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America's top cities for public transportation

America's top cities for public transportation

Posting in Cities

Walk Score ranks America's public transit systems.

Whether it’s because of rising gas prices, environmental concerns or just the hassle of finding a decent parking space, Americans, particularly those of the Millenial generation, are driving less and less.

But people are still managing to get from place to place—they’re just trading in their drivers’ licenses for monthly metro cards. Public transportation has become an increasingly desirable option in the U.S., saving the average person over $10,000 per year.

So which cities make it easiest to get around without a car? Walk Score, a start-up in Seattle, recently created a list of America’s top cities for public transit. The company developed the rankings by calculating a Transit Score for over one million locations in the largest cities with open public transit data (this means Atlanta and Phoenix didn’t make the list).

According to the company, the Transit Score measures each location’s “usefulness” value based on frequency, route type and distance to the nearest route stop.

Here’s the complete list:

  1. New York (Transit Score: 81)
  2. San Francisco (Transit Score: 80)
  3. Boston (Transit Score: 74)
  4. Washington, D.C. (Transit Score: 69)
  5. Philadelphia (Transit Score: 68)
  6. Chicago (Transit Score: 65)
  7. Seattle (Transit Score: 59)
  8. Miami (Transit Score: 57)
  9. Baltimore (Transit Score: 57)
  10. Portland (Transit Score: 50)
  11. Los Angeles (Transit Score: 49)
  12. Milwaukee (Transit Score: 49)
  13. Denver (Transit Score: 47)
  14. Cleveland (Transit Score: 45)
  15. San Jose (Transit Score: 40)
  16. Dallas (Transit Score: 39)
  17. Houston (Transit Score: 36)
  18. San Diego (Transit Score: 36)
  19. San Antonio (Transit Score: 35)
  20. Kansas City (Transit Score: 34)
  21. Austin (Transit Score: 33)
  22. Sacramento (Transit Score: 32)
  23. Las Vegas (Transit Score: 32)
  24. Columbus (Transit Score: 29)
  25. Raleigh (Transit Score: 23)

It’s interesting to note that even the top scoring cities fall short of Walk Score’s ideal “Rider’s Paradise” category which demands a score between 90 and 100. Even after that, only New York, San Francisco and Boston make it into the company’s second best “Excellent Transit” category. To see the full classifications, click here.

What do you think? Do you agree with your city’s spot (or absence) on the list?

Photo: Norris Wong/Flickr

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Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure