One of the most important factors of an urban standard of living is the commuting time. Because of that, cities with best public transportation are usually considered the most livable. An efficient, safe and quality service will impact your quality of life to a great extent. It affects your daily routine whether you are trying to get to work in the morning or go shopping in the afternoon. Whether it is a subway, a bus or a commuter train, it needs to be inexpensive and not impact your budget significantly.
Cities with Best Public Transportation and the Story of Their Success
Several research institutes have conducted studies to quantify the state of public transit in major towns. By using certain metrics, they tried to evaluate the performance of buses, subways, bike shares and light rails from the standpoint of affordability, accessibility, frequency, quality, and the number of stops to remind the authorities of the need to improve the system.
According to some research, a citizen spends about 42 hours per year in traffic and this is just an average number, as major city centers have a much worse score. Drivers, on the other hand, spend even more time in congestion, averagely about 63 hours per year. As time is money, these figures are not very budget-friendly. To reduce the extent of the problem, the authorities need to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and use the city’s transport, but they will only do that if they have a better alternative. The advantages of public transit are reliability, low cost, and less stress, but it still isn’t enough to inspire people to use these services.
Cities with the Best Public Transportation – What’s the Deal
Examining US towns with a population of more than 175,000 people and calculating the percentage difference between average commute times of drivers and bus users, the researchers came up with a list of cities with best public transportation systems.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Has a Short Commute Time
Buses are the main means of transport in Pittsburgh. There is also light rail which goes underground in the downtown area and above the ground in other parts of the city. Users spend 32 minutes commuting on average, which makes it the 11th on the list of 136 towns. As for accessibility, more than 138,000 citizens live within a half-mile of its transit. Also, the difference between public and private transport commute is only 9 minutes in favor of private drivers. This puts Pittsburgh among the best cities for public transportation in the US.
Washington, D.C. Has the Second Largest Subway System in the US
Being the capital of the country, it has all means of transit available. It has the second-largest subway system in the US. An average user travels about 36 minutes per day; however, this efficiency also has its price which puts DC transport service among the most expensive ones in the country. A monthly pass will cost you more than $230. As for accessibility, more than 644,000 citizens live within a half-mile of its transit. Also, one of the advantages is that Washington’s transport is only 8.6 minutes slower than the private driver. Consider all of this if you are still on the fence about moving to DC.
San Francisco, California Is Famous for Cable Cars
Cable cars are traditional in SF and have a special appeal for tourists. They run up and down the city, transporting you not only from one part of the town to another but also through different time periods. Buses and commuter trains are San Francisco’s most popular means of transportation today, besides cable cars and streetcars. When it comes to accessibility, 99% of its population lives within a half-mile of transit. Don’t forget this when you are looking for the best neighborhoods in SF.
Subway Is Popular in Boston, Massachusetts
The most common transportation method in Boston is the subway with its five lines and a widespread bus network. It is handled by The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority – MBTA which has a serious job of dealing with 390 million rides per year. Around 34% of citizens use the city’s transport, commuters are waiting for it on average 15 minutes, and the distance they ride in a single trip within the town is 4.35 miles.
Chicago, Illinois Has One of the Oldest Transit Systems
Originating from horse-drawn streetcar lines, the transit system of Chicago is one of the oldest in the US and has been operating since 1892. Nowadays, it is known for its elevated electric trains crossing the Wells Street Bridge and it is the 3rd largest rail system in the US. If you are considering moving to Chicago, remember that an average user will spend 43 minutes commuting. When considering accessibility, more than 2.7 million residents are half-mile away from its transport.
New York Has a Top-Notch Transit System
As NY is considered to be the city that never sleeps, it is bound to have the best transit system in the US. With the variety of transport ways, like buses, subway, railway and a lot of bike lanes, the majority of the population does not need to drive a car. However, as the population is growing and its transit system is getting old, it requires major repairs. They do have good accessibility to the city’s transport, with about 19 transit routes being within half-mile from each block of New York.
New Jersey Is Just a Ride Away from NYC
Thinking about how to move and where to can be a tedious process. But if you are relocating to New Jersey, you will get to live in one of the US cities with the best public transportation. NJ is a place that is close to the biggest city in the States, meaning that many people live here but work in NYC.
Working people depend on the reliability of transit. It is crucial that they get from home to work within a reasonable commute time. That reliability of the NJ system of transport can be seen in many options, from wide roads, ferries, and rail to busses and even airports. The town is connected to NYC through New Jersey Turnpike, this road also overlaps with Interstate95, connecting Jersey with Delaware and the East Coast in general.
NJ Transit has access to all parts of the town with its light rail, buses, and commuter rails that connect Jersey with NYC. Get yourself a MetroCard and enjoy the benefits of living in one of the cities with the best public transportation.
Seattle, Washington Has Many Commuting Options
Even though Seattle has a variety of commuting options, like monorails, trams, buses, and recently constructed light rail systems, its growth is surpassing the traffic capabilities. This encourages people to use its transport more and more. High levels of transit accessibility can be seen in many lift ramps for scooters, and wheelchairs. This is one of the things you should know before moving to Seattle.
Los Angeles, California Is All About Cars
Freeways are a landmark of Los Angeles, but its public transport is among the top-rated ones in the country, being the 3rd most comprehensive system in the US. LA is connected by light rail, subway, buses, and shuttles. It is said to be easily accessible, but some think it is growing too fast without proper grounds. It is still much quicker to get from one place to another by car and the fuel prices are relatively low. Furthermore, people think traveling by bus is less reliable and they also have some safety concerns. Remember this when you decide to move to Los Angeles.
Enjoy Bike-Sharing System In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When considering the number of people using its transport system, Philadelphia has street-level trolleys, trolleybuses, subways, and commuter rails, all of which are accessible to over 371,000 inhabitants in less than 30 minutes. There is also a very popular bike-sharing system. So, when you are moving to Philadelphia don’t forget to take your bike with you.
Miami, Florida Has a New Metro Rail System
Considering the amount of traffic, one can say Miami is bound to have delays, especially with the Brickell Avenue drawbridge going up every hour or half-hour to allow river traffic to pass under (which is very important commercially). When you are on your way to moving to Miami know that being late is considered to be customary.
The new metro rail system is expected to modernize commuting and encourage people to get out of their cars and start using its transport system. That is not a difficult job since debt-stricken millennials are less prone to using cars due to financial reasons. As for accessibility, more than 423,000 of citizens, which is 99% of all users, live within a half-mile of one of the routes.