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Public Transportation Is the Best in These 10 Cities

If you rely on public transportation to get you around your city, you might be surprised to know what it takes to be considered a top city. With Americans spending way too much time commuting these days, is it time to consider public transportation? This would allow you to get where you’re going on a schedule via established routes that move large numbers of people around conveniently. Well, at least if you live in a city that does it right. Is your city one of them?

Public Transportation is Good for You

Whether you’re traveling by bus, subway, monorail, ferry, or train, there are many ways to travel via public transit. Public transportation helps make people more mobile, giving freedom to those that might not have another way to travel. It’s also safer. That’s because it reduces a person’s chance of being in an accident by more than 90% versus using their car. And it helps the economy too, with $1 invested bringing $4 in returns, while it saves families up to $10,000 a year if they take public transportation instead of own a second vehicle.

The 10 Winners in Public Transportation

This month, WalletHub published a report showing which US cities had the best public transportation. Here is a breakdown of how they made their decision:

  • Accessibility and Convenience factored in several things like the number of commuters using their car versus public transit, average commute times, availability and type of transit options, jobs that had a 30-minute commute, costs, accessibility to important destinations. 
  • Safety & Reliability looked at the totals for safety events, injuries, and fatalities per miles traveled.
  • Resources weighed less overall but were still factored in, and covered miles traveled and the number and age of the transit vehicles in service.

They based the ranking on a 100 point system. It’s interesting to note that no city got better than a C+ out of all hundred, even at the top of the list. Here are the winners, with the best city for public transportation in the number one slot.

10. Portland, OR

At 66.82%, Portland’s public transportation system just made the list in spot 10. With a score of 13th place in accessibility, which is respectable, they made a mediocre 31st and 29th place in the other areas. Hey, they’re still on the list!

9. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu made it on the list with a score of 67.85%. They were just okay with 30th place in accessibility, but did well with 13th and 12th place in the other two categories, getting them a spot on this list. 

8. Reno, NV

Reno has the best resources out of all the cities, coming in first place. That and their 8th place ranking for safety helped them get an overall score of 68.13%, but its public transportation system didn’t do as well with accessibility, with only 76th place.

7. New York, NY

A city where everyone knows it’s better not to have a car, they proved themselves with a 5th place ranking for accessibility. And while 22nd is respectable for safety, they got 97th place for resources. Luckily, it didn’t factor in as much as they still made the top 10, with a score of 68.87%.

6. Jersey City, NJ

As the 4th best city for accessibility, Jersey City is a winner. They tied New York for the other two areas and barely made it above NYC on this list. Overall though, they came in at 69.05%.

5. Madison, WI

Madison may have scored 46th place for accessibility, but they climbed to the top of the list by being number one in safety and 4th in resources. Overall, they gained a score of 71.06%, and we are finally out of the failing grades.

4. Washington, DC

With 71.23%, Washington DC came in 4th overall. They were 3rd, 48th, and 52nd in the three categories, respectively, and although they have a lot of accessibility, they floundered a bit in the other areas. 

3. San Francisco, CA

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This city was number one out of all 100 cities for accessibility. They’d probably be number one if they didn’t get 27th and 80th for their other two areas. Darn! At 3rd place overall with 75.21%, they’re still winners.

2. Boston, MA

Boston came in a close second with a score of 77.94%. They had an excellent accessibility ranking of 2nd but were 34th and 10th in the other two categories, which brought them down a bit.

1. Seattle, WA

As the top city on the list, Seattlites are beaming with pride. Their overall score is 77.97%. While they didn’t make the top spot in any of the three areas, they did enough to win. They were 7th, 6th, and 3rd overall, respectively. Go, Seattle!

It’s Time to Take Public Transportation

Surprisingly, this list hasn’t changed much over the years. In 2016, the list may have been in a different order, but most of the cities are the same. Driving a car to get where you’re going is so yesterday, especially if you live in one of the cities on this list. If you don’t live in one of these best cities for public transit, consider moving, it might be worth it. Or at least don’t drive your car, because most likely, the public transportation is what it is because these cities are probably the worst places to drive.