New Ranking of Transit Systems

Walk Score Reports

New Ranking of Transit Systems

Today we’re announcing our first ranking of of U.S. city transit systems based on residents’ access to public transportation. (Read the official press release.)

To compute our rankings, we calculated the Transit Score of over 1 million locations in the largest 25 cities that provide open public transit data (hey Atlanta and Phoenix you’re among the largest cities that don’t provide open public transit data!).

Transit Score measures how well a location is served by public transit by assigning a “usefulness” value to nearby transit routes based on frequency, route type, and distance to the nearest stop on the route.  Type an address into Walk Score to get your personal Transit Score.

City scores are calculating by applying the Transit Score algorithm block-by-block throughout the city using a population-weighted methodology.  Transit geeks can read our detailed methodology.

Here’s a Transit Score map of San Francisco (our #2 rated city with a score of 80):

Transit Score Map of San Francisco
Transit Score Map of San Francisco

You can see the blue and pink area of very high scores near the concentration of BART and bus routes downtown.  You can also see circles of high scores around the various BART, MUNI, and bus stops.

The #1 city in the rankings is New York (New Yorkers are never surprised when they are #1) — and it’s just phenomenal how far you can travel in 30 minutes on transit in NYC.  Here is the 30 minute transit shed from Grand Central Station:

New York City 30 Minute Transit Shed
New York City 30 Minute Transit Shed

Heading to the gas pump is about as much fun as getting a root canal. As gas prices rise, is leaving your car at home (or not owning a car) an option?  If the answer is no, Walk Score can help you find an apartment or rental home with a great commute, with nearby public transit, and that’s close to the places and people you love.

Did you know:

• Riding public transportation saves individuals on average over $10,000 a year.
• Americans took over 10 billion trips on public transportation in 2011.
• The average annual number of vehicle miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) in the U.S. decreased 23 percent between 2001 and 2009.

Happy transit riding!

Correction:  In our April 2012 Transit Score ranking, we incorrectly gave Minneapolis a Transit Score of 69.  We discovered an underlying data issue where we were receiving duplicate stop and route data from multiple Minnesota transit agencies.  Specifically, the Minnesota Valley transit authority was including Minneapolis / St. Paul Metro Transit data in their feed.  We have corrected this issue.

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