Good public transportation is probably something everyone wants but no one wants to admit they have. What’s a better excuse for being late than to blame it on the bus? And it’s relative: New Yorkers may bristle at the idea that their system, with all its closures and reroutes, may actually land in the categorically “good” pile; but their trains are a dream to their public transportation-barren sisters in L.A.
For our system, we’ve considered a couple factors. We’ve weighed the extensiveness of the network against price, reliability, cleanliness, and necessity. We’ve also considered every continent (except, of course, Antarctica, where everyone knows the best transport is dogsled).
Global Cities With Great Public Transportation
1. Moscow, Russia
The Moscow Metro is the most beautiful system on our list; stations were originally built as underground war shelters. You never have to wait longer than four minutes for a train at any station at any time of day. Not only that, it’s one of the most affordable systems - a single metro ride costs about $0.70.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
The Zurich public transportation system is divided into zones, with prices varying based on how many zones you’re traveling across. The good news? The whole of the city of Zurich is located within Zone 10, so most of your destinations will be both accessible and affordable.
3. New York City, United States
New York is one of the few places in America where it makes more sense to do without a car. This is thanks to the web of trains and busses running throughout all five boroughs. Traveling outside New York? The metro stop at Penn Station will link you up with trains headed all over the country.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s public transportation encompasses metros, busses, ferries, and water taxis called Abras. In 2014, Dubai’s Public Transport Agency launched a special one-day package that hits up major touring locations and includes maps and snack vouchers.
5. São Paulo, Brazil
With over 40 miles of track, São Paolo’s train system is not only reliable and reasonably safe, but also comprehensive. Over 15,000 busses supplement the trains, but expats warn that bus system is not as easy to crack.
6. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo’s train system is famously clean, lightning-fast, and timely — thanks in part to the fact that multiple companies compete for your business across thirteen different lines. Be warned, though: this is not a 24-hour service. To get those spotless trains, lines close between midnight and 5 a.m.
7. Paris, France
Intuitive is as intuitive does: you won’t need to speak French to understand Paris’s straightforward metro. Lines are color-coded and clearly labeled. But be warned that ticket prices vary depending on which zone you’re traveling toward, and you’ll get fined if you haven’t calculated the proper price.
8. Perth, Australia
Perth gets major points for offering a free — that’s right, you read it, free — bus service for its city. Operated by Transperth, the network also includes trains and ferries, and you can plan out your trip in advance online.
This article was written by Elizabeth Nonemaker.