Oak Lawn Metra train depot

I've been reading and posting a lot of lists lately.   Most national lists only name big metropolitan cities.  One negative of living in the Greater Phoenix area is the lack of public transportation, specifically trains. My husband and I grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and are used to having multiple train stations to get to downtown Chicago's Loop.

I used to work downtown Chicago and took the train 5 days a week. I'd have to drive to the station, park, and then wait for the train. It wasn't too fun in bad Chicago weather, with our terrible snow blizzards, black ice, and hot and humid summers. But I would rather have the train than have to drive every day in rush hour traffic.

The Top Five Cities for Public Transportation Are...

  1. New York with a transit score of 81
  2. San Francisco at 80
  3. Boston at 75
  4. Washington D.C. at 70
  5. Philadelphia at 67

The above cities are the best to go car-less.  I was expecting to see Chicago.  Chicago was under Philadelphia at a score of 65, making it the sixth best U.S. cities for public transit.  I've sold a few condos downtown and as a suburbanite I find it funny how many residents try not to use their cars for fear of losing their parking space, so they use public transportation unless they're traveling too far or out of the city.  My last Chicago buyers got lucky as they got a parking spot with their condo.

Is Transit Score Important to You?

a bus in phoenix arizona

This article is about something I didn't know Walk Score provided called transit score.  Since we now live and work in the Scottsdale area, we accept that there is less public transportation here.  You might be in an area where there isn't even bus service.

We really don't care since we drive everywhere, and I've never liked taking a bus. It would be cool if we could get to a local train depot to get to downtown Phoenix, but it is what it is. We just drive.

My one adult son moved to Arizona with us. He doesn't drive and wasn't happy when we moved away from a bus stop. Fortunately, he can walk to the close-by grocery stores, Walgreens, and fast food places.

Unfortunately, he won't fly either. This is where I really hoped there would be an Amtrak somewhat close so he could ride a train to visit friends and family back in Illinois. I've studied their schedules multiple times and it appears that we'd have to drive him to Flagstaff to get a train to Illinois. Then in Illinois, he'd have to catch a bus to get him to a southwest suburb so his brother or a friend could pick him up. What a pain!

We've taken some fun transportation on vacations. The bus rides were interesting in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. I sure wouldn't want to take those to commute. The most interesting was the fast train ride we took in France to get from Nice to Monaco/Monte Carlo. That was an experience!

To see how Walk Score creates these rankings click here.

Posted by Judy Orr on


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