City data website WalkScore.com just released its annual list of the best U.S. cities for public transit. "We’ve calculated the Transit Score for 316 cities and almost 7,000 neighborhoods to help home shoppers and apartment hunters find places to live with better commutes and more transportation choices," the organization says.
Most of the top five overall cities are on or near the Atlantic Ocean. But when broken down by region, Washington, D.C., Miami, and Atlanta were tops for public transit in the South. Among Midwestern cities, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee ranked (in that order). And in the West, San Francisco was top, followed by Seattle, and Oakland, Calif.
"The older Northeast cities with established subway systems have the highest scores," noted Walk Score. "West Coast cities that have made more recent investments in light rail also score well." And though Southern cities average a Transit Score of just 38, there are many neighborhoods (such as Downtown Houston or the Brickell Neighborhood in Miami) that score high.
Here's a look at the overall top five U.S. cities for public transit, along with their walkability rating, most walkable neighborhoods, and how to talk about their local subway systems like a local. Some of these may come as a surprise — a cursory survey of coworkers and friends resulted in comments like "What about Chicago?", "Philadelphia HAS a subway system?" and a "Stop everything. That is a prank list. San Francisco has the worst public transit EVAR," from a SF native. Probably we are just spoiled on the East Coast?
Walk Score: 77
Most walkable neighborhoods:
Subway system is called: SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority), or more specifically, a Philly friend says: ”There are only two lines. The Broad Street line (north-south, completely underground) is simply “The Subway.” The Market-Frankford Line (east-west), which is elevated at points but goes underground through Center City West Philly, is referred to as “The El.”