1. New York
Transit Score: 81
How do you make an already great and useful system even better? By making the Second Avenue subway a reality instead of a fantasy.
Manhattan's 16 miles long and two miles wide and has been walkable since the days the only other transportation option involved an animal. Densely packed areas such as Brooklyn's Fort Green, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens and Bay Ridge, Queens' Sunnyside and Astoria/Long Island City and the South Bronx, University Heights and Fordham neighborhoods in the Bronx have caught up to Manhattan thanks to tightly packed areas that are only increasing in density.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority is feeling every bit of that growth, too. The MTA moves more than 3.2 billion riders with its buses and subways, with more than two-thirds of that total riding the rails. That doesn't even count the 81 million commuter rail riders taking the Metro-North, another 95 million on the Long Island Railroad, 4.3 million on the Staten Island Railway and millions more coming in from New Jersey on PATH and NJ Transit trains.
Not only the overwhelming majority of New York eminently walkable, but only 2% of all New Yorkers live in neighborhoods that require owning a car. While just about none of them live on Manhattan, the Second Avenue Subway on the island's East side opens up a whole lot more possibilities while pretty much closing the door on ever being able to afford an apartment in Manhattan right out of college.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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