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5 Best U.S. Cities for Taking the Bus or Train

5. Philadelphia
Transit score: 67

Philly manages to score above Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and other cities with burgeoning transit systems, but gives the transit system that put it there nothing but grief.

Any tourist who's seen Independence Hall and stopped into a Wawa for Tastykakes and directions can tell you that the city's most walkable neighborhoods in Center City, the Old City and along the riverfront near Penn's Landing are some of the easiest to navigate in the country. What locals probably won't tell the average cheesesteak-chomping out-of-towner is just how easy it is to get around South Philly and its surrounding neighborhoods. Let the new folks have Manyunk and Northern Liberties if they must, but Brotherly Love has to end somewhere.

Except for the extreme northeast, southwest and northwest corners of the city, much of Philadelphia's fairly easy to get around. About 95% of the city is easily accessible by means other than a car.

But there's no shortage of cars in this town, and the city's conflicted relationship with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority may have something to do with it. SEPTA's bus, subway, light rail and commuter rail services handles nearly 330 million passengers each, including travelers taking the airport line right into Center City -- but few who'll admit to taking it. Even worse, that's still less than the ridership of a Boston MBTA that covers a city nearly one-third Philadelphia's size and a metro area of about 1.5 million fewer people.

Bicycles, cabs and other alternative transportation picks up the slack, but the unfairly negative views of SEPTA held by Philadelphians and scared suburbanites alike prevents it from being an even more useful system.

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