Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dallas: Easy Breezy in a Complex Metroplex

Like Denver, I have connected through the colossal Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) many times. In fact, it was the very first Central Time Zone city I had ever been to, so it will always have that special place in my travel memories. I finally got a rare opportunity to experience this big city on the outside while on a long layover en route to Omaha.


The DART Shuttle (No. 500) stop outside Concourse A

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) gets you around Dallas and 12 surrounding cities with modern public transit services and customer facilities tailored to make your trip fast, comfortable and economical. The  extensive network of DART Rail, Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and bus services moves more than 220,000 passengers per day across a 700-square-mile service area.

Between DFW and the city:
DART via Belt Line Station [INFO]
Trinity Railway Express via Centreport/DFW Station [INFO]

Between Love Field and the city:
DART via Inwood/Love Field Station [INFO]

DART Buses
DART operates local and express bus routes serving Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Richardson, Rowlett, Plano and University Park. [INFO]

https://www.dart.org/maps/printrailmap.asp
The combined DART and TRE map. Soon, Orange Line will be extended to DFW.

DART Rail and Trinity Railway Express
The DART Rail System provides fast, convenient service to work, shopping and entertainment destinations in Dallas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland, Irving, Plano and Richardson. Plus, the TRE commuter line links DART customers to DFW International Airport and downtown Fort Worth.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1.0-9/221705_1958697402642_7411988_n.jpg
Cowboy country!

Useful Tip
When traveling in downtown Dallas, visit the DART Store at Akard Station for printed schedules or a system map. Schedules are also available at many libraries and other government centers in the DART Service Area.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Montevideo: I Think I'm in Love!

It was my second visit to South America and definitely the first where I actually step out of the airport and explore! The simple life along the coastal environs of Montevideo, Uruguay simply took my breath away.


Enjoying the gorgeous seaside suburb of Piriápolis.

Carrasco International Airport is an interesting spaceship-shaped structure located in the suburb of Canelones, and is served by the COPSA, COT and Cutcsa companies. In the city, the main transport agency is STM.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/Y0PoukWc3ALRCsUSDw_z5uN_yGhGO-eH_VtwL4Dew3niLJcMrzLeVz2nhqgTVrOH-g=h900
The STM app for Android.

Useful COT Route:
Montevideo <> Aeropuerto <> Piriapolis <> Punta del Este

More Information:
http://www.montevideo.gub.uy/ciudadania/stm-transporte-metropolitano (Spanish)
http://www.cot.com.uy/site/destinos.php (Spanish)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Raleigh: Traveling in the Triangle of Knowledge

It was exciting for me to be in the State of North Carolina for the first time. The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, better known as the Research Triangle, is a metropolitan area of about 2.5 million people and world-famous for its various R&D facilities and institutions. It is served by none other than the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).


The lofty terminal area of Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

Between the airport and the city:
Triangle Transit 100 [INFO]

Transit Agencies
  • Capital Area Transit (CAT) provides bus service throughout the city of Raleigh.
  • Cary Transit (C-Tran) provides bus service throughout the town of Cary.
  • Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) provides bus service throughout Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the UNC community; and an Express route from Pittsboro to UNC.
  • Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) provides bus service throughout the city of Durham.
  • The Wolfline provides bus service to all three NC State University campuses and the surrounding area.
  • Triangle Transit provides regional bus service to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Hillsborough, and Wake Forest.
There is a one-stop portal called GoTriangle, which is a partnership of public transportation agencies, and organizations funded to promote commuter benefits in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Together they form a “family of services” that provides public transportation, ridesharing, bicycling, and teleworking services, incentives, and resources. GoTriangle partners work together to provide viable commuting options that enhance the quality of life in the region and improve accessibility to their communities’ assets while reducing roadway congestion, air pollution, and oil consumption.

RLINE

The R-Line
The R-LINE is Downtown Raleigh's free bus service to connect employees, residents and visitors to retail, restaurants, entertainment venues and parking in the Central Business District (CBD). The service has its own distinct look and feel from regular Capital Area Transit bus service. This makes the R-LINE distinguishable for riders from a distance.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lima: Gateway to the Andes


Souvenir shopping at Lima International.

After arriving at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, you can take an authorized taxi cab to the city center using the following companies:

1. CMV Taxi Remisse Ejecutivo
2. MITSOO S.A.
3. Taxi Green

Metro de Lima
El 23 de Diciembre del 2010, el Presidente de la República Dr. Alan García Pérez, suscribió el Decreto Supremo No. 059-2010-MTC, el cual fue refrendado por el Ministro de Transportes y Comunicaciones. Decreto Supremo, que aprueba la Red Básica del Metro de Lima – Sistema Eléctrico de Transporte Masivo de Lima y Callao.

La norma señala que la Red Básica del Metro de Lima aprobada, permite definir cuencas de intervención, en el ámbito de ejes viales para el desarrollo de estudios base y de ingeniería para la definición de los trazos finales, localización de estaciones y áreas de reservas para líneas que lo componen.

[More information]

El Metropolitano
Metropolitano es el nuevo sistema integrado de transporte público para Lima, que cuenta con buses articulados de gran capacidad que circulan por corredores exclusivos, bajo el esquema de autobuses de tránsito rápido BRT (Bus Rapid Transit en inglés).
El primer corredor del Metropolitano conecta Lima Sur con Lima Norte, recorriendo 16 distritos de la ciudad desde Chorrillos hasta Comas.

[More information] 

From Lima, you can then explore further and head out to the historic city of Cusco and up the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Miami: Navigating Beautiful M-I-to-the-A!

Complimentary air travel provided by American Airlines.


Miami International is one of the most transit-friendly airports in America.

Miami International Airport now gets passengers from the runway to the roadway faster than ever before with the MIA Mover, a 1.25-mile-long automated people mover system between MIA and the Miami Rental Car Center that opened to the public on September 9.

Click to View MIA's Ground Transportation Directory

Between the airport and the city:
1. Metrorail (Airport <> Downtown Miami <> Dadeland South) - see below
2. Buses (Airport <> South Beach) [INFO]
3. Tri-Rail (Hialeah Market-MIA <> FLL <> Downtown Ft. Lauderdale <> W Palm Beach) [INFO]

Metrorail
The Orange Line of Miami-Dade County's 22-mile, elevated rapid transit system runs between MIA and Dadeland South, with connections to Broward and Palm Beach counties at the Tri-Rail/Metrorail transfer station via the Green Line.

http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/metrorail-stations.asp 
Click to enlarge

The 22 accessible Metrorail stations are about one mile apart, providing easy access for bus riders, pedestrians, and passengers dropped off and picked up. Parking is available at 17 Metrorail stations.

While in Miami, enjoy FREE rides on the Metromover. [INFO]







Friday, January 17, 2014

Barcelona: A Labyrinth of Transit Options

Complimentary air travel provided by American and Delta. American flies nonstop to/from Miami and New York-JFK. Delta flies nonstop to/from New York-JFK and Atlanta.

I had visited Spain twice before, but never ever been to the Olympic city of Barcelona. I know! As my first trip of 2014, it seems only fitting that I visit the city from which my late father had written a postcard to me back when I wasn't even old enough to read it, writing "someday, I hope you'll get to visit this lovely town."

And that time has come!


Arrivals hall at Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), Terminal 1.

Between the airport and the city:
There are several transit options between El Prat Airport and the city center; I've had the privilege of trying two of them.

1. Aerobus (Aeroport <> Pl. d'Espanya <> Pl. de Catalunya)
2. Train R2 (Aeroport <> Passeig de Gracia)

For more information on these options, click here.


The fashionable Passeig de Gracia, home to a few of Antonio Gaudi's masterpieces.

TMB Metro:
The entire transit network is called Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, or TMB. The Barcelona metro consists of eight lines, 140 stations and over 130 rush hour trains. It operates over long hours every day throughout the city and to several municipalities in the metropolitan area. Includes some trams and funicular lines.


http://static.donquijote.org/images/travel/maps/spain/metro-barcelona.jpg

Click to enlarge


TMB Buses:
With a fleet of over a thousand vehicles, all of which are adapted, and more than 100 lines, the bus network covers over 900 km between Barcelona and the ten cities in the metropolitan area. Click here for a map of the bus network.

As Barcelona's rail network is mostly underground, buses offer a more scenic ride. Also, some attractions are easier reached by bus, such as Parc Guell.


The Gothic Quarter, accessible via Metro or bus.

Aerial Trams
There are two aerial gondola systems in the city, and they both serve the Montjuic hill district. The Montjuic Cable Car (Telefèric de Montjuïc) runs entirely within the hill, connecting the funicular's upper station with that of Montjuic Castle. The Port Vell Aerial Tramway (Telefèric del Port), provides a scenic ride between Barceloneta beach and Montjuic. Both systems require separate ticketing.

Regional Trains:
Commuter rail lines such as the C, R and the S lines may be used as a faster alternative to the usual Metro L lines - and these trains are equipped with toilets! All trips within Zone 1 are included in the TMB unlimited ticket pricing structure. Examples of Metro stations that have an adjacent commuter station are: Sants, Pl. de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia. For Barceloneta, the adjacent commuter station is Estació de França which is a short walk at surface level. França is a terminus station, and all its trains travel to/from Passeig de Gracia. See the Metro map above for integrated routes and lines.


The beautiful Estació de França, terminus for commuter and long-distance rail lines.

Photo Ops:
1. Breathtaking city and sea views (buses 24 or 92 in the Carmel district)
2. Colorful Torre Agbar night lights (Glories station)


Parc Guell, best reached by bus 116 from either Joanic or Lesseps Metro stations.

Further Afield:
Day trips to nearby cities such as Sitges and Girona are easy and convenient via the commuter rail lines from either França or Sants, which are fully-staffed for ticketing and information. [INFO]


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 Travel Milestones


My 2013 flight routes, courtesy of Flight Diary.

Happy New Year!!!

As I prepare myself for 2014 and another busy year of travel and transit, I look back with great pride and joy at TTT's memorable "firsts" of 2013...

January
First international award ticket ever, BUR-SEA-YVR
First visit to Canada / Vancouver
First visit to Oregon / Portland

March
First visit to Wichita

April
First flight on Korean Air, ATL-ICN
First time using Seoul-Incheon Airport

May
First visit to Alaska / Anchorage
First flight on AirTran Airways, ICT-ATL

June
Reached Aeromexico Gold status

October
First time using Palm Springs Airport
Reached Aeromexico Platinum status


View from the Palm Springs Airport tarmac.

November
First domestic overseas award ticket ever, BUR-SEA-SAN-HNL from Alaska Airlines
First flight on Hawaiian Airlines

December
Reached Air France-KLM Gold status


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My goals for 2014:

Barcelona
Cincinnati
Miami
Istanbul
Rio de Janeiro
Dubai
Johannesburg

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Related post:
My 2012 Travel Milestones