The Cities With The Best Public Transportation In The U.S.

In most of the U.S., public transportation is pretty dismal. That’s the overall message from Walk Score’s new rankings of the best U.S. cities for public transit.

Upon first glance, the rankings don’t seem too surprising. New York City comes in first, as it always should. Boston is the second top-ranked Northeastern city. Washington D.C. is the top Southern city, and San Francisco is the top Western city.

Now look at the top ranked cities overall.

Somehow, San Francisco comes in second place after New York City. If that’s actually the case, the U.S. transportation system is in big trouble. Because while San Francisco is served by many different transit types (subway, light rail, buses), it still can take hours to cross the seven mile by seven mile city using public transportation.

At least the top five cities all have somewhat respectable transportation systems, even if they aren’t always efficient (the Transit Scores only take into account frequency, type of route, and distance–but not reliability). The bottom five on the top 10 list of best cities for transportation all get a score of 65 out of 100 or lower; in other words, even the Transit Score algorithm doesn’t rank them too highly. And somehow, Los Angeles, land of cars, slides in at the No. 9 spot. The Bike Scores for the top cities aren’t too high either, but they at least never dip below 62 out of 100 in the top 10.

Unfortunately, Walk Score only ranks public transportation in the U.S., so there’s no way to compare the top 10 scores to other countries. Rankings for more of the lower-ranked cities in the U.S. are available here.AS