Talk:United States without a car

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Bad places to not own a car[edit]

First of all I guess not owning a car is even worse in rural or suburban areas than in say (downtown) Atlanta or (downtown) LA. That being said, both cities are among the worst offenders when it comes to sprawl and car oriented development. I still vividly recall an outline of Atlanta overlaid with one of Barcelona (which was barely visible against the huge area of Atlanta) with the information that both places have similar numbers of inhabitants. The conclusion how many people in either city live closer than x to the next transit stop was rather self-evident. That being said, I guess the bad places are slowly but surely moving in the right direction.... - Well LA is at least - and we should be careful not to reproduce stereotypes once they are no longer true. That being said, Atlanta recently managed to have lower ridership on its metro compared to the previous year in a year of rising gas prices and exploding transit growth. Somewhere some decisions regarding public transit in Atlanta went horribly wrong. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:20, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Should we include hitchhiking[edit]

While it is technically a mode to get around without your own car, it is still a method ultimately getting around by car (if we want to be technical about it). Ultimately every point in the US that is accessible by car is also accessible by hitchhiking. Which would ultimately make this article an article on Hitchhiking in the USA with a bit of buses and Amtrak tacked on awkwardly... Or am I seeing this wrong? Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:36, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

I rewrote the sentence. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:57, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Though country specific guides on hitchhiking might have their place on WV.... With the US (or another major, well covered country) probably making for a good test case as to whether such an article would be viable... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:14, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, given that someone has knowledge to write about the subject. ϒpsilon (talk) 15:19, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Do Amtrak and/or intercity bus operators carry bikes?[edit]

Is there any one consistent policy regarding the possibility to take your own bike with you on a train or bus? Given that we currently spell out the difficulties of biking from place to place, it may be good to at least mention whether the alternative of having your bike carried for you is indeed feasible. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:55, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, you can take your bike on the train. Amtrak says they "may be subject to additional packing requirements and service fees", but in practice, I doubt there is ever a problem with just taking it onto the train. I think the same is true of buses, which tend to have plenty of stowage, except that if you're concerned about your bike being crushed in the storage area, you might want to pack it well in a big box or something. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:23, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Well I think we should mention this in the article, as it is far from universal. In Germany for example, bus operators require advance notice and ICE trains don't carry them at all - though the new trains DB will acquire in the next decade or so explicitly call for bike storage Hobbitschuster (talk) 10:52, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Canada/Australia without a car[edit]

While most high-income countries in Europe and Asia would be easy to cross by public transport, Canada without a car could be more of a challenge. Maybe Australia without a car as well? /Yvwv (talk) 11:20, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

I haven't been to Australia, but I know they do have a transcontinental railway. However, there are vast areas of the country that you can't get to by train. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:24, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
I think it was I who posted this in our requested articles with a sentence along the lines of "if this proves successful, we can attempt a similar article for other places" - so by all means, please go ahead. I will probably not be able to contribute much of substance, though. Hobbitschuster (talk) 11:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

To guide and possible FTT?[edit]

What does the article need for guide status in your opinion? Markers and a dynamic map, maybe? ϒpsilon (talk) 15:11, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

It still lacks a coherent narrative to a degree... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:17, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

New York City particularly good for cycling?[edit]

I'd be too scared to cycle here. My friends who cycle here extensively have in some cases been involved in several accidents, and it's well-known that there are very commonly obstacles in bike paths, including police cars, delivery vehicles and heedless pedestrians, and many of the drivers of cars and other motorized vehicles are quite aggressive toward bikes in this city. I would suggest removing New York from the list of cities that are particularly good for cycling, but perhaps some other folks have different views on this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:42, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

I agree with removing it. I'll go ahead and do that. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:56, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Relevance of political stuff in intro?[edit]

I don't know how relevant it is that people in the US consider public transportation a form of welfare, or even how true that is. I believe that maybe some people do, but the main reason it's not popular here is because of how spread out everything is. Jedieaston (talk) 04:11, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

Not true. Read this. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:02, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Also, note that China is larger in area than the U.S., yet it has abundant high-speed rail and subway systems. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:39, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Removed some of the phrases which don't really add to the story. /Yvwv (talk) 11:01, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
it's generally a good idea for us to say less about politics than more because Wikivoyage doesn't require sources. This leads to stuff being added that someone thinks is true, but just isn't. A recent edit added a comment about tolls not being spent on transportation with the edit summary "my understanding is that many added tolls, etc. see only 20% of their money go to transportation". A quick Google search shows that no state spends more than 100% of tolls on transportation. It would be better if contributors confirm statements like this before adding them. That probably won't happen, so I think we should look at cutting down on unsourced (and possibly untrue) political background stuff, rather than requiring sources. Ground Zero (talk) 11:26, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I’m not saying where funds for roads come from, but rather the fact (from what I’ve read) that toll revenues don’t actually go to the transportation services they’re supposed to be going towards. But yes, it is irrelevant. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:05, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I'm sorry: I still don't follow you. If Hawaii gets from gas taxes, tolls, user fees, and user taxes only 71% of what it spends on state and local roads, more than any other state, how can road tolls not be going into transportation services? Every state is spending more on state and local roads than it gets from all of those revenues combined. Ground Zero (talk) 01:31, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that is useful because it provides a background as to why public transport in the US is so poor compared to say, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea or even China. That said, it's probably true that the low population density does play a role, and you can see parallels in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which also have poor public transport and are very car dependent. But this attitude towards public transport probably explains they there is no high-speed train from Boston to Washington D.C. (which would pass through other major cities like Hartford, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore), even though that is a very densely populated corridor with the perfect conditions for high-speed rail to be profitable.

And I don't think explaining the culture behind this is necessarily a political statement. For instance, I don't necessarily agree with the American gun lobby, but when foreigners criticise American gun culture, I do try to provide a historical background to the US so people understand why the right to bear arms is such an integral part of American culture. I don't have to agree with the culture, but it certainly helps to understand the context. The dog2 (talk) 20:52, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

We do have a problem, though, in that we don't require references to reliable sources. Having a lot of political background, which is only background and is not practical travel information, means opening the door to people writing based on their own opinions and recollections. This can lead to text that is biased and even patently wrong on occasion. Instead of spending a lot of time arguing over why America got the transportation system it has, let's focus our efforts on providing practical information that travellers can actually use. Wikipedia is a much better source for information because it reduces the scope for people writing based on their own points of view. Ground Zero (talk) 22:15, 28 July 2020 (UTC)


@Hobbitschuster, SelfieCity: Regarding this sentence, which SelfieCity has improved, do we need to keep it? Is it important for the traveller to know when driving in the US?

"Opponents of public transit claim that Uber and Lyft have made the bus redundant, while proponents point out that ride hailing services contribute more to traffic congestion than their public transit counterparts."

And the preceding sentence,

"Taxicabs, and in the 21st century ride hailing services, have eaten into the market-share of public transit and serve as a crutch for carless people who'd otherwise have no way of getting anywhere at all. "

I think would be more focussed on what is useful for travellers if it were to say:

"Taxicabs and ride-hailing services (Uber and Lyft) provide an alternative to public transit and serve as an option for carless people, and those who may be going out to drink alcohol."

Comments? Ground Zero (talk) 21:41, 27 July 2020 (UTC)

That sounds more travel relevant, so I support that change in wording. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:12, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
I saw these sentences and edited them before noticing that there was a discussion here. Ground Zero's suggested wording seems fine to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 12:55, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
The current wording, which you added, accurately explains the situation with regard to ride hailing services without saying anything political or inaccurate. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:25, 28 July 2020 (UTC)