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Old Posted Jun 25, 2009, 2:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Which large Australian city has the best public transportation system?

Hi,

I'm planning on spending next summer in Australia and I am trying to decide which large Australian city to go to. A huge factor for me is transportation - I won't be driving and I generally prefer dense, walkable pedestrian-friendly cities with good public transit systems.

I am ashamed to say I know very little of Australian cities' infrastructures. In the US we have rather poor mass transit systems in all but a handful of large cities, and generally the level of mass transit development corresponds to the population density of that city (though, there are obviously exceptions).

So, I spent some time on Wikipedia looking at Australian cities' densities and looking at their transportation networks, and I was surprised to find out the 4 largest cities have rather low densities, but I'm sure in Australia that does not in any way mean less of an urban feel, because judging from google street view + pictures I've seen of Sydney for example, it definitely does look quite urban (DUH! ), despite having only a 5,330/sq mi density, which is interesting, so I suspect that the post-industrial/suburbanization phase in Australia did not take as heavy of a toll on Australian cities as it did on American ones (let's face it, we also had severe racism-driven district redlining/white flight here), so the low density there I imagine does not necessarily or at all indicate a lesser urban quality of life. Okay, I'm digressing here and I obviously pulled the last few sentences out of my a**

So anyway, I also noticed that Sydney doesn't have a subway system, only several commuter rail lines. Now, I'm sure that despite all of this, Sydney is quite walkable + obviously amazing in every way, it's the largest city in Australia, so it has to, right? The thing is though, Sydney is also not my #1 choice, because of the high cost of living, so ideally I'm looking for something a bit cheaper if it can also offer a reliable mass transit system.

So, I was thinking Melbourne - it seems like the city has a rather extensive light rail network and is rather walkable, it's still pretty huge, and I'm hoping it is at least somewhat cheaper than Sydney?

I obviously have not done enough research on this and I clearly don't know what I'm talking about, so I would appreciate any input from Aussies I can get

What large Australian city (preferably 500,000+) would you say offers the best bang for buck so to speak, and has a good and extensive transportation system, where one can comfortably live without a car? If in your opinion the answer is Sydney, please give me your second choice as well - as a matter of fact I would appreciate a ranking of any sort. Thank you and God bless Australia
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