Commuter Kate: The Best Cities to Explore Using Public Transit

Published: July 27, 2018

In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the heart of the summer travel season. But by the time you add up the cost of flights, accommodation, dining out and purchasing souvenirs, you may have put off that summer vacation! Traveling costs can be overwhelming, so it’s important to save where you can. One way is to skip the expensive private cars and shuttles from the airport to your hotel or Airbnb, and taxis within the city, and ride local public transit instead.

When you’re planning your next vacation, keep in mind the cost of transportation and which cities provide better public transit experiences than others.

A recent study published in June 2018 by global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company: Elements of success: Urban transportation systems of 24 global cities, has announced Singapore as the most affordable city for public transport, with Los Angeles (Long Beach to Santa Ana area) and Chicago coming a close second and third on the list.

If money isn’t your main concern and you want to experience the city as a local, without losing out on comfort, Shanghai should be your next vacation spot as it’s been rated the highest in travel comfort. Beijing also has one of the most modern transport fleets and Istanbul has the most modern buses, adding to your comfort levels.

If accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers is what’s important to you, Los Angeles County Metro Rail system is fully wheelchair-accessible. Every station is equipped with a walkway, ramp, or elevator between platforms and street level and buses have floor lowering capabilities and ramps. The Moovit app provides step-by-step guidance on accessible routes for many cities around the world — be sure to check it out when you travel.

If you’re traveling solo and safety is on your mind, keep Europe and Asia in mind as Greater Paris has been rated as the safest public transit, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Berlin and Madrid.

We all know that flying means we leave a huge carbon footprint, so if you’re interested in being environmentally conscious once you arrive at your destination, Singapore, Hong Kong or London are your best bets for the lowest environmental impact when using public transit.

Moscow has been rated the most efficient public transit system if time-keeping is your thing, and Toronto boasts the smoothest intermodal travel if you want to test out the entire transit system, while Madrid will appeal most to train-enthusiasts as it has the best rail infrastructure.

Although San Francisco wasn’t in the study, as I live here, I though it would only be polite to mention the public transit system here. Glenn Orloff, travel expert and owner of Metropolitan Shuttle says, “Getting from one place to another is an easy task when it comes to San Francisco. This city, which is known for its vivacious streets and prominent landmarks (Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz), offers some of the state’s most convenient buses and commuter trains. San Francisco’s public transportation system, which offers Amtrak, cable cars, buses, trains and taxis, will save money in the long run. Moving throughout the city without a car is easy, affordable and will save you from pesky and costly parking fees.” I agree!

Whatever you’re looking for in your travels, there’s a perfect city for you to explore. Happy vacations!

Moovit Commuter Kate Tips for Best cities for public transit for travel

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