Hi-ya my lovely blog readers! A few weeks ago, I launched a monthly blog post where I dive into the cultural and social differences between living in the US and now my home in the UK. My first post was describing the differences between UK and the US in the health care system, and today I want to talk about public transportation.
Getting from here to there, is something that many Americans don’t really think about. I mean the majority of Americans own a car or have access to a vehicle, and since our country is massive driving (or flying) typically makes the most sense for getting around. Sure, you can hop on a bus or grab a subway in a major city but that isn’t always the case for everyone, especially more rural parts of the country. (Have you heard of a metro in Kansas?)
This is where the UK is completely different than the US. The transit system here is very developed, with plenty of accessibility from bus lines, trains or the metro in London, you can get around without having a car. Even to remote areas of the country, there are bus lines to get you there. (It may take a while, but they exist.)
To give you an idea, here is the National Rail map for 2013. For being such a small land area, this country is really connected with mass transit.
Is it perfect? Hell no. I can attest to that. I take the bus each day to commute to work. My bus is supposed to arrive promptly at 7:13 am. Does it? Not all the time. Meaning I am standing in the cold waiting for the next bus, or if it’s early then Neal has to literally chase after the bus towards the next stop (in our car of course). But missing a bus, or it being late could be said of any transport system.
Without the consistent bus system, I wouldn’t have been able to work in my current job in Chester, England (about 35 minute bus ride from home) as I can’t drive legally in the UK yet. (All in good time though!)
The impressive part is how interconnected it is, while transporting up to 500 people per train at any given time. It is a logistical nightmare, but somehow it works.
What about you? Have you experienced the transit system in the UK? What did you think? Efficient? Reliable? Better than America? Love to hear what you think!