1.11.2013

To and Through Chicago Without a Car

http://igocars.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/cta_brown_line.jpgI have spoken often of the ease of getting around in the Northeast sans automobile.  Philly, NYC, DC, Baltimore, and Boston are all big cities that you can plop down into and get all over without the use of a car, without a whole lot of fuss and certainly a lot less fuss than driving.

I'm sure others may nominate other places, but here's another, non-Northeast city that also fits that bill: Chicago.  I was there for a day earlier this month, and, apart from my return flight being delayed 90 minutes, travel could not have gone smoother:

  1. Walk five blocks from home to subway station
  2. Take subway to train station
  3. Take train to airport
  4. Take plane to O'Hare
  5. Take subway to downtown 
  6. Walk three blocks to first meeting
  7. Walk six blocks to second meeting
  8. Take subway to O'Hare
  9. Take plane to PHL
  10. Take train to train station
  11. Walk two blocks to bus stop
  12. Take bus to my neighborhood
  13. Walk one block home
If anything, Chicago's mass transit is even better than Philly's, since a bigger population means more lines, and since both its airports are accessible by subway.  There's something cool, too, about the elevated lines.

Are there any other US cities you can plop down into by plane or by train that are as easy to get around via transit and foot?  SF, LA, and Atlanta, maybe, if you're willing to endure relatively long walks and longer waits.  Am I missing any places with sufficient transit service and compactness to render cars unnecessary?
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