6 U.S. Cities With Great Public Transportation

Jon Fesmire |

If you’ve ever lived in or visited a city with great public transportation, then you know how helpful it can be. In this article, we’re going to focus on U.S. cities with great public transportation. If you want to visit, or move to, a city where you won’t need to drive often, consider the places on this list.

Boston, MA

Boston’s metro system is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which handles all major public transportation. Its subway, called “the T” by residents, has five main lines, and the MBTA also has  many bus routes to get you anywhere you want to go. About 35% of Boston commuters use the MBTA.

Taking the subway or a bus can lower one’s stress and give one time to relax or read, rather than focusing on the road. A standard MBTA monthly pass costs about $85 per month.

Chicago, IL

The South Side Rapid Transit (SSRT), called “L” trains by commuters, transports around 800,000 people per day around Chicago. The average commute takes about 45 minutes, about 10 minutes longer than by car, and monthly SSRT passes cost about $100 per month.

New York, NY

New York is one of those cities where you can live, get around, shop, and so on without owning a car. Plus, the population of New York City is huge, at about 8 million. As such, the New York metro moves more passengers yearly than any other mass transit system, and is the biggest mass transit system in the United States. About 1.8 billion people yearly ride the subway alone, about 2.5 billion when you take busses into account.

The average work commute via mass transit in New York is about 48 minutes, and a monthly pass costs about $120.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia’s transit system, the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), has subways, busses, trolleys, and commuter rails. Keep in mind, most Philadelphia commuters spend two hours on rapid transit daily, but consider the alternative: sitting in your car, slogging through traffic for about the same amount of time. Most riders travel about eight miles each direction. The monthly pass is cheaper than in many other cities at about $96 per month.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s major commuter line is the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). This metro system services many cities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. Within San Francisco, you can also ride the San Francisco Municipal Railway, or MUNI, and the MUNI can get you close to a BART station. A MUNI monthly pass costs $70,

Busses and commuter trains. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), shared between SF, Berkeley, and Oakland. There’s also the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI). There are no time-based passes for BART.

You may be wondering about San Francisco’s famous cable cars. These were indeed a popular mode of travel in the early 20th century, but they have gone down from 23 to just 3 lines. Cable cars are more for tourists and day trippers now. They’re a fun way to get from one attraction to another, but not so much for commuting to work.

Washington, D.C.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the transit system for Washington, DC, is so well-used and popular. This system, called simply the Metro or the Metrorail among D.C. residents, consists mainly of busses and an extensive subway with 91 stations.

Annual ridership is about 180 million people. Commute time isn’t bad, either, at an average of about 35 minutes each way. The price of a monthly pass, however, is steep, at $230.

So, if you are sick of driving for your commute and want to move, these are some of the top cities to consider moving to. Their mass transit will get you to your job and home, help you save money on gas, and hopefully reduce your stress as well.