What are the Best Cities for Public Transit?

Discovery’s PlanetGreen.com has put together a list of the Top 10 cities in the U.S. for public transportation. While there were at least two notable absences from the list – Washington, D.C. and San Francisco – the cities that made the top 10 nevertheless stand out for their commitment to public transit.

While no two cities face the same transit challenges, many have chosen light rail systems to help move residents to and from homes, businesses and commercial areas. In fact, 9 out of the 10 cities on the list have some kind of rail system as part of their public transit options.

Read more about which cities made the cut, and way, at PlanetGreen.com.

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Jeremy Sutherland

Great list Kate, thanks for sharing. Sure hope you got a chance to go on-location to evaluate all these systems- especially Hawaii!

One smaller, but none-the-less impressive public transit system is the The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, or RGRTA for short. The RGRTA has made amazing improvements within their system, but they were not always great, or even good for that matter.

Just a few years ago, the RGRTA was a low morale, low service, and money-losing organization. The RGRTA’s director for the past few years has lead a dramatic turn-around from a to one that put riders first, cleaned up the routes, the buses, and were able to dramatically reduce the service’s reliance on subsidies.

To read more about about RGRTA’s exciting turnaround, visit Mark Aesch’s website for a taste his story called Driving Excellence, and be sure to look at the impressive list of big-name recommendations he has received- recommendations from management celebrities like Rudy Guiliani, Steve Forbes, Lou Holtz, and more!

Or, for a more personnel venue, reserve your seat now for a chance to see Mark Aesch, Dan Pink, Dave Norton, and many expert strategy and performance management speakers at the 4th Annual Mission Driven Performance Summit, at The National Press Club in Washington, DC in early March 2012.

Allison Primack

I thought this was an extremely interesting list. Even though I am a native Californian, I have never used the public transportation in LA! I was just visiting and noticed a metro station for the first time. Hopefully more people will switch to start using these systems and relieve some of the traffic!

Carol Davison

I think that DC’s public transportation is wonderful! Anything beats sitting in traffic/driving in. On the one day that I must drive in (when delivering pies for the CFC bake sale) I’m exhausted. Of course missing my morning and afternoon nap on the MARC train may have something to do with that.

In London I understand that drivers pay a tax to enter the city to encourage them to not do so. I’m all for that!

Heather Krasna, MS

I lived in Seattle for about 2 years without owning a car…having moved there from NYC where no one owns a car. I found it not totally unliveable, but rather unpleasant and very limiting to live in without a car, even though I live in a very walkable neighorhood. Maybe I’m spoiled by having lived in NYC for so long, but I found that people looked at me very funny when I said I lived without a car; driving (*not* transit) directions are listed whenever you ask how to get somewhere; the roads are filled with single-passenger SUVs; it’s impossible to get many places; and there are a lot of people who presume that everyone who uses public transit is indigent. In general the USA has a long way to go when it comes to transit, but I’m honestly surprised and a little sad that Seattle made this list. Goes to show how bad it must be in other places in the US for those who actually want to live car-free.

Faye Newsham

And no mention of the Agency that funds it all…well, 50% of everything mentioned in the article, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) at http://fta.dot.gov (the redesigned website went live this weekend, let me know what you think).