The 20 best and worst cities in the US for public transit

05 / 25 / 2011

With gas prices rising and family budgets strained, more commuters are looking for efficient ways to get to work without a car. But are America’s transit networks up to the task? To find out, the Brookings Institution analyzed 100 metro areas in the U.S. to see which cities are getting it right and which aren’t.
 
Source: TIME
 
With gas prices rising and jobs still scarce, more commuters are looking for efficient ways to get to work without a car. But are America’s transit systems up to the task? To find out, the Brookings Institution looked at U.S. public transportation systems in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas and analyzed which cities were best at getting their residents to their workplaces in a timely and cost-effective manner. By researching coverage, service frequency and percent of total employed residents who can use public transportation, the report aimed to rank cities based on the most convenient overall commute. Take a look at the 20 cities with the best and worst job access via city transit systems — the number one metro area might surprise you.
 
 
Best Cities:

Region Percent of working-age residents near a transit stop Median wait (minutes) for any rush hour transit vehicle Percent of jobs reachable via transit in 90 minutes
1. Honolulu, Hawaii 97% 9.0 60%
2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California 96% 6.9 58%
3. Salt Lake City, Utah 89% 8.5 59%
4. Tucson, Arizona 73% 9.2 57%
5. Fresno, California 72% 10.7 57%
6. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colorado 84% 8.1 47%
7. Albuquerque, New Mexico 73% 14.0 53%
8. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada 86% 11.1 44%
9. Provo-Orem, Utah 73% 14.1 48%
10. Modesto, California 90% 18.0 38%

 
 
Worst Cities:

Region Percent of working-age residents near a transit stop Median wait (minutes) for any rush hour transit vehicle Percent of jobs reachable via transit in 90 minutes
1. Knoxville, Tennessee 28% 18.3 25%
2. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California 77% 16.3 8%
3. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio 36% 27.0 14%
4. Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia 30% 27.9 16%
5. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida 64% 38.4 7%
6. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York 46% 51.0 8%
7. Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama 32% 24.1 23%
8. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, South Carolina 28% 28.3 29%
9. Richmond, Virginia 31% 13.7 27%
10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia 38% 10.2 22%

 
 
See the full Brookings report.
 
 
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