Cities with Best Public Transportation | Long Distance USA Movers

10 Cities With Best Public Transportation in the US

One of the most important factors of an urban standard of living is the commuting time. Because of that, cities with the best public transportation are usually considered the most livable. Imagine how great it would be not having to spend hours stuck in traffic just to get to the grocery store. Here are the 10 cities that make getting from point A to point B easy even without a car.

Metro train at the subway station overlay
Choose carefully the next place you want to live in if you use public transportation often

Cities With the Best Public Transportation – What’s the Deal

Researchers came up with a list of 10 cities with the best public transportation systems. This was done by examining US cities with a population of more than 175,000 people and calculating the percentage difference between the average commute times of drivers and bus users. Here are the results:

  • Pittsburg,
  • Washington, DC,
  • San Francisco,
  • Boston,
  • Chicago,
  • New York City,
  • New Jersey,
  • Seattle,
  • Los Angeles,
  • Philadelphia,
  • Miami.
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The Metrics Behind the Research

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. This was done 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 research done by INRIX, Americans spend about 97 hours per year in traffic. This is just an average number, as major city centers have a much worse score

What Are the Advantages of Public Transport?

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. However, 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.

Girl on the street of New York City overlay
City living is less stressful with good public transport

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Has a Short Commute Time

Buses are the main means of transport in Pittsburgh. There is also a light rail that 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 commutes is only 9 minutes in favor of private drivers. This puts Pittsburgh among the best cities for public transportation in the US. 

Ship Your Car to Pittsburgh and Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds

Moving to Pittsburg will put you in a place where having your car adds an extra layer of convenience and freedom to your lifestyle. By shipping your car, you gain the flexibility to explore beyond the city’s borders.

The city’s balance of efficient public transit and the comfort of private transport provides residents with the best of both worlds. This is a testament to Pittsburgh’s commitment to accommodating diverse lifestyles and preferences. With your car, every journey becomes an opportunity to discover something new in this captivating city.

Pittsburgh skyline overlay
There are 102 public transport routes in Pittsburgh

Washington, DC, Has the Second Largest Subway System in the US

Being the capital of the country, Washington, DC, 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 convenience comes at a price – DC transport service is among the most expensive ones in the country.

A monthly pass will cost you more than $130. 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 a private one. Consider all of this if you are still on the fence about moving to DC.

Residents of Washington DC Have Diverse Driving Habits

Relocating to Washington, DC, means enjoying a unique landscape in terms of car usage.  According to Greater Greater Washington article, the city’s population is split into distinct categories:

  • Those who are “Car-free” do not rely on personal vehicles.
  • “Car Lite”, who own vehicles but use them less frequently,
  • “Car Heavy”, who depend on their cars for daily commutes.
Washington DC overlay
Almost 65% of households in DC have at least one car

San Francisco, California, Is Famous for Cable Cars

Cable cars are traditional in San Francisco 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

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Maximize Your San Francisco Experience by Embracing the City’s Unique Transit Landscape

When moving to San Francisco, know that the place isn’t just about cable cars. It’s a hub of diverse transportation options. Understanding the city’s transit network is key for anyone planning a move.

With buses, commuter trains, and more, navigating the city is an adventure in itself. You can also use your car to explore the suburbs and hidden hooks and crannies of the city. With the transportation options available, you’ll be only limited by your imagination.

public transportation overlay
People over the age of 65 in San Francisco are less likely to have a car

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. 

Public Transport Can be the Key to Enjoying Everything Boston Has to Offer

Moving to Boston and embracing the public transportation system can be the key to unlocking the full spectrum of experiences that the city has to offer. With an efficient subway network, extensive bus routes, and a host of commuter options, navigating around becomes a seamless and eco-friendly adventure.

Boston subway lines, train crossing Longfellow bridge over scenic Charles river overlay
Massachusetts has one of the lowest rate of car ownerships in US

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 a mile away from its transport.

A picture of a park in the middle of Chicago overlay
There are only around 26% of households without a vehicle in the city

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. NYC does have good accessibility to the different transport options, with about 19 transit routes being within half a mile of each block of New York.

Moving to New York City means embracing different types of transportation. Depending on the borough you choose to live in you’ll get to use car or public transport options more.

Yellow Taxi in Manhattan, New York City in USA overlay
Around 1.4 million households own a car

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. The 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 the New Jersey Turnpike. This road also overlaps with Interstate 95, 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.  All you should do is get yourself a MetroCard and enjoy the benefits of living in one of the cities with the best public transportation.

City skyline of New Jersey overlay
70% of households have at least one car

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.

Nevertheless Consider Bringing Your Car to Seattle

Moving to Seattle and bringing your car along can be a wise decision depending on your lifestyle and specific needs. There are circumstances where having your own vehicle can be advantageous.

  • Explore Beyond the City Limits – If you’re eager to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, having a car allows you to venture beyond the city limits. From the Olympic National Park to the Cascade Mountains and picturesque coastal drives, a personal vehicle provides the freedom to discover the region’s breathtaking landscapes at your own pace.
  • Convenience for Commuters – Commuting patterns vary, and having a car can be convenient if your job or daily routine takes you to areas with limited public transportation options or irregular schedules. It can save you time and provide flexibility in your daily commute.
  • Errands and Groceries – For routine errands like grocery shopping or other personal tasks, having a car can simplify your life. It allows you to transport goods conveniently and reduces the reliance on public transportation for everyday needs.
  • Explore Surrounding Cities – If you plan to explore nearby cities or areas outside of Seattle frequently, such as Tacoma or Bellevue, having a car can make these trips more accessible and enjoyable.

Ultimately, whether or not to bring your car to Seattle depends on your individual preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. Weigh the convenience of having your own vehicle against the potential drawbacks, and make a decision that aligns with your needs and values.

Seattle at night overlay
Here around 81% of households owns at least one car

Los Angeles, California Is All About Cars

Freeways are a landmark of Los Angeles. However, 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.

People in Los Angeles are All About Cars

Los Angeles is undeniably a place where people have a deep affinity for cars. The statistics speak volumes, as Los Angeles ranked the highest in car ownership among U.S. cities in 2019. With a staggering 2,276,974 registered vehicles, this sprawling metropolis of nearly 1.4 million residents boasted an impressive 87.9% rate of vehicle ownership.

On average, each household in Los Angeles had approximately 1.63 cars, reflecting the city’s enduring car culture. From cruising down iconic boulevards like the Sunset Strip to navigating the extensive freeway system, the automobile remains an integral part of the lifestyle.

an image of LA landscape overlay
There are around 7.8 minion vehicles in LA County

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.

Bicycle Traffic is on the Rise in Philadelphia

The year 2021 brought forth notable changes in the bicycling landscape of Philadelphia. Bicycle traffic on the Schuylkill River Bridges during rush hours saw a remarkable 29% increase from 2020.

The Census Transportation to Work data reinforces the fact that South Philadelphia continues to be a leader in bicycle commuting, consistently ranking among the top 10 neighborhoods in the nation. With over 6% of workers choosing bicycles as their mode of commuting, South Philadelphia’s commitment to cycling rivals renowned bike culture centers such as Southeast Portland, Boulder, and Palo Alto.

Indego bike sharing bikes in a rack in Philadelphia overlay
Philadelphia boasts a higher percentage of female bicycle commuters, with 33%, surpassing the national average of 24%

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.

However, 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 citizens, which is 99% of all users, live within a half-mile of one of the routes.

Embrace the Metrorail and Enjoy Living in Miami

Embracing the Metrorail system in Miami can significantly enhance your daily life in the vibrant city. As a convenient and efficient mode of transportation, the Metrorail offers an opportunity to navigate Miami with ease, bypassing traffic congestion and parking hassles.

Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods, or indulging in its renowned cultural and culinary scene, the Metrorail provides a reliable and environmentally friendly means of getting around.

With numerous stations connecting key areas, it’s a gateway to Miami’s many attractions, beaches, and activities. By integrating Metrorail into your Miami lifestyle, you can experience the city to its fullest while contributing to a sustainable and hassle-free urban environment.

miami-beach overlay
People in Miami on average have one car per household

Pick the City to Call Home and Long Distance USA Movers Will Help You Relocate Without a Fuss

No matter, if you are driving, using a bus or a train, spending time stuck in traffic, is unavoidable. However, strategic relocation to a city with fewer traffic jams can save you a lot of time. That being said, when you set your mind to the next place to call home, give Long Distance USA Movers a call, and we will make your relocation easy.

Our expert team understands the nuances of long-distance moving and is dedicated to providing a smooth relocation experience. With Long Distance USA Movers, you can focus on the excitement of living in a city with excellent public transit. All while we handle the intricacies of your move.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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