On Public Transit, Some of the World’s Best Sightseeing

From Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Sydney, the best—and the cheapest—views are on ferries, buses, trains, and gondolas.

1 minute read

August 23, 2019, 5:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Metro Cable

Alexander Ruiz Acevedo / Shutterstock

Keith Plocek writes about cities around the world where spectacular views are accessible and available on transit. "Many tourists ride the free Staten Island Ferry just to see the skyline and the Statue of Liberty, but New York isn’t the only place where public transportation provides outstanding vistas."

In London, he suggests hopping aboard the Route 11 bus, which travels by a number of sites, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and Westminster Abbey.

For most Americans, the cable cars of Medellín, Colombia, are a less familiar mode of transportation, but they are a cheap, and breathtaking, way to travel in the city. "A one-way fare costs tourists and locals alike 2,255 Colombian pesos (68 cents). You haven’t really experienced this city until you’ve queued up with locals and dangled over red-brick buildings while the morning sun pours into the valley below," says Plocek.

He also suggests traveling on ferries in Hong Kong and Sydney; the Venice water buses; trains in Lisbon, Los Angeles, and Paris; and an outdoor elevator in Salvador, Brazil.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 in The New York Times

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Urban sidewalk shaded by large mature trees

Cool Walkability Planning

Shadeways (covered sidewalks) and pedways (enclosed, climate controlled walkways) can provide comfortable walkability in hot climates. The Cool Walkshed Index can help plan these facilities.

June 1, 2023 - Todd Litman

Traffic on the 405 interstate freeway through the Sepulveda Pass at Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California

Congestion Pricing Could Be Coming to L.A.

The infamously car-centric city is weighing a proposed congestion pricing pilot program to reduce traffic and encourage public transit use.

May 30, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Empty Muni underground train platform

Activists Mourn Potential Death of Bay Area Transit With Mock Funeral

In an action meant to draw attention to the financial crisis facing California’s public transit agencies, activists held a mock funeral for BART and Muni, citing the cause of death as ‘neglect.’

1 hour ago - SFGate

Close-up of phone screen with Airbnb app screen

Proposed Short-Term Rental Tax Would Fund Affordable Housing in California

A state bill would impose a tax similar to a hotel tax on short-term rental owners, with the revenue funding affordable housing projects.

2 hours ago - Cap Radio

Elderly woman enters house with help from caregiver who is holding her hands

The Challenges of Aging in Place

Seniors in one Bay Area community want to stay in their communities, but many find the cost of living and maintaining older homes prohibitive.

3 hours ago - Palo Alto Online

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.