While a quick look downtown during lunch or rush hour will reveal tens of thousands of Metropolitans walking, it's a secondary form of transportation within the city. That's not to say that walking should be shunned for motorized transport - many of Metropolis's most beautiful quarters can only be seen by strolling through gardens and porticoes. First-time visitors to the city, however, will be overwhelmed by the sheer size and distance one would have to walk to see a mere tenth of what Metropolis has to offer.
That said, the city has recently undergone a revitalization process wherein hundreds of walking trails and sidewalks have been laid throughout the suburbs and even downtown. One of the most popular has been Metropolis Overstreet Mall. This is made up of shops in many different downtown buildings that are connected by enclosed walkways high above the streets.
Additionally, in conjunction with the Downtown Fitness Club, many of the walkways and paths have fitness suggestions along the way, urging walkers to measure their heart rate and stop to stretch. The program has been a rousing success with the citizens, and the pathways are usually filled with walkers at most hours of the day due to Metropolis's round the clock work schedules - nearly every hour of the day is someone's lunch break.
Most visitors to Metropolis are better off not driving through the downtown portion of the city, at least during their first visit. Because of the large number of one-ways and roundabouts, driving in downtown areas is best left to taxis and buses. If you're going to give it a go anyway, be advised that while the posted traffic limit is usually 25 miles per hour, the actual average speed during rush hour in Metropolis's downtown is 12 miles per hour. Most Metropolitans only use their car to get out of the city, not go into it.
Efficient expressways ring the area surrounding downtown, and even first-time visitors to the city can use these with ease. Equally easy to navigate are the streets and freeways throughout the six boroughs. Fair warning though - Metropolis's traffic officers do not accept "I'm from out of town" as a valid excuse for poor driving or parking violations.
As always, buckling your seatbelt in a moving car is the law.
The best way to travel in the downtown areas of the city, Metropolis's taxis are all centrally dispatched and monitored through one of seven different lines licensed to operate within city limits. While many visitors may balk at the number of major taxi lines in the city, their presence keeps the prices low thanks to competition.
All taxi drivers who are licensed to operate a cab are required to take a 30-hour training course that instructs drivers how to find the shortest distances between any two points in the city. Drivers are fined if they do not follow this rule. Unlike other cities, Metropolis keeps its cab companies tightly regulated and forbids drivers to drive damaged taxis. As a result, Metropolis's cab drivers are some of the safest automobile drivers in the country, with an extremely low accident rate.
Taxis are available near all major downtown sites. They can also be requested by phone.
Metropolis's high-speed light rail is the envy of many cities its size thanks to its use of magnetic levitation, resulting in a low expenditure of energy Developed by the Metropolis Transit and Rail System in conjunction with S.T.A.R. Labs, the system produces zero emissions while it travels at over 90 miles an hour.
The train system is located primarily outside the downtown portion of the city, but it is connected to the subway system via several transfer stations. At the outskirts of Metropolis, the system makes transfers to national passenger rail lines. As with subways and buses, express lines to the airports are available at specific stations.
The most popular way of getting around the city just happens to be traveling under it. Metropolis's subway system was completed in the early 1920s. It features some of the deepest stations and most frequently used tunnels in the world. The subway has over 500 stations, each clearly marked above ground with the Metropolis Subway logo.
Subway trains run every day, including Christmas, beginning at 3:00 A.M. up until 12:00 A.M., although service may change on holidays or other special occasions. Fewer trains run on Sundays. Subway crime is rare, but care should always be taken riding the subway alone or late at night.
Special express lines are opened at 6:30 A.M. from all major subway transit hubs in the six boroughs, while these same lines are used in reverse beginning at 3:30 P.M. With the aid of these lines, commuters can usually be in the city in less than 45 minutes from any point within the areas surrounding New Troy.
The E train is a citywide train that serves Metropolis's two major airports and can be accessed via transfer from any station within the city.
A final note: Metropolis's subway system is user-friendly (voted easiest to use every year since 1992), and subway ticket agents can always be counted on for courteous service and quick help.
Best reserved for longer journeys that are not time-sensitive, Metropolis's buses are clean and efficient. However, like taxis and cars, they can quickly become snarled in rush hour traffic congestion.
Each bus stop in Metropolis has a complete listing of the major bus routes throughout the city as well as a local street plan with each nearby bus stop letter-coded. As with any bus line, be sure to ask the driver if you're traveling on the right bus. You can also request a free transfer between uptown, downtown, and crosstown buses.
When touring the city, a travelcard for the Metropolis bus system is your best bet. Available through the Metropolis Visitors' Bureau, the cards allow you to get on and off Metropolis's three central bus lines as many times as you'd like during the day. The major bus routes travel by many popular tourist sights and stops. The routes include Red, traveling through downtown and the business districts; Blue, traveling from downtown to Queensland Park; and Yellow, traveling from downtown to Bakerline and Park Ridge.
Night buses run on the major routes from 11:00 pm. until 6:00 A.M. Night bus service is reduced during the week and increases on the weekends.
Being a seafaring city, much of Metropolis is accessible via waterways and boat service. Ferries run between New Troy and the other boroughs throughout the day. They are extremely popular with commuters, especially those living or working on Hell's Gate or St. Martin's Island. Of special note to tourists are the New Troy/Queensland Park and the New Troy/St. Martin's Island lines. The Queensland Park line offers one of the closest views of Stryker's Island Penitentiary, and the St. Martin's Island line provides a beautiful view of the Atlantic ocean, and dolphins often swim alongside the ferry in late spring and summer.
While the bulk of the MPA ferry fleet is made up of propeller-driven boats, the Metropolis Port Authority also operates four hovercraft that are rotated through all ports and ferry lines. A full schedule of the MPA ferry service is available at most subway and bus stations; both services connect with the ferry system at waterfront stations.
Metropolis's two major airports, Metropolis International and Berkowitz Airport, are both connected to the city's transportation system, and each offers a wide variety of services and amenities. Metropolis International provides so many services within its 200,000 square foot complex that many awestruck arrivals are surprised to learn that the city is still miles away.
The two airports offer banks, restaurants, shopping, clubs, and nightlife. Neither airport ever closes or even approximates a light flow-through of passengers.
Both airports are served by all major American, Canadian, and European airlines, with Metropolis International providing the bulk of the international flights and connections.
Three other airports serve Metropolis. They are mostly used for private flights and business purposes. These airports are: Metro City Airport in Bakerline, and the exclusive Aerie on St. Martin's Island. The three smaller airports offer shorter flights for business travelers to the eastern business, corridor as well as connector service to the major airports.
The city's two major airports and the Aerie have extensive helicopter facilities as well.
Daily Planet Guide to Metropolis, from WEG
Additional material from the The Atlas of the DC Universe, from Mayfair Games
Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel (Hardcover) by Scott Beatty (Author)
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