an enormous amount of taxes, I have fought OKC City Council for environmentally friendly transit, I drive an eco friendly vehicle, I try to combine my trips, I garden, I plant trees on my land, on and on and on, what the hell else can I, or those in my (our) position do?  Should I leave my home of decades, move to downtown OKC,  so I can take advantage of the 7 mile street car system!

The millions of us shouldn't be chastised due to unavoidable circumstances.  

For the most part, the US transit systems are deplorable, shame on Congress, shame on our states, and shame on our cities, put the damn blame where it belongs, not on those that try to be responsible, and have very little options.  

The reality check is, we never give up, we do what we can do in our little corner of the world.  We vote, and remove the disguising politicians that don't give a damn about the environment, our health care, wages, and on and on.  What we shouldn't do is attack those that are trapped due to circumstances.  

Personally, I envy those that have access to mass transit, hopefully, some day we may get there too.  

:going to check my blood pressure: :pb_redface:

ETA ... I too detest drunk drivers.  I carry insurance, with an umbrella policy that would fend off a hurricane, and I consider driving a privilege, not a right.  But that isn't what I was addressing.

 

Edited by ALM7
ETA
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Melissa1977
7 hours ago, FleeJanaFree said:

According to my Women' Shelter, 90% of Americans technically live in rural areas. 90%!!!!!

How can it be possible, with the enormous cities you have? Or do residential areas/suburbs count as rural?

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Mama Mia
26 minutes ago, Melissa1977 said:

How can it be possible, with the enormous cities you have? Or do residential areas/suburbs count as rural?

It’s not. Over 90% of the LAND is considered rural, but only 19% of the PEOPLE live in rural areas.
According to the census. 

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2016/cb16-210.html

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BemusedByFundamentalism

The Netherlands is a very small country, and very densely populated. I don't think there are places that you can't reach by public transport. They have been cutting back on lines that aren't cost effective though, for example instead of a regular bus line they use a minibus/van that people can make reservations for. This is only happening in what we consider rural areas. 
In larger cities it's often more time effective to use public transport than using a car. Trams and light rail in my city have priority over cars at intersections. But we also have a very big biking and walking culture. I think we are quite known/notorious for our bikes in foreign countries. We bike to almost everywhere really. Kids biking to school for 45 minutes is normal. I was lucky to live very close to my schools, within 5 minutes I would be there, but I know a lot of kids bike long distances every day! We have bike lanes almost everywhere though. 
Over the last couple of years there have been created "bike highways" too, making the commute even better for people. 
Also electric bikes have increased dramatically in popularity. From regular bikes to cargo bikes, electric is the new way. People use the cargo bikes (electric or regular) for taking their young kids to daycare/kindergarten etc., or transport their groceries in them (picture of a popular model right now, including rain screen under spoiler). 

Spoiler

urban-arrow-poncho.jpg.bf442ab24f178e654f25f95fd221fe31.jpg

Even though we like to complain like true Dutchmen, I feel very privileged that we have such good access to other options than cars. Because of my chronic illness I'm much more dependent on our car than I would like, so I'm also somewhat hestitant when I hear about new plans to limit access into the city by car, but I'm glad anyway that we have such good public transport options. 

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therulesofjinx
10 hours ago, Vivi_music said:

Which means a lot of North American towns are meant for people to use their cars. I know the suburbs I grew up it was not walker friendly.

My town, and many other towns in my county, are like this. My neighborhood, my mom's old neighborhood, and her current neighborhood (in different towns) don't have sidewalks. At all. We live pretty far north and a good chunk of our year is plagued by winter and we get lots of snow and ice- trying to walk or bike anywhere can be quite treacherous, especially when you're trying to share the road with cars.

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HerNameIsBuffy
13 hours ago, kmachete14 said:

Public transportation is super convenient but you lose out on fresh air and nature. 

To be fair if we don't make improvements to our consumption of fossil fuels fresh air and nature is going to be a moot point in not too long.   Climate change is a thing.

 

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Eponine
16 hours ago, FleeJanaFree said:

According to my Women' Shelter, 90% of Americans technically live in rural areas. 90%!!!!!! 

What on earth?? This is absolutely not true in any way.

You are referring to the land area, which has no relation to where Americans live. The 2010 census showed that almost 81% of Americans live in an area designated as "urban." (The federal definition probably doesn't align with what we typically think of as "urban," but all those areas are likely dense enough to support a bus system, for example.) That figure is only increasing, and the 2020 census will surely show a higher percentage. See this article: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2016/cb16-210.html Some more data on urban areas: http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/us-cities-factsheet.

Also, the point @Maggie Mae is making isn't that everyone should and can stop driving so much immediately, it's that we need to change our mindset that everyone driving all the time is the only possibility out there. We should all be pushing for more widely available, efficient, and affordable public transportation. It's very true that a lot of people in the US simply can't access public transportation, and we don't have a culture of carpooling or ride sharing.

But we shouldn't just accept that this is the only way to operate; it's perfectly possible for our train system to improve, for example. I take a commuter train to work every day and it's a lot faster than it would be to drive because of all the car traffic. This is possible in most areas of the US, but most people ignore the possibility. The only way to improve the transportation infrastructure is to push for policy changes and redirection of funds to make it a priority.

 

 

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SilverBeach

The transportation discussion is kind of ableist. Believe it or not, not everyone can walk or ride a bike, and there's us older folks too. In the shitty climate where I live, even if you can, it may not be advisible to walk or bike during weather like what we are having now. Hauling young children to day care on public transportation is hell. Even where public transportation is readily available, like in Chicago, it doesn't run very much overnight and people who work at night may not be able to use it. Plus, it just ain't safe, not even in the daytime recently. The Metra commuter train is a bit better, but it's a seven dollar one way ride to downtown, fourteen dollars round trip, plus parking at the station from my suburb. It's costs even more further out than me, as fares are zoned by distance to downtown. Unless employers subsidize this, it quickly becomes unaffordable, especially for lower earners. Ride sharing vans and the like are slow, slow, slow, and take away spontaneity. 

I'm not making any moral judgements on those who prefer their private vehicles. We pay many, many dollars in gasoline taxes to support public transportation. No question that public transportation is an important public policy matter. However, the enormous cost of infrastructure and what would likely be a huge tax burden to supply public transportantion to sparsely populated areas means it likely won't happen. 

Interestingly, in areas that try to incentivize carpooling by reserving special lanes or reducing tolls, these lanes are often empty. Car privacy is sacred to many people. Some people enjoy driving as a way to relax and clear their head. I'm not faulting anyone for this. It's a car culture, and it's not changing anytime soon. Society would need to go back to urban centers without shopping malls, and it ain't going to happen.

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apandaaries
1 hour ago, Eponine said:

 

Also, the point @Maggie Mae is making isn't that everyone should and can stop driving so much immediately, it's that we need to change our mindset that everyone driving all the time is the only possibility out there. We should all be pushing for more widely available, efficient, and affordable public transportation. It's very true that a lot of people in the US simply can't access public transportation, and we don't have a culture of carpooling or ride sharing.

But we shouldn't just accept that this is the only way to operate; it's perfectly possible for our train system to improve, for example. I take a commuter train to work every day and it's a lot faster than it would be to drive because of all the car traffic. This is possible in most areas of the US, but most people ignore the possibility. The only way to improve the transportation infrastructure is to push for policy changes and redirection of funds to make it a priority.

 

 

I agree. Though most of the USA wasn’t designed to have public transportation, that doesn’t mean its a good thing nor that we can’t change our transportations systems. Cars are enormous polluters. Period. Our thirst for petroleum has led to several wars and many alliances with highly questionable leaders. If we want our kids and grandkids to have the hope of living on this planet for any length of time, we need to focus on the health of our planet. I know none of us pollute in the levels of a multinational corporation, or the US military, or any billionaire, but all the little things do add up.
Confession: I commute in a car, and would love a different option. It doesn’t exist yet, but it could in the future.

ETA: I adore that Dutch contraption for getting kids around in the snow! Ingenious!

Years ago I visited a Vancouver museum that had an exhibition focused on cars and transportation. Many people will take their gas guzzling car out to the store for one or two items, and the cumulative impact is enormous, so they were focused on different ways to get people short distances with the appropriate amount of seating (imagine how much gas Zsu wastes running around in her giant breeder mobile, designed for eleventy kids, but often taking three at most). 
I think it’s human nature to get defensive about things we do that seem to defy change, but everything can change. If we prioritize it as a society, we can alter what we need to in our world. 
I’m gonna leave this lovely little bit about the backfire effect from the Oatmeal. Definitely worth a read and a think: https://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

Edited by apandaaries
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HerNameIsBuffy
42 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

We pay many, many dollars in gasoline taxes to support public transportation.

And people like you and I pay a hell of a lot in tolls.  $16 a day for me for the privilege of driving myself to work.  Public transport from my suburb to the suburb in which I work would take me downtown first and it's 4 hours 50 min each way.  

WHY ARE OUR TOLLS SO MUCH?!

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Alisamer
1 hour ago, Eponine said:

But we shouldn't just accept that this is the only way to operate; it's perfectly possible for our train system to improve, for example. I take a commuter train to work every day and it's a lot faster than it would be to drive because of all the car traffic. This is possible in most areas of the US, but most people ignore the possibility. The only way to improve the transportation infrastructure is to push for policy changes and redirection of funds to make it a priority.

If 90% of people lived in rural areas, we probably wouldn't have Trump in office, due to how the electoral college works. 

I really think that the train system is the most important thing that needs to improve, in the US. And it needs to be a high speed train system with express options between major cities. Last time I took a train between two cities, it took much, much longer than driving, and I vowed I'd never do that again. (It was for a day trip, and ended up having more time on the train than actually doing what we had gone there for.) The problem is that there are so many road crossings that there is a speed limit of I believe 70mph for most trains, and the one I took at least stopped a zillion times at every small town.

If high speed direct rail existed between major cities, I think many people would use it instead of flying or driving. And since rail lines generally end actually IN the city instead of on the outskirts like an airport, people would be more likely to use public transit once there, rather than renting a car and driving. Assuming the rail travel was affordable, this would increase some revenue from people coming into town for day or weekend trips, and encourage the improvement of public transit within the cities. The better the transit is within the cities, the more likely people just outside the cities are to want to use it, which should help to grow the public transit system outward.

I've taken a train from Charlotte NC to DC before, and it was a very uncomfortable overnight trip. From Charlotte to Atlanta it's a toss-up... driving is (much) faster than the train as it is now. Flying is faster than driving, but can actually take LONGER due to arriving early, going through security, etc. There's a proposed high speed rail line that would take half the time of driving without the hassle of the airport! If that happened (and the tickets were affordable) Atlanta would become an easy day trip from Charlotte! I'm hoping really hard that the rail line actually is built - it'd connect major cities from DC to Atlanta, and possibly farther. That would be AMAZING.

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SilverBeach
26 minutes ago, apandaaries said:

Cars are enormous polluters.

Gasoline fossil-fueled cars are the culprit, and emissions have been greatly reduced over the years.  Prices on electric vehicles need to come down, as they are feasible for short rides and more people would consider them if they were affordable. 

Edited by SilverBeach
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Eponine
49 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

The transportation discussion is kind of ableist. Believe it or not, not everyone can walk or ride a bike, and there's us older folks too. In the shitty climate where I live, even if you can, it may not be advisible to walk or bike during weather like what we are having now. Hauling young children to day care on public transportation is hell. Even where public transportation is readily available, like in Chicago, it doesn't run very much overnight and people who work at night may not be able to use it. Plus, it just ain't safe, not even in the daytime recently. The Metra commuter train is a bit better, but it's a seven dollar one way ride to downtown, fourteen dollars round trip, plus parking at the station from my suburb. It's costs even more further out than me, as fares are zoned by distance to downtown. Unless employers subsidize this, it quickly becomes unaffordable, especially for lower earners. Ride sharing vans and the like are slow, slow, slow, and take away spontaneity.

It isn't necessarily ableist - some places, including where I live, have dedicated branches of public transport for those who aren't able to get around themselves, including those who can't drive. I think it's actually easier for disabled and elderly people to get around where I live than in an area where they would be isolated without access to a car. You can schedule rides in advance and the cars/vans are able to deal with all kinds of medical equipment. (Of course it runs late a lot...because of terrible car traffic.)

But I agree, these are the exact things that would need to change to get rid of so much car usage, and unless public transportation becomes a policy priority, these things will never change. Bike lanes, bus lanes, affordable fares or subsidized fares, and improvements in accessibility for elderly and disabled people are huge issues - the point being not to say, well, this is the way it is and it can't be improved, but that if enough people push for it, it can be improved. With the way everything is right now, car usage will never decrease.

Re: transporting children, though - I was a nanny to a family with 5 kids, the youngest ones being 1 and 3 when I started. Each kid attended a different school, so getting everyone there on time each morning was a huge job. I exclusively used public transportation and it wasn't hell at all, it was fine. Because it was a city that had easily available, affordable, and widespread transit that ran pretty on time - when a place invests in the transportation infrastructure it doesn't have to be a pain in the ass, but I think as Americans we assume it must be.

You're right though that it likely won't happen - it's not the kind of thing that people like paying taxes for and it will take a huge cultural shift to make people care about it. NYC is introducing congesting pricing for those driving into midtown and downtown Manhattan, and the plan is for that money to go 100% to improving the public transportation. It's a major change and a lot of people (mostly in the suburbs) don't like it, but if it encourages people to stop driving into Manhattan and helps them get there other ways I think it's great.

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SilverBeach
Just now, Eponine said:

It isn't necessarily ableist -

I meant the discussion, not public transportation. There was no mention of those who may have limiting factors. For example, when I took the commuter train downtown. navigating the fifty or so steps to reach street level was damn near impossible for me. The one rickety elevator was out of service more often than not and required another half a block or so of walking to get to it. It alsoalways smelled like urine and often had visible pools of it. I didn't want to use it when it was working. I also had a rolling computer bag with me,too heavy to carry and I wasn't dragging it through urine. Public transport often just isn't user friendly. Personally, driving is the last thing I'll give up, the older I get, the more I prize my independence. I'm glad the choice is mine to make.

6 minutes ago, Eponine said:

I exclusively used public transportation and it wasn't hell at all, it was fine.

Not my experience nor those of the other mothers I knew back in my baby making days.  How did you wrangle three kids on a bus, logistically speaking. Did you have a stroller? In Chicago, bus drivers consider it sport to see how jerkily they can pull away from the stop, perhaps before you have finished boarding. Don't know your climate either, but waiting with children in subzero weather ain't no fun. Hell. 

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front hugs > duggs

I also feel it's important to talk about distance and walk-ability/transportation to public schools. The town that I grew up in had no sidewalks near our high school because the high school was on a local interstate. The school actually had buses that could bring in students as close as .1 mile away to as far as 10+ miles out, into other towns (our high school was for three different municipalities).

I didn't understand the "walk to school up hill both ways in the snow" joke for the longest time as a child because I didn't understand that walking to school was a thing 🤦‍♀️

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Eponine
7 minutes ago, SilverBeach said:

For example, when I took the commuter train downtown. navigating the fifty or so steps to reach street level was damn near impossible for me. The one rickety elevator was out of service more often than not and required another half a block or so of walking to get to it.

The poor maintenance of elevators, escalators, and stairways in the subway and train systems here is absolutely appalling. It's something I really hope is prioritized when they're putting more money into the transportation here. Yeah, I would never ever want to use the subway if I had to rely on elevators to navigate.

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LurkerOverThePond

I'm 41 and don't have a driving licence. Mr Lurker does have one but we don't have a car, nor are we planning to buy one, because we can get to pretty much everywhere (including work) we normally need to by public transport, which is mostly high standard, effective, and a lot cheaper than a car (purchase, insurance, repairs, proper winter tyres, not to mention the high cost of gas here).

But - I live in Northern Europe, not in North America. Since 2008 I've visited some big North American cities - Vancouver, Seattle, Portland (OR), and three times NYC, and all of them had at least acceptable public transport, and NYC had pretty great. But when we travelled from Vancouver down to Seattle and later to Portland, the situation was a lot worse. Pretty much everywhere in Europe  you can rely on fast (or not so fast) intercity trains which run several times a day. There was (at least back in 2008) only one train between these West Coast cities and it didn't run daily, so we had to take the Greyhound buses (which were terribly late and horribly over-crowded) for the most of the trip, only taking the train from Seattle to Tacoma, if I recall it right. And those Greyhounds didn't have that many daily (or in some cases weekly) departures either. That experience made me truly understand why the Americans mostly drive from a to b. And this was in Pacific Northwest between many sizeable towns and cities and not in rural Wyoming or Arkansas, for example.

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Not that josh's mom

Thinking about driving where I live with no public transportation.  We combine trips to doctor, pharmacy, and grocery store. That trip is 12-15 miles one way. Trying to remember the last time we were more than 30 miles from home. - and that was a doctor's appointment.  It's been over two years. Ok, we drive wherever we go, but one 25-30 mile trip once a week or every two weeks is the best we can do. 

Neither of us has had so much as a parking ticket in our combined over 100 years of driving. We would never drive impaired or under suspension, or without insurance.  Not sure what will happen when we both become unable to drive. Because of the area and lack of public transportation, we will probably have to move to a care center.  That's sad, isnt it?

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PennySycamore

@Alisamer,  I've taken the Crescent a number of times from Clemson or Greenville to DC and back.  It wasn't bad, no more so than driving.  Of course, a few of those trips the Crescent was still under the control of Southern Railways but it wasn't bad after it became an Amtrak train.  Unfortunately, they no longer have the dining car, only a lounge car for passengers of the sleeping cars.  If you're just one of us peons slumming in coach, you're out of luck. That's the kind of shit that happens when you appoint a damed airline executive to run Amtrak!  The dining car was fabulous!  Tablecloths, real silverware, great food and it was available to every passenger.  

Having said that,  my daughter and I took the Silver Meteor from Columbia to Orlando two years ago for our birthday trip to WDW.  She lives in Columbia and so it was just a short jaunt to the train station.  We could each check two bags at no charge and additionally take more bags with us into the coach.  We needed that coming back.  We left Columbia about 1 in the morning and arrived in Orlando around 10.  It would have been nice if we'd had a dining car, but we coped.  I think I had a bagel and a cup of coffee for breakfast.  Taking the Silver Meteor is the only way I want to go to Orlando from now on.

I also love it if there were high speed rail from Greenville to Memphis.  I'd take the train when I wanted to visit my daughter's family.  As it is now, I'd have to take the Crescent to New Orleans, then the City of New Orleans to Memphis.  I'd love to do that sometime, but it would take too much time traveling if I want to make a quick trip 

I'm aboard the high speed train for the Atlanta-Charlotte and beyond corridor as well!

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Eponine
2 hours ago, SilverBeach said:

Not my experience nor those of the other mothers I knew back in my baby making days.  How did you wrangle three kids on a bus, logistically speaking. Did you have a stroller? In Chicago, bus drivers consider it sport to see how jerkily they can pull away from the stop, perhaps before you have finished boarding. Don't know your climate either, but waiting with children in subzero weather ain't no fun. Hell. 

For the bus it was usually one in the stroller, one holds onto the stroller or just tags along depending on age, and I wore one in the front. I never tried to take the double stroller on the bus as it was just too bulky. For the subway, if the stops had elevators I could use the double stroller, but I tried to avoid strollers altogether and wear the baby, hold the 3/4 year old's hand, and assorted others would hold hands if they were with me. I almost always had at least the two youngest with me, and it was always some combo of stroller/wearing one/double stroller.

This was in central Paris, so bus stops and subway stops are abundant, we never had to walk super far to get one. They're very reliable as well, so it was rare to have to wait around too long. Definitely not anywhere near as cold as Chicago but not balmy (and often very rainy).

The difference is largely just in the ease of use of that particular system. I take my small nieces and nephews are NYC a fair amount and it's way more difficult. It just doesn't have to be, in my experience.

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treehugger

I never did public transit with a baby (although baby wearing would make it simple enough), but I did take a 5 and 3 year old on public transit (2 bus transfers to school and a bus/metro/bus route home) every school day to bring the oldest to kindergarten. We live in Montreal.  There was often snow.  

The truth is, it really wasn't bad at all.  There were a few times we missed the bus and had to walk 20 minutes the last bit, but it's a refreshing thing to do.  The kids never knew any different and they are both champion walkers now.  In fact, while they now go to a school closer to our home (where they get to take the school bus), they actually asked me several times to pick them up after school so we could walk home (a 45 min walk on hilly terrain) together.  They love walking and it is so good for them.  Also, they are completely comfortable riding the bus and metro (with me obviously, they aren't quite old enough to do it alone yet).  "Bus legs" are very similar to "sea legs", and they picked it up pretty quickly.  

Of course, we are all healthy, and it would be very different if walking was a struggle.  I do believe though, that it makes sense to use public transit, if you are able to, and that it should be encouraged and improved upon.  

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HerNameIsBuffy
17 minutes ago, treehugger said:

I never did public transit with a baby (although baby wearing would make it simple enough), but I did take a 5 and 3 year old on public transit (2 bus transfers to school and a bus/metro/bus route home) every school day to bring the oldest to kindergarten. We live in Montreal.  There was often snow.  

The truth is, it really wasn't bad at all.  There were a few times we missed the bus and had to walk 20 minutes the last bit, but it's a refreshing thing to do.  The kids never knew any different and they are both champion walkers now.  In fact, while they now go to a school closer to our home (where they get to take the school bus), they actually asked me several times to pick them up after school so we could walk home (a 45 min walk on hilly terrain) together.  They love walking and it is so good for them.  Also, they are completely comfortable riding the bus and metro (with me obviously, they aren't quite old enough to do it alone yet).  "Bus legs" are very similar to "sea legs", and they picked it up pretty quickly.  

Of course, we are all healthy, and it would be very different if walking was a struggle.  I do believe though, that it makes sense to use public transit, if you are able to, and that it should be encouraged and improved upon.  

Username checks out :) 

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treehugger
1 minute ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

Username checks out :) 

Sorry, I reread it and it sounds a bit like I was bragging. I didn’t mean for it to come across that way. I just wanted to provide a different North American perspective.  I’m envious of Europe’s transit, and annoyed that Canada ripped out half its railway lines when roads became vogue.  After all, North America was settled before the invention of cars, and the trains were perfectly functional.  Thankfully, there is still a good train route between Montreal and Southern Ontario, so our little car-free family can visit our extended family.  

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