The best (and worst) public transportation options for commuters

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Public transportation can be tricky. Unwanted delays on your morning (or evening) commute can complicate your day. Sharing space with unruly passengers can even make you become the next viral social media sensation. In New York City, commuters have to endure disgusting subway cars that actually attribute delays while paying routine fare hikes.

But not all cities are marred by bad news via bus intercoms or mysterious subway juices.

A new survey conducted by personal finance website WalletHub found that Seattle has the best public transportation system in the U.S. Seattle has one of the country’s shortest average commute times via public transportation while offering safety, accessibility, and multiple public transit resources, according to the study.

Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Madison were ranked the next best for public transportation.

Auto commuters living in Wichita spend the fewest annual hours in congestion, according to the survey, while residents in Chandler (AZ) and Corpus Christi (TX) pay the lowest annual ticket price for public transportation.

“Public transportation is a mobility lifeline for many in our communities, who use it to access jobs, shopping, and medical appointments,” Greg P. Griffin, Ph.D., AICP, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said in a press release. “For those of us with multiple options to get where we are going, advantages include time to read or use a phone instead of traffic stress, safety, improved physical activity, and often saving money.”

While it’s a dream to live in a society with perfect public transportation, not all places can provide the same accessibility and reliability as others.

Indianapolis was branded with having the worst public transportation due to accessibility and safety concerns, while two cities in Florida — St. Petersburg and Tampa — were ranked the next worst, followed by Charlotte and New Orleans.

While it remains unclear as to the specific problems that plague some U.S. cities, there are many hurdles that cities have to deal with when it comes to public transportation.

“Funding, roadway congestion, and urban planning issues continue to cause problems for safe and efficient public transit in most U.S. cities. Many transit agencies depend on a combination of rider fares and federal, state, and local funding to pay for services,” Griffin said.