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America’s Top Public Transportation Cities

Hoboken, N.J., is located on the west bank of the Hudson River and the New York skyline is visible throughout much of the town. To cross the river and get to work many Hoboken residents hop on a train or ferry. In fact, their use of public transportation is higher than any other city in the nation.

An estimated 56% of Hoboken’s working men and women commute each day by public transportation. Many of them take the subway train run by The Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, which links Hoboken to Manhattan. Others take ferries run by N.Y. Waterway that run from two different Hoboken docks.  Those Hoboken residents who work in other parts of New Jersey have the ability to take several N.J. Transit trains or light rail.


“We really encourage people to use public transportation,” says Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken’s mayor. “We are proud people use public transportation and we are trying to make Hoboken a place where people have the option to live car free.”

Hoboken is so serious about reducing the role of the personal automobile that it partnered with Hertz to initiate the nation’s first car sharing program, which now boasts 42 vehicles and 1,600 members. There are three shuttle bus services running through town and city employees can’t keep up with the demand for bike racks at Hoboken’s PATH station.

In Pictures: America’s Top Public Transportation Cities

To determine America’s top public transportation cities, we looked at estimates of the percent of workers 16 years of age or older who traveled from their community to work by public transportation from 2005 to 2009, provided in the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. We then excluded estimates that had a margin of error greater than 10%. In December 2010, the Census released for the first time ever data estimates based on surveys collected between 2005 and 2009 from all communities in America. These include cities, towns and villages, as well as Census-designated places (CDPs), a type of neighborhood that lacks a separate municipal government, but otherwise physically resembles one of these other places.