Top U.S. Cities for Public Transportation

March 8, 2018   By The SOE Team

Top U.S. Cities for Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Overall | Carpooling | Biking | WalkingPublic Transportation

Public transportation may seem intimidating if you’ve only driven a car to work, but once you get in a routine it can make a huge impact on your commute. You’ll reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and possibly reduce your commuting costs. Additionally, having fewer cars on the road reduces traffic congestion and commuting time. If your city has public transportation, give it a try!


Large Cities

1. New York City, NY-Newark-Jersey City, NJ: It’s no surprise that the NYC area is the No. 1 large city for public transportation, especially with such an expansive and widely used system (with more than 40% of residents using the Subway regularly). The Metropolitan Transportation Authority works hard to maintain sustainable practices and has invested millions in upgrading infrastructure to increase capacity and reduce traffic that causes air pollution. The bus system is widely used as well, with more than 200,000 daily trips.

2. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, VA: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“The Metro”) makes the District of Columbia and the surrounding suburbs a green transportation hub thanks to its 38% Metro ridership. With so many people taking public transportation instead of driving their own cars, D.C. area residents solidify the city’s place as the No. 2 large city for public transportation. The Metro has committed to environmental regulations, and works to improve its sustainability practices with every activity. In total, the Metrorail and Metrobus systems serve 4 million people, with more than 200 million rail trips and 130 million bus trips in 2015.

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: The Bay Area is a bustling metropolis filled with innovation and exploration. With that comes the need to move people around the region, without causing delays and traffic buildup. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has a long history of using public transportation, such as light rail, streetcars and cable cars. As one of the densest cities in the United States, people often have to get across town and into other parts of the Bay Area. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system has them covered. The area has a ridership of more than 15%, landing it in the No. 3 spot for public transportation among large cities.

4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA

5. Philadelphia, PA-Camden, NJ-Wilmington, DE

Medium Cities

1. Arcadia, FL: DeSoto-Arcadia Regional Transit (DART) is a service operated by DeSoto County, Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration. It has more than 11% in ridership and has bus stops that allow county residents to get to popular stores, parks and restaurants. You can catch a ride across town for 50 cents.

2. Elko, NV: More than 10% of residents in the two-county area around Elko ride public transportation. The Greater Elko Transit’s (GET) Elko City Bus Route can take rides all over town, even deviating from its scheduled route to accommodate a rider’s needs. The GET also has an on-demand service that can let people without bus stop access to ride.

3. Edwards, CO: With almost 9% ridership, the Edwards, CO, area earns a No. 3 spot. Eagle County (ECO) Transit operates a bus system 365 days per year, 21 hours per day. The bus system can take Edwards residents throughout the city, then up and down the Eagle River. It can also take you throughout the county, so traveling from city to city within Eagle County can all be done through public transportation.

4. Glenwood Springs, CO

5. Ames, IA

Small Cities

1. Winnemucca, NV: Workers in the city and surrounding area use public transportation to get to and from their place of business. In fact, more than 11% reported using public transit. This percentage is much higher than other small cities across the nation.

2. Jackson, WY: Almost 9% of residents in Jackson and the surrounding valleys use public transportation. The local bus system, Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START), provides service between Jackson, Teton Village and Star Valley. The system offers year-round transportation throughout Teton Valley, making Jackson green – even in the winter.

3. Breckenridge, CO: With 7.5% of residents in the Breckenridge area using public transit, the town is our No. 3 small city for public transportation. Breckenridge, in partnership with the Breckenridge Ski Resort, provides free public transportation to the public within town limits. The city bus system is also connected to the county system, Summit Stage, making Breckenridge residents one bus stop away from getting around the county.

4. Wauchula, FL

5. Vineyard Haven, MA

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