Why are we not surprised: A recent ranking of U.S. cities' public transportation placed Philly near the bottom of the list behind cities like Pittsburgh, Jersey City, Chicago.
DC topped the list as the best city for public transportation, followed by San Francisco and Boston. Philly was ranked ninth in the nation, with Oakland, California taking the tenth spot.
The ranking was put together by financial company Smart Asset, which looked at U.S. Census Bureau data on public transportation use. They then broke down data by average commute time, percentage difference between car and transit commuters, the number of public transit users, and citywide median income.
Philly won points for the 171,000 people who use public transit for work—and most of them seem to prefer buses and trolleys over trains and subways. About 490,000 rides occur daily on the former, while 290,000 occur on trains.
The data also shows that the average commute time between car and transit commuters is 46 percent, with drivers spending 14 less minutes traveling compared to transit users.
Not mentioned in the study: The fact that Philly public transportation still uses an exact-change token system and lacks the technology to accept credit cards as payment.
Though, to give SEPTA credit, we have noticed the new machines for the much-anticipated transit key-cards. Reports say that they're expected to go live in March.
- The Best Cities for Public Transportation [Smart Asset]
- Still coming soon: The SEPTA Key transit smart-card [Philadelphia Inquirer]