TODAY'S INTERURBAN CONNECTIONS

An informal look at the question: How far can one travel, using only local transportation systems?

At one time, in some parts of the United States, a fascinating network of electric railways existed. Local and interurban routes connected with other routes, forming long unbroken chains of electric railways. Interurban railways were extensive in the Midwest, while many cities in the Northeast were close enough together for their local streetcar systems to interconnect. If one had time, one could travel quite far, strictly using local transit systems.

Nearly all of the electric railways are gone now, many replaced with buses. Many interurban chains were eventually broken, as routes were discontinued. Most cities large enough to support public transportation systems, are too far apart to justify local routes between the cities.

But a few situations still exist, where local transit systems interconnect with another local system in a nearby metropolitan area. And with shifting population, new chains were formed in other parts of the country, with transit systems making connections with other transit systems.

Ideally, transit systems will interconnect by having local bus systems having routes meet at a common in between location. For example, at a mall or at a college. Sometimes one transit system will operate a route some distance into another transit system's territory, sometimes express or via a major bridge or tunnel. Sometimes, a commuter train or an express interurban bus will be required to connect metropolitan areas. In the Chicago area, an unbroken chain extends from Goshen IN to Waukesha WI, via South Bend and Chicago and Milwaukee. But that journey requires South Shore and Metra trains, and the Coach USA/Wisconsin Coach Lines bus.

Many of the major transit systems have supplied Google with bus stop and schedule information. After zooming in close enough with Google Maps, little blue squares become visible, which are bus stops which can be clicked on for further information. Previously linked from this page, custom Google Maps were created to show, how local transit interconnected in various areas. But these custom maps have been eliminated, after Google made changes with its custom maps capabilities. Specifically, one can no longer click on the blue bus stop squares with the custom maps. Only on the general Google Maps. With the previous custom maps, one could actually locate and zoom in on the exact bus stops where transit systems interconnected.

Instead, links are now made to transit history pages, covering states or areas where many transit systems interconnect. Included are links to the official web sites of those transit systems.


Northeast Corridor


Florida


California


Pacific Northwest


Often, the availability of transit interconnections is an indication of how supportive a state is regarding public transportation. States included are generally the most supportive states, and many additional interconnections are available in these states which are not indicated.

Included here are merely examples of the best interconnection situations in the United States. Additional interconnections include some in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, for example. Because of various unpredictabilities in transit funding, maintaining complete timely information would be too complicated an undertaking.

If anyone wishes to attempt any of these journeys, it is strongly encouraged to check the official transit systems' Web sites for the latest information.