Metropolitan areas in the United States often offer exciting opportunities, vibrant people, and an abundance of activities to do and sights to see. However, on account of all of these advantages, large cities are also prone to an influx of cars which can cause a frustrating amount of traffic. Luckily, several American cities have robust public transportation options for commuters and tourists aiming to avoid being stuck in gridlocked roads.


These are the 10 cities with top-notch mass transit in the U.S.



1. San Francisco, California

Despite its many hilly streets, San Francisco has a solid public transit system. Operated by the San Francisco Municipal (MUNI), the city features buses, historic cable cars, and trains. MUNI also boasts a few light rails such as the renowned F-line heritage streetcar. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has a subway system that services San Francisco and neighboring cities and counties.


2. Boston, Massachusetts

Due to Boston’s numerous one-way roads and confusing city planning design, it’s more efficient for people to use public transportation to navigate the city and its surrounding suburbs. Boston is home to the country’s oldest public subway system. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) manages the commuter rail, streetcars, buses, and subway in the metropolis

3. New York City, New York

Famous for its expansive subway system, New York City has reliable public transit that millions of riders depend on daily. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority serves the entire state, but NYC is operated by the MTA New York City Transit (NYCT). The NYCT offers buses in addition to subway trains that quickly take riders to the city’s diverse boroughs.


4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is a top-rated walkable city. The city’s mass transit is operated by the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). SEPTA manages the trains, trolleys, commuter rails, and buses.


5. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital has an extensive mass transit system that spans between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which is also referred to as simply Metro, manages the subway lines, bus routes, and MetroAccess, a shared ride service.


6. Chicago, Illinois

As the third-largest American city, Chicago requires a strong public transit system for its residents and visitors. The metropolitan area is serviced by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) which has 3 sub-divisions: Metra, Pace, and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Metra is responsible for the city’s commuter railroad; Pace operates the bus system in Chicago’s suburbs; and CTA has trains and bus service for the greater metropolitan area.


7. Jersey City, New Jersey

Since there are copious commuters who live in New Jersey and travel to New York City for work, it only makes sense for the public transit system to be comprehensive. The Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) operates buses and trains that link Jersey City to major New Jersey suburbs and cities as well as NYC’s Downtown and Midtown areas.


8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh boasts Pennsylvania’s second-largest public transportation system with hundreds of thousands of daily passengers. Run by Port Authority of Allegheny County, the agency manages the subway, light rails, and buses for the city.


9. Seattle, Washington

Although the most popular mode of transportation in Seattle is via car, the city still has a solid mass transit system. The public transportation includes the Link Light Rail, Seattle Streetcars, Seattle Center Monorail, and King County Metro Transit which serves the downtown area and adjacent suburbs.


10. Portland, Oregon

Similar to denizens of Seattle, people in Portland don’t rely heavily on public transportation as a way of life. However, the city’s mass transit makes it easier to travel around the city without a car. It’s operated by TriMet which has a rail and bus system. The light rail is called Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) and stops at many Portland attractions and runs to Downtown and the airport.



This article was written by Justina Tran.