The best US cities for ease of getting around without a car:

San Francisco, Washington DC and Seattle.

I know you wonder what happened to NYC? Why didn’t it make the short list?

I would agree with you that NYC has one of the best subway systems in the world. Also, one of the most complex. If you are trying to decipher Manhattan’s subway for the first time, you might feel like the Kingston’s Trio’s Charlie…will he ever return? No he’ll never return.

San Francisco

The trolleys and the Ferries. Together they form a network that makes having a car in San Fran not worth the pain of finding a parking spot.


The same elements that make San Fran easy to navigate, make Seattle equally facile.

As long as you confine your stay to the downtown area, you’ll find getting around easy. Begin with a ride on the Sound Transit which takes you from Seatac Airport to the City Center. Once you’re in the city, jump aboard the Seattle Streetcars if the distance is too great for walking.  Downtown Seattle is a relatively small area so walking (other than the hills) can be great exercise and fun.

The Ferries are the romance of Seattle. To move around Puget Sound, jump on a ferry to Friday Harbor or Bainbridge Island to expand your horizons.

Washington DC

Only seems right that our nation’s capital would offer great mass transit to its many visitors. The Washington MetroRail stops at the National Mall and all major tourist attractions. Don’t even dream of renting a car!  Instead enjoy this beautiful subway system while saving time and avoiding the stress of finding a parking spot. Buy your ticket on-line at SmarTrip Card.

The Absolute Worst US Cities for Mass Transit

1.  LA – well that was a slam-dunk! LA, the car capital of the US.

2.  Houston – the land is flat so the city has had zero barriers. It just kept expanding until…Until you get in the car to go to the mailbox.  Houston likes to brag about their light rail. Sure, it goes from UH Downtown campus to the Med Center. That’s it! If you want to see Houston, you have to have a car. End of story.

3.  Austin – OK, I’m picking on Texas. But, they should know better. Austin has wanted to remain cute and small and quaint and apparently…congested. There isn’t mass transit in Austin. There aren’t even roads that can carry the growing population.  If you plan to visit, stay downtown. Use the trolley to get around town. Walk allot. Whatever you so, don’t get on I-35 or MoPac during rush hour after hour after hour.

What US city do you think has the worst mass transit?  Let us know….