Report Names Best Cities to Live Car-Free

By Natalie Wise

If you’re tired of being stuck in traffic for hours at the start and end of a strenuous work day, moving to a city with a high “Transit Score” could save you stress, time and money. These cities offer great public transportation, allowing car-free commutes, decreased transportation expenses and increased home values.

The website Walk Score evaluated the cities on a 100-point scale, with scores from 90-100 equaling “world-class transportation” and scores 70-89 qualifying as “excellent transit.” Scores falling between 50-69 are considered to have “good transit” and scores 25-49 are qualified as having “some transit.” Scores below 25 equal “minimal transit.”

The overall top five cities (which only ranked cities with over 500,000 residents) are: New York (81.2), San Francisco (80.5), Boston (74.8), Washington D.C. (70.4), and Philadelphia (67).

Smaller cities were then included in a regional ranking. The top three Midwest cities are: Chicago (65), Minneapolis (58), and Milwaukee. Milwaukee offers “some transit” and a score of 49. Compared to Utica, where rent typically costs $585, rental housing there costs $811, according to HotPads.

The top three Northeast cities are all from the top 5 overall, and feature long-established transportation systems: New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Southern cities with high transit scores are: Washington D.C. (70), Miami (58), and Atlanta (43). Out West, the cities with the three highest scores are: San Francisco (80), Seattle (57), and Oakland, Calif. (54).

Considering that transportation is usually the second-highest household expense (nearly $10,000 a year on average), ditching a car for public transportation and living closer to work may save you money. A high transit score for a city is also good for home prices. Home prices increase an average of 42 percent for homes located close to a transportation hub.

Living close to work in a city that offers ample transportation choices can save money, improve home values and save time and stress by decreasing commute times.

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