Subway thoughts: DC vs NYC vs Chicago vs San Francisco (update)

During the week of Veteran’s Day 2014, I got to travel from Chicago to DC and then to NYC all within 3 days. As with all things, you notice the differences about home once you leave home. Before I called Chicago home, I called DC home. And NYC is like the friend who’s house you’re always at, so it’s basically your other home. Here were my thoughts and the things that I noticed about the differences between each cities’ transit systems, for better or for worse:

UPDATE: I now live in San Francisco and updated my subway thoughts.


“Oh right, they charge by distance here. Fuckers.”

“Good lord did the trains always look this old and sad?”

“Wow DC subway stations are beautiful. Great job, architect. There’s even some cell service! Sweet.”


“Hell ya flat rate transit!”

“I can get anywhere on this thing. This is so extensive.”

“These seats must be really easy to clean. I wonder if they ever had cloth seats at one point and then the city learned that New Yorkers couldn’t handle the responsibility. Probably.”

“There’s absolutely no signal down here. This is probably a pretty great excuse if you don’t want to be contacted, but what do people do when they can’t play with their phone? Do people just focus on listening to their music and not read something at the same time? Books on tape are awesome.”


“Flat rate really is the way to go. Get with the program, DC.”

“Hello my loud-ass train. How I’ve missed your shiny, metal ass. So beautiful.”

“Awww yaa cloth seats! My ride is so scenic and filled with sunlight. I wonder what NYC would look like if their subway was also above-ground. I wonder if they would also think it’s a scenic ride.”

Home, sweet home.


San Francisco:

“Why are there 3 different transit systems?”

“BART charges by distance? Greedy bastards”

“Oh thank goodness there’s a separate transit system in the city that’s flat rate.”

“Wow, this MUNI train is tiny. It has stoplights above ground? What the hell? Who designed this? The fact that there can be traffic jams is unacceptable.”

“CalTrain isn’t bad. Wish there was wifi on this though.”

“Holy shit the train systems basically all overlap each other and if you live north of market street you’re screwed. Seriously, who designed this thing?”



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