Clean, On Time along with also Rat-Free: 9 International Transit Systems With Lessons for completely new York

What smells like a “nightclub toilet,” evokes the feeling of “an underworld” along with also resembles a “working museum”?

of which could be the completely new York City subway, according to international readers who have experienced of which.

The subway runs around the clock along with also carries millions daily across a sprawling network. yet when we asked riders of public transit around the earth how their systems compare, completely new York’s scored worse than most on several measures.

[Read completely new Yorkers’ stories of major subway meltdowns.]

Among the enviable features they described were Moscow’s chandelier-adorned platforms, Istanbul’s plans for a 500-mile expansion along with also Tokyo’s friendly attendants who locate lost items.

Below are some of their tales of exceptional public transit. They have been condensed, edited for clarity along with also paired with photos of their systems along with also completely new York’s.

What experiences have you had with public transit? Tell us from the comments.


I live in Tokyo along with also rely on three trains — JR along with also Tokyo Metro lines — to get to my job leading food tours at the Tsukiji fish market. My first train will be famous for being packed during the morning commute. yet riders are not bad for the most part about doing room for as many people as possible. When things go smoothly, a completely new train comes on the JR Chuo line every few minutes. If there are ever delays, train stations, social media along with also TV news are quick to share the information.

Trains are clean, along with also some cars are reserved for women along with also children. There are staff at the stations who are helpful along with also friendly. One time I left my keys on the train, along with also the staff at my station quickly figured out which train of which was along with also where I could track of which down. The keys were turned in along with also I retrieved them.

Japanese culture respects others before yourself. My train ride will be so quiet from the morning of which a baby could sleep. There are rules, such as letting people off first, of which everyone follows.

completely new York impressions: I lived in completely new York for many years, along with also two things happened to me on the subway. First, I was held up. There were different riders from the vehicle, along with also no one did anything to help. Second, I was on a train along with also a man had a gun. Everyone panicked, along with also people fled to the ends of the train. This kind of doesn’t happen in Tokyo.

Yukari Sakamoto


As an American along with also former completely new Yorker, I am keenly aware of the public transit differences between here along with also completely new York. In Amsterdam of which will be a priority, a connecting web of trams, buses, trains along with also ferries of which allows everyone to get around safely along with also on time.

I came to Amsterdam in 1989 to work for Radio Netherlands Worldwide along with also started out living here full time seven years later. right now I’m retired, along with also as a senior on a limited income, I qualify for a free pass on all city transportation. This kind of mobility has opened my life.

When American friends visit, they think our system will be like a dream. yet of which isn’t. of which’s the result of decisions made by the city along with also national governments along with also supported by the citizenry, who benefit daily along with also are willing to pay taxes to support of which.

completely new York impressions: When I moved to Amsterdam after 15 years in completely new York, I had no idea of which transport could actually run on a schedule. All I knew was to schedule extra time.

I still don’t trust the timetables, mainly because I want to keep some of my completely new Yorker-ness!

Ruth Dreier


When my husband along with also I were both working remotely, we thought, “Why not do This kind of coming from Berlin instead of home?” So we left Austin, Tex., along with also spent a month there in 2016. We returned last year to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary along with also my birthday. Berlin will be our favorite big city, in large part because of how easy transportation will be.

The U-Bahn was our primary method of transit for everything. Trips on of which aren’t particularly memorable, along with also of which’s how of which should be. Systems are consistent across platforms along with also stations. There aren’t obstacles to smooth travel. What’s memorable, though, will be the exquisite, ornate tiling in many of the stations. You also don’t validate your ticket when you enter a platform, which I think only works because of German culture.

completely new York impressions: When I visited completely new York, the stations were grungier along with also more rundown than the U-Bahn. yet the U-Bahn serves a city with 3.5 million people. of which’s harder to maintain along with also clean a system in a city of 8.5 million.

Jamie Miller

My family incorporates a foundation of which manages a robotics competition in Turkey. My work for of which often requires taking public transit to meet with schools, sponsors along with also teams across Istanbul. When I was looking for an apartment, access to the metro along with also buses was basically my only criterion.

The metro will be pretty fantastic. The trains can carry a massive number of people. We have mild overcrowding for an hour or two a day, yet of which’s usually not horrendous. Trains are almost never delayed thanks to not bad maintenance. My line, the M2, carries about 400,000 people each day without trouble.

The trains have TV screens of which play lots of things. My favorites are the cat (along with also sometimes dog) videos.

The metro sparkles: Trains along with also stations are shiny clean. What I like most, though, will be how fast of which’s expanding. There are plans to go coming from 105 miles of track to about 680 miles from the next decade or so.

completely new York impressions: I’ve come to completely new York for robotics competitions. The subway gets you there. of which’s about of which. of which was slow along with also broken, with lots of trash along with also decay. I felt like I was in an underworld.

Alex Francis Burchard


The entire system will be driverless. I’ve sat from the front seat of a SkyTrain, imagining of which I’m the engineer as we race across the Fraser River.

Automation puts more money into maintenance along with also expansion. Six completely new stations opened in 2016. A project of which will connect the suburbs to a major hospital has been approved, along with also an extension to the University of British Columbia will be being discussed.

completely new York impressions: The subway will be a critical public asset with impressive 24-hour service. yet of which’s antiquated, inefficient along with also not designed for all ages along with also abilities.

Michael Alexander


I’m a professor of computer science along with also use public transit on weekdays to drop off my youngest daughter at school, get to my university, run errands along with also go to meetings.

Zurich’s system has many desirable features. Most trams along with also many bus lines have their own lane, so travel time will be more or less predictable.

The buses, with few exceptions, along with also many trams have low floors, allowing a stroller, wheelchair or suitcase to be moved easily onboard. Most U-Bahn stations are also accessible.

The timetables are fairly dense on many lines, along with also the evening along with also weekend schedules aren’t much thinner. On Friday along with also Saturday there’s a late-night network. I’ve never felt unsafe in any bus or tram.

Public transportation covers every part of the city. I don’t recall walking more than several minutes to a stop. of which also has wide social acceptance; I know C.E.O.s who take public transit.

We once had visitors coming from the United States who left a handbag with money, jewelry along with also their passports on a bus. of which took a phone call to find out when along with also where to meet the bus, along with also the driver handed over the bag.

completely new York impressions: The subway will be a nice working museum.

Thomas Gross


I go to Northeastern University in Boston along with also studied in London for six months in 2017. I return every so often to work having a friend there on a business venture.

The Tube was the most amazing thing to happen to me. I could reach practically every spot in London in less than 40 minutes.

The system will be extremely efficient, with frequent trains during the day. For me This kind of will be one of the main reasons of which London has stayed ahead of many cities of which haven’t aged as gracefully.

The trains are extremely long along with also can fit tons of passengers. Some stops also serve as national rail stations. I could board a train near my apartment along with also head out almost anywhere from the United Kingdom, coming from London’s suburbs to Edinburgh.

Transit fares are based on zones. One time I accidentally left the area of which my card could access. of which was 2:30 a.m., along with also I was six miles coming from my apartment. A security guard offered to pay for me along with also I was home within 30 minutes.

completely new York impressions: I like of which completely new York’s subway will be extensive (more so than Boston’s), yet of which’s extremely poor quality. of which’s closer to London in terms of having many stops in many places, yet not close in much else.

Andrew Cataldo

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