#1 cleantech news, reviews, & analysis site in the world. Subscribe today. The future is now.

Air Quality

Published on August 30th, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan


5 Largest Public Transit Systems In US (Infographic)

August 30th, 2014 by  

“Let’s Take a Ride” is a visual measurement of what occurs in a great choreographic movement every day on the five largest public transit systems in the US. In particular, these public transit systems are in: Chicago, New York City, Boston, Washington DC, and San Francisco.

It is an impressive infographic, with numbers such as 400 million: the numbers of soot, carbon monoxide, hydro-carbons, and other toxic substances and particulates not released into the environment thanks to NYC’s transit system. It also nicely lays out the history of each city’s public transportation system. Thanks to the UNC School of Government (MPA@UNC) for the infographic. Have a look:



The statement that 2,580 “obsolete subway cars” from the NYC transit system were “buried” in the ocean and thus transformed into artificial reef habitats for marine life was another fun fact.

There is no shortage of infographics out there, and we’ve covered our share of cleantech-related infographics. From a previous mass transit infographic and story, “The Connection Between Mass Transit and Health (Infographic),” here are a few more transit stats worth sharing:

  • 30% of transit users get 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
  • People on public transport walk an average of 19 minutes daily to get to and from stops.
  • The risk of obesity increases 6 percent every additional hour spent in a car.

Check out a couple more infographics here:

Infographic: Benefits of Going Green at Work

Renewable Natural Gas: Turning Waste into Energy

Explosive US Solar Power Jobs & Growth

How Residential Solar Can Save Money

Tesla Gigafactory Infographic

The Benefits of Public Transport

Public Transport Makes Dollars & Sense

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Cynthia Shahan is an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • Wanderer

    The largest system–by ridership–in the San Francisco region is Muni, the city of San Francisco Municipal Railway. It operates multiple modes and carries more than twice as many people as BART daily. A big complaint is fares pereceived to be high and the lack of multi-ride passes.

  • Not to quibble, but I will. The CTA is for Chicago only. The RTA or Regional Transportation Authority includes CTA, Metra, PACE and the south shore electric line. CTA or Chicago Transportation authority includes the electric (third rail) elevated/subway (“EL” or “L”) and diesel road buses just in the city. Metra is the diesel trains going into the city from the suburbs via the UP, BNSF and other leased lines. Metra is the suburban bus system. The South Shore overhead electric goes from Chicago, around the lake and services Northern Indiana. One more thing, the service population is about 9 million not 3.8 million.

    And in a perfect world there would be harmony between Chicago and the suburbs and downstate. Not. Some really cool plans are in the feasibility stages to improve RTA interconnections over the entire 100 miles by 50 miles sprawl. Sadly, the exurbs are full of libertarians who want to shut down public transportation, because the good lord wants real Americans to drive rolling coal F250 crew cabs from McMansion to Walmart to Applebee’s and back.

  • DGW

    NYC subway stations are an international disgrace but moving 5.5 million people a day who would otherwise be on streets is truly exceptional.
    And higher rent here is easily offset by the cost of owning and operating a car. I used to consume and pollute like everyone else but now living a simpler and cleaner life in NYC is a better lifestyle much of the world already knows about.

  • JamesWimberley

    “The risk of obesity increases 6 percent every additional hour spent in a car.” That must be, hours daily? Otherwise most of us would be spherical.

Back to Top ↑