Cities and Urbanization

Top 10 cities with the best public transport

People riding on a bus

Good public transport can have a hugely positive impact on citizens. Image: Unsplash/Mediocre Studio

Anna Fleck
Data Journalist, Statista
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Cities and Urbanization?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Cities and Urbanization is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Cities and Urbanization

  • A new study has assessed the world's cities for public transport provision.
  • The rankings are determined by infrastructure, social impact, market attractiveness, system efficiency and network innovation.
  • Hong Kong holds the top spot in the Urban Mobility Readiness Index 2022 as the world's best city for public transport.

Hong Kong has been named the world’s top city for public transit, according to a new study by consulting firm Oliver Wyman and the University of California, Berkeley. The city’s transport network is praised for not only being affordable, but also for having a high station density and good railway infrastructure. Yet it still has room for improvement, according to the researchers, who suggest it could use a smartphone app to help travelers better navigate the city.

As our chart shows, most of the world's top-rated public transportation networks are in Europe. Zurich comes in second place, followed by Stockholm (3rd), Helsinki (5th), Oslo (6th), Paris (8th), Berlin (9th) and London (10th). At the opposite end of the spectrum comes Riyadh (57th), Nairobi (59th) and Jeddah (60th).

The strength of a city’s public transport system majorly impacts city dwellers’ lifestyles. As the report explains: “an efficiently run system can not only encourage workers and tourists to travel through cities but can provide more equal opportunity access to additional mobility modes, jobs, shopping centers, and more.”

The pandemic has driven a major shift towards more people working from home and no longer commuting so frequently. The writers of the report warn that if transit systems are unable to gain back some of those riders, then the communities could be at risk of a loss of jobs to operate it, which could lead to more private travel, increased road congestion and road fatalities, as well as worsening noise, light and air pollution.

The study analyzed public transportation systems in 60 major cities around the world, ranking them based on their infrastructure, social impact, market attractiveness, system efficiency and network innovation. The Public Transit sub-index contributes to the study’s overall Urban Mobility Readiness Index 2022. According to the wider study, a total of nine U.S. cities have made it onto the Urban Mobility Readiness list of 60. These include San Francisco (1st), New York (11th), Chicago (12th), Boston (13th) Washington D.C. (14th), Los Angeles (17th), Atlanta (23rd), Houston (27th), and Dallas (28th).

A map of the world showing which cities have the best public transport.
Many of the best cities for public transport are in Europe. Image: Statista
Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

The cost of rebuilding Ukraine, and other urban transformation stories you need to read

Lisa Chamberlain

February 22, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum