7 Best Public Transit Systems in the World


Public transit is one of the hallmark features of big city living. Trams, buses, subways, and even ferries are used in well populated cities to cart the public around. But which city does it best of all?

7. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is the dark-horse candidate of this list. The city earns its spot because of the Chicago Transit Authority. The trains and buses of this city offer few innovative features, but are known for their remarkable consistency. Chicago’s public transit has been doing it right for over a century.

6. Paris, France

Though parts of the city’s public transit system are largely outdated, the numbers tell a different story (despite the system being infamously dirty). Paris boasts 7.14 public transit riders per kilometer, placing it among the busiest systems in the world. This is an unbelievable accomplishment for the city with the lowest population on this list.

5. New York City, New York

New York City boasts the largest public transit system in the United States. The city reports an incredible number of yearly riders at close to 1.7 billion. That number shoots up to 2.5 billion if buses are taken into account. With that kind of ridership, the Metropolitan Transit Authority consistently implements new technology to prevent accidents on the subway, keeping its riders safe.

4. London, England

The oldest usable public transit lines in the world exist in London. Not only are they still perfectly functional, but credit must be given where it’s due: much of the modern philosophy of public transit can be credited to those early English designers.

3. Seoul, South Korea

As far as comfort and convenience are concerned, Seoul’s public transit could be at the top of this list. Seoul’s trains are known for offering Wi-Fi, advanced heating and cooling options, and some of the most comfortable seating. If they ever decided to stay open later in the night, their position could be bumped higher.

2. Tokyo, Japan

Even though they aren’t part of the best public transit system in the world, Tokyo’s trains are unbelievably fast. Featuring the work of several private companies, Tokyo’s public transit options are a display of technological prowess. Nowhere else in the world will you find a rail system with trains this fast.

1. Hong Kong, China

The best public transit system in the world is located in Hong Kong. Think of a system with most of the speed of Tokyo’s, most of the comfort of Seoul’s, and the safety of New York’s. Then add unparalleled city connectivity, the cheapest fares, and a consistent 24-hour schedule. That is the public transit system of Hong Kong.


All of the public transit systems found on this list are well above-average, and they all have particular strengths. But Hong Kong’s system is a true marvel of engineering, and should be considered the standard of greatness for years to come.


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