When we moved to Las Vegas in early 2000, I remember a story in the local paper about plans to build a high speed train from Los Angeles to Vegas. The upside for tourism and locals alike was tremendous. 14 years later they are still in discussion mode.
In the same time frame other countries have built complete systems, local and long distance, other countries have improved their rail lines or are in the midst of building new, faster tracks. Paris to Bordeaux in 150 minutes, starting in 2016/17.
China, with the money we gave them in exchange for all things made there, has won the race to move its people from A to B and beyond. When I first traveled to Shanghai in 2001, there were three subway lines, now you can travel on sixteen of them, over 500km long, the second largest subway system in the world.
Not to mention all the high speed train tracks developed, many with the help of french engineers who built the TGV, Europe's most exciting high speed train network.
I find public transportation is easier to use when I travel alone, when you are with family it can become strenuous, especially at peak times in busy places. A few years ago we took a Vaporetto in Venice and almost left Isabella behind when we got off the boat. Only her siren strength screaming prevented her from being left on the water bus....
On my recent trip I even forewent our normal routine drive to Bordeaux airport for a conenient drop off and went door to door by public vehicles. It's not all the tricky if you take some time online first and study the route and time schedules.
The bus to Angouleme deserves special mention, for one Euro you can go from downtown to downtown or in my case to the train station. Socialism at it's wiser use......
The TGV to Bordeaux was a short 20 minutes after arriving at the station and 80 minutes after I left the house I hopped on a tram in Bordeaux to the hotel.
The next morning you have two options to get to Bordeaux Airport, Bus line 1 which travels along with a few stops, or the non stop shuttle from the train station. I took the 1 out and the shuttle back on my return. Easy. Inexpensive.
When I arrived at Shanghai, my first destination was Hangzhou, a city about 200km away. Again, two options, the long distance bus to there (for 10.00) and then the train back (around 15.00)
Having been to Shanghai a few times, I know the subway system well enough to take it instead o being permanently stuck in traffic when you take a cab. Fares range from .50 to 1.50, or you can buy multi day tickets.
Though it can get crowded underground, I prefer riding the Metro over Taxi every time.
On my travel back I took the Maglev train to the airport and not once used a cab on the whole trip.
BUS TO ANGOULEME
TGV TO BORDEAUX
TRAM TO THE HOTEL
NAVETTE TO THE AIRPORT
HAD TO TAKE A PLANE THERE
FINDING THE BUS STATION IN SHANGHAI
LONG DISTANCE BUS TO HANGZHOU
BACK TO SHANGHAI ON THE HIGH SPEED TRAIN
1 HOUR FOR 225KM
GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
SHANGHAI RAILWAY STATION.....FAIRLY LARGE
BY SUNDAY THE SMOG WAS MUCH BETTER
VERY GOOD SUBWAY NETWORK IN SHANGHAI
SOME OF THE TICKETS
WITH THE MAGLEV BACK TO THE AIRPORT IN SHANGHAI
BACK ON THE BUS TO THE TGV IN BORDEAUX
AND THE TRAIN BACK TO ANGOULEME
AND THE BUS BACK TO JARNAC