Public transportation is a system of passenger transport by group travel systems available for use by the general public for a posted fee. Public transportation methods include buses, trains, subways, trolleybuses, metros, and ferries. Public transportation is typically managed on a set schedule and operates on established routes.
Mass public transportation is generally regarded as more energy-efficient than other forms of travel, as it is believed to decrease airborne pollution. Additionally, public transportation provides an arena to test environmentally friendly changes, such as fuel alternatives and swapping out materials used to manufacture vehicles with lighter materials. An increase in public transportation also reduces traffic congestion and provides an economic boost by creating jobs.
Public transportation is an important and cost-effective means of transportation, especially for young millennials who are fresh out of college. Access to public transportation is often a factor in determining which cities are best for millennials. Using public transportation in cities is often less expensive than paying for one’s own car and insurance. Not to mention, in many cities, public transportation is much quicker than attempting to drive a car through the streets.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.1 billion trips on public transportation in 2017 (34 million trips per day). Despite this, millions of Americans still do not have access to public transportation; however, more cities are beginning to invest in public transportation systems to help move people around and move cities forward.
AllTransit is the largest source of transit data in the United States and ranked all US cities with a population of at least 250,000 to identify which have the best public transportation.
The ten cities with the best public transportation are:
- New York City
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
- Boston, MA
- Jersey City, NJ
- Chicago, IL
- Philadelphia, PA
- Portland, OR
- Cleveland, OH
- Newark, NJ
New York City has the best public transportation system in the United States. There are approximately 13,771 public transportation trips completed per week in NYC with about 59% of New Yorkers using public transit. Over 1.35 million jobs are accessible within a 30-minute trip on public transportation. New York is only out-ranked on one criterion: the number of routes. New York has 20 routes while Washington D.C. has 25 and San Francisco has 26.