America's Top Ten Transit Meccas

Real estate's favorite tool for gauging neighborhood walkability now has a companion for transit, Kaid Benfield reports.
April 26, 2012, 12pm PDT | Ryan Lue
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As we mentioned earlier this month, the company Walk Score has made a name for itself by creating a system that anyone can use to determine how walkable a neighborhood is. Now, they're expanding that service to measure the usability of transit, too.

According to the index, the nation's top ten cities for transit are (in ascending order):

  1. Portland, OR (Transit Score: 50)
  2. Baltimore, MD (57)
  3. Miami, FL (57)
  4. Seattle, WA (59)
  5. Chicago, IL (65)
  6. Philadelphia, PA (68)
  7. Washington, D.C. (69)
  8. Boston, MA (74)
  9. San Francisco, CA (80)
  10. New York, NY (81)

Perhaps not surprisingly, the best eight cities for transit top Walk Score's walkability index, too (in a slightly different order).

Benfield explains how the numbers were crunched: "In calculating a Transit Score for a particular location, a 'usefulness' value is assigned to nearby transit routes based on frequency of service, type of route, and distance to the nearest stop on the route. City scores are then calculated by applying the Transit Score algorithm block-by-block throughout the city and weighting the scores by population density. Walk Score's web site contains a detailed description of the methodology used in the transit ratings."

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Published on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Switchboard
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