Cities with the Best (and Worst) Public Transportation


Whether you’re visiting a city on a business trip or a vacation, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with its public transportation system. You’ll not only be able to get around easier, but you’ll probably save yourself some money (as long as you head to the cities with the best public transportation). When it comes to the worst public transportation, be prepared to get around on foot or drive yourself.


Portland, Oregon

While great for walkers and bikers, Portland also boasts a great bus system and easy-to-use light rail system (plus, it’s very affordable).

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is a great city for buses. With over 100 bus routes, a light rail system, and ferries, there’s always a form of transportation close by.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Our Philadelphia Airport parking staff are happy to see good ole’ Philly on the list! With SEPTA’s buses, trolleys, light rail, and subway lines, it’s easy to get around.

Washington D.C.

The Metrorail in Washington D.C. is one of the busiest in the country, but it’s also one of the easiest to navigate. You’ll be able to get wherever you want to go in about 15 minutes.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston boasts one of the oldest transportation systems in the country. While very walkable (coming in at 3rd on the list), it also has a great rail, subway, and bus system.

San Francisco, California

With two transportation systems, MUNI and BART, you’ll find trolleys, cable cars, street cars, and subway lines throughout the city.

New York City, New York

It’s no surprise that the Big Apple has the best public transportation. With a population of over eight million people, an efficient subway system is a must.


Detroit, Michigan

In Detroit, the unemployment rate is high and car insurance is expensive, so residents rely on public transportation, however, many buses are poorly maintained and are crowded.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

The area’s transportation system isn’t the fastest or most frequent, and the stops are spaced far apart, despite there being a large amount of people who live there.

Kansas City, Kansas

Buses tend to run late, take awhile to get to where they’re going, and aren’t conveniently located for many on the outskirts of the city.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Not only do you have to wait around 20 minutes for any bus, subway, or trolley, but there aren’t many jobs that you can get to within 90 minutes via its transportation system.

Atlanta, Georgia

There is a large working force in Atlanta, however, not many of them live near a public transportation stop and only about 25% of jobs are reachable in 90 minutes.

Houston, Texas

Despite being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, Houston’s public transportation system isn’t very advanced. The city focuses more on cars and trucks, which leads to a lot of traffic.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati’s SORTA transportation system only receives 1% of the state’s transportation budget and the area lacks a good rail system.