When traveling to different cities, I tend to compare them to New York. Whether it is coffee prices, the time it takes for the light to change or the conditions of the sidewalks, one is always better than the other. As a true New Yorker, I always find a way to make New York City the winner. However, in Geneva, there were a few times New York came in second place.
Aside from the fresh air and the fabulous landscape, the one true way the city of Geneva beats New York is with its metro system. The city of Geneva operates under the system Uniresco, which provides buses, trams and ferries around Geneva, Vaud and even parts of France. While in Geneva, we only rode the tram for transportation. The silent electric train ran through the city effortlessly, and beats out the MTA in several ways.
- It’s silent. How many times do you hear the squeaky, loud 4 trains in Union Square? We can see it coming; we don’t need to hear it too.
- It’s clean. The tram has comfortable seats like a bus, with different levels to sit. There were never any wrappers, beer cans or unwanted animals on the tram.
- Miss the train? Not in Geneva! With an outside button that opens the door, you can get on while the train is closed. That beats out any time the MTA decides to shut the door on you while you’re walking in….
- The music. Now, while we all enjoy some subway performances, in Geneva, it isn’t some random guy screaming verses from the recent Jay-Z album. The music is sung softly in French with an accordion and a smiling man in stripes.
- Don’t worry about paying $2.25 each time you ride. We were given an unlimited Geneva Travel Card, but never got checked for it. Considering we rode the train over 5 times a day, we never had to pay in the 8 days we were there! Talk about quality service!
- Train time. The tram was fast, and there were often just a few minutes apart incase you did miss the tram. Even though the trains stop at midnight, we never had to worry about waiting the 20 minutes between each train due to construction.
There are differences about each city that makes them unique in their own way. Traveling abroad opens up the opportunity to see and to understand how each city operates. Even though it would be impossible for the city of New York to have an above ground train system, the MTA could maybe consider employing some Geneva natives for some quality entertainment for the morning commute…
-By Katie James ’14, Pace University New York City Model United Nations Head Delegate