Top 12 Best Public Transportation In Major U.S. Cities

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the Long Island Rail Road, and the NYC subways and buses, was in a “state of emergency.” NYC’s transit is long over-due repairs and suffers from over-crowding due to the city’s ever-growing population.

But are the city’s subways and buses really that horrendous compared to other cities?

Two nonprofit research institutes, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter Center for Neighborhood Technology, designed an objective “transit score” to answer just that.

The institutes created a metric called the AllTransit Performance Score for subways, light rails, bike shares, and buses in US cities and towns. Using open data from 7,236 cities, researchers looked at factors like affordability, access to jobs, frequency of service, quality, and number of stops. The goal is to encourage policymakers to improve public transportation.

The researchers compiled an ultimate ranking of public transportation in all of these cities and towns. On the site, you can filter by zip code and population.

Here are the top cities with at least 250,000 residents.


12. St. Louis, Missouri

A bus in St. Louis, Missouri. Citizens for Modern Transit

There are 232,106 jobs located within a half-mile of transit in St. Louis.


11. Miami, Florida

A subway car in Miami, Florida. Wikipedia Commons

Over 176,592 of Miami residents (99% of all commuters) live within a half-mile of public transit.


10. Seattle, Washington

Photo Credit: Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

Seattle has over 420,000 jobs accessible with a commute of less than 30 minutes.


9. Long Beach, California

Photo Credit: Brad Davis / Flickr

In Long Beach, over 190,740 residents (nearly half of the population) live within a half-mile of a transit stop.


8. Newark, New Jersey

Photo Credit: David Wilson / Flickr

84% of Newark’s population lives within a half-mile of transit that runs regularly and frequently.

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7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Philadelphia has over 420,000 jobs accessible with a commute of less than 30 minutes.


6. Chicago, Illinois

Photo Credit: jphilipg / Flickr

More than 2.7 million Chicago residents live within a half-mile of public transit.


5. Jersey City, New Jersey

Photo Credit: Pablo Maneiro / Flickr

Public Transportation costs just 11.3% of what an average household earns per year in Jersey City.


4. Washington, DC

Photo Credit: ChrisDag / Flickr

Over 630,000 DC residents live within a half-mile of public transit.


3. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston’s orange line train. Photo Credit: Notorious R.O.B. / Flickr

Subways and buses in Boston make over 1,500 stops on an average day.


2. San Francisco, California

Photo Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr

98% of San Francisco’s population lives within a half-mile of transit that operates regularly.


1. New York, New York

Photo Credit: Stefan Giorgi / Flickr

New York City boasts the best subways, buses, and bike share in the country.

The city has 18 transit routes within a half mile of an average block and over 1.3 million jobs available within an average 30-minute commute.

This is particularly impressive considering the city has over 8.3 million residents.


This feature originally appeared in Business Insider.


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