October 17, 2022 Posted in City Guides
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Cities With the Best Public Transportation in The US

If you’re relocating to a new city, one of the first things you’ll need to do is figure out how you’ll get around. In some places, driving is the only option – but if you pick one of the cities with the best public transportation in the US to live in, you’ll have a lot more flexibility (not to mention a lot less stress).

Young stylish woman using public transport, sitting with phone and headphones in the modern tram overlay
Pick one of the cities with good public transportation and move like a pro

What Is the Importance of Good Public Transportation

Did you know that over 50% of Americans have moved to a new place in their lifetime? When moving across the country, there are some things to consider, including safety, jobs, and home prices. You also don’t want to forget to include good transportation options. That’s why you should check which places offer residents top-quality public transportation for easy commuting before you book a professional cross-country moving service and pick the greatest time of the year to move.

After all, the importance of transit can be attributed to a few main factors. Providing alternatives to walking and driving in cities is essential to society. People’s average commute times can be greatly reduced by using public transportation like the subway, which also makes it easier to go around the city and work.

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What Should You Pay Attention to When Looking for Cities With the Best Public Transportation

Before you find a professional cross-country moving company, deal with your relocation essentials, and book a packing service from long-distance movers, you need to decide where to live.

As we already mentioned, one of the important factors to consider is the quality of the city’s public transportation. After all, you’ll likely be relying on public transportation to get around on a daily basis. So, what should you pay attention to?

The cost of tickets and passes

In some cities, public transportation is very affordable, while it can be quite expensive in others. You’ll need to factor in the cost of public transportation when budgeting for your move.

The frequency and availability

Another important factor to consider is the frequency and availability of public transportation. In some cities, public transportation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In other cities, it may only be available during peak hours on weekdays. You’ll need to consider your own schedule and needs when determining whether or not a city has good public transportation options.

The efficiency of transportation systems

Having trains and buses run on time and get passengers where they need to go in a timely manner is undoubtedly an ideal scenario. However, in some cities, buses and trains often run late and are frequently overcrowded. You’ll want to research a city’s public transportation system before making a move to ensure that it’s efficient enough for your needs.

The size and layout of the city

In larger cities, there are typically more public transportation options available, such as subways, buses, and trains. However, these large cities can also be less walkable than smaller ones, which means that you may have to rely on public transportation more often than you would like. If you prefer to walk or bike whenever possible, you’ll want to consider relocating to a smaller town with good public transportation options instead of a larger one.

The safety of public transportation options

Last but not least, you’ll want to pay attention to the safety factors when choosing a city with good public transportation options. While public transportation is safe in most cities, there are always exceptions. Make sure to conduct thorough research on the safety records of its transportation system. Feel confident and safe using public transportation before the move.

#1 Washington, D.C. Is One of the Cities With the Best Public Transportation

Public transportation in the Washington, D.C. area primarily relies on below-ground subways and buses. The Metro or Metrorail subway system, which accommodates more than 200 million journeys annually, is the second-largest system in terms of ridership in the United States.

In addition, 130 million more journeys are made each year on the bus system. It’s not the best system in the United States just due to its size. The average commuter in Washington, D.C. spends around 35 minutes to get to work every day, which is pretty good considering that the average in the US is about 45 minutes.

Consider the Higher Cost of Living in Washington, D.C.

If you’re planning to hire cross-country movers when relocating to Washington, D.C., you will have to consider all the facts about its cost of living as well to organize your move. Considering it’s not the most affordable place out there means the monthly transportation isn’t as affordable as you thought.

A Metrorail SmarTrip pass, which ranges in price from $72 to $216, is required if you want to utilize the metro. The sum is determined by the length of your travels. In contrast to many other cities, DC’s metro rates are not flat, so the cost increases as you travel further. A seven-day pass costs $60, and a daily pass costs $14.50.

On the other hand, if you want to do some interesting things where the metro can’t get you, consider using a bus. The bus system is the sixth largest in the nation, and you’ll pay $1.75 for a ride. The great news is that you can use your SmarTrip pass for both Metrobus and Metrorail.

Here’s a video on how to buy metro tickets in Washington, D.C. online.

#2 Pittsburgh Has a High-Quality Public Transportation

In Pittsburgh, commuters have access to both bus service and the T, an underground light rail. If passengers have a ConnectCard, a one-way bus or rail ride costs $2.50. If paying with cash, it costs $2.75. According to the US Census Bureau, commuters will spend 32 minutes on average while traveling to work, which is still a pretty good time.

It’s also important to mention the quality of public transportation in Pittsburgh. Every light rail vehicle and bus has ramps or elevators. There are 53 T stations, and service begins every day at 5 a.m. and lasts until midnight. So, after taking all this into consideration, you can start looking for a long-distance moving company with peace of mind that the chosen place is the right one for you.

View of Pittsburg after using long-distance moving services overlay
Pittsburg has one of the best-quality public transport systems

#3 Seattle Offers a Variety of Transportation Options

You can choose from a variety of public transportation choices in Seattle, including buses, streetcars, light rail, and even Amtrak trains and ferries. The city also has a strong bike-sharing scheme and is particularly bike-friendly, which is one of the many great things you can do in Seattle in your spare time. This should surely help you decide whether relocating to Seattle is a good idea or not.

A reconstruction of the underground light rail line has been recently finished, which means there’s a great connection from the Downtown to the University (located in North Seattle). A brand-new streetcar line, Seattle’s second streetcar line, was also inaugurated by the city earlier this year.

More commuters are already benefiting from these and prior initiatives. Since 2011, there has been a 34.9% increase in Seattle residents using public transportation to travel to work. Transit use by commuters in Seattle has increased by 3.8%. That is the biggest rise of any significant American metropolis.

#4 Chicago’s Two Major Airports Have a Great Rail Connection

With millions of passengers and a staggering 35 different areas served by the Chicago Transit Authority, the city has some of the greatest public transportation systems in the country. The direct rail connection between the two major Chicago airports, Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway, is one of the main benefits for locals and visitors.

The epidemic reduced ridership in 2020, yet these systems typically carry close to 500 million people annually. The rail network, sometimes known as the El since it runs primarily on elevated lines, has 145 train stops – most are ADA accessible and eight distinct routes that are color-coded. So, if you are thinking about relocating to Chicago, knowing these facts will surely help you pick the best place to live and find many interesting things to do in Chicago, as well.

The CTA, one of the best transit systems in existence, is located in Chicago, the third-largest city in the country. The CTA makes it simple to travel throughout the windy city, including to and from its two major airports, the downtown area, its best neighborhoods, and the suburbs. Train and bus one-way fares are $2.50 and $2.25, respectively, which really isn’t what you might expect, especially considering the city’s average cost of living.

streets of chicago overlay
There are 145 train stops in Windy City

#5 San Francisco Has Energy and Cost-Effective Systems

Tourists adore having the possibility to do different things in San Francisco, and one of them is visiting the city’s iconic cable cars. There is also a light rail system called the BART, a bus system, and a municipal train called the MUNI that will make living in SF a lot easier, especially when you don’t have your car shipped across the country. So, if you are planning to move to SF, you should also know that the city is more energy-efficient and cost-effective than other cities since it uses electric power for its public transportation.

You can choose among buses, trams, ferries, or cable cars… and know that fares are based on distance overlay
MUNI and BART will help you visit all the parts of the city

#6 Boston Has the Fifth-Largest Public Transportation in the Country

Relocating to Boston with professional long-distance moving services won’t seem like a bad idea once you learn more about its public transportation. In Boston, more than 30% of commuters take public transportation. The T, a comprehensive bus network, and trolley service are all parts of the Boston metro system. Harvard, the airport, and other important locations all across the region are connected by the T.

Over 4 million people are served by Boston’s transit system, and about 390 million rides annually – the fifth-largest in the country. Considering that these systems run on electricity, the fact that 20% of the electricity in Boston is obtained from sources of certified renewable energy is another benefit.

#7 New York City Has It All – Buses, Subways, Trains, and Ferries

The biggest system in the country is New York City’s Metro. With about 1.7 billion riders annually, the subway can accommodate 5.5 million riders on a typical daily basis. The city’s bus system is very effective, carrying an average of 2.2 million passengers each day. This means it practically doesn’t matter where you live because public transportation can get you to all the five boroughs of NYC.

More people use public transportation to commute than in any other American city, with over 77% of inhabitants endorsing the system. On top of its buses, subways, and commuter trains, New York also offers a ferry system for commuters.

a view of a packed street in NYC overlay
The busiest of the 472 subway stops are in Times Square

#8 Denver Makes Everything Easier With Simple Transportation System

Denver has a great public transportation system, and 68.4% of the city’s citizens approve of the infrastructure. There are approximately 125 bus lines in the city, all stations are ADA accessible, and there are train and bus options for travelers. The airport and sporting venues are conveniently connected by these systems, which might just be enough for people thinking of relocating here.

Depending on the distance, rail fares can cost anywhere from $2.60 to $9, and day passes for local buses and rail travel cost $5.20. The relatively simple structure makes it easy for individuals to navigate this metropolis every day.

View of Denver overlay
All bus stations in Denver are ADA accessible

#9 Philadelphia Transportation System Incorporates Many Different Ways of Getting From Point A to Point B

Philadelphia has the fourth-highest percentage of workers who utilize public transportation, at over 171,000 (excluding people who are traveling to Philadelphia from other places). The system incorporates commuter trains, trolley buses, street-level trolleys, underground subways, and ordinary buses. On an average weekday, more than 290,000 trips are taken on trains of all kinds, while buses and trolley buses experience about 480,000.

Delaware River and Philadelphia overlay
Most of Philadelphia's citizens use public transportation

Pick the Best City and Moving Cross Country for a Fresh Start

Moving to a new city can be stressful, but if you do your research and choose wisely, it doesn’t have to be. If having good public transportation is important to you, be sure the city has everything you need before making your final decision. Once you’ve chosen your new home and hired one of the reliable cross-country moving companies, don’t forget to download your city’s transit app so you can always know exactly when the next bus or train is coming.


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