Jason Rantz hates New York.
And he’s not too fond of Los Angeles either.
Actually, Rantz might put it another way.
“I hate New York so much. I absolutely hate it,” Rantz said on KIRO Radio. “I’m a West Coast kid, man. I cannot stand New York City.”
To back up his sentiment, Rantz explained the horror of transportation in the two cities while discussing a new study by Citi claiming that the average commuter in America pays $10 each day for their commute.
The figure shouldn’t just take into account gas for a car; consider the time behind the wheel that’s wasted, which has a value.
When considering only full-time employees, that commuting cost goes up to $12. And it gets worse when it is broken down by the city. Chicago and San Francisco — $11. Los Angeles — $16. The average American commutes 45 minutes each day.
The study notes that New York commuters spend most of their time getting to and from work — 73 minutes.
“For everyone who likes to talk about the virtues of subways, which always seems to come up when you talk about New York City, ‘Oh they got the subway system, it’s so easy, you hop on you hop off,'” Rantz said. “Understand one thing: they are not that fast. They’re kind of slow. It depends on where you are going and which route you take.”
“It’s much faster than walking, it’s much faster than being stuck in a car in traffic — fair point. But they are really, really, really slow [when you have to wait because the train is crowded].”
And speaking of slow, Rantz didn’t let Los Angeles traffic off the hook either.
“In LA, I worked about five miles away from where I lived,” he said. “If I left at the wrong time, it could take me an hour each way — for five miles. Which is absolutely insane and that’s on the freeway. If I got on a side street, it would be about the same.”
“It’s one of the reasons I never, ever want to go back,” he added.
What’s to blame for all the commuting conundrum?
Bad infrastructure in any city, Rantz notes. And Seattle is no different when it comes to bad infrastructure and poor leadership in solving the problem.
“It’s why I don’t support Sound Transit when it asks for more money. I just don’t believe they are going to get the job done,” Rantz said. “Other times it is because city leaders are more in love with their own favorite modes of transportation, their own favorite projects rather than an eclectic or diverse plan.
“They push one or two modes and ignore the others. That’s why I would never support the Seattle transportation plan. Why? They push bikes and buses and that’s kind of it,” he said. “I like to support bikes, buses, cars, and pedestrians. I think it should be a little bit more diverse.”