The Morning news takes a look at the differences and similarities between the New York City subway and the DC metro in What Lies Beneath. While I’m not what one would call an experiened rail-rider, I take public transportation whenever I’m in a big city (except when I’m dodging drug dealers, crack whores, and other shifty types, of course). I’ve always liked New York City’s subway the best, by far. Sure, it’s probably the least clean, but it 1.) is easy to use, 2.) is almost always running, and 3.) has tons of history and cool little legends built around it (like how many hidden levels of the subway there really are underground). There’s a feel that you get when riding the subway that you don’t get when you’re riding the Metro.

BART, on the third hand, just baffles me.

The article hits the nail on the head: DC is designed for efficiency while New York’s is designed to be inexpensive. But, as is often the case, real local flavor and culture devlops not around carefully calculated efficiency, but around a system that everyone—rich, poor, and in-between—uses at the same time.