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US College Towns With The Best Public Transportation: Commuting Is A Breeze At These 50 Colleges

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When you become a student, you can expect to use public transportation much more often. Even if you have a car, public transportation is usually the best option for going in to class. It’s often much less expensive, and you can avoid getting into traffic jams. And this article will show you the 50 colleges based in places where public transit means that you won’t break the bank and you’ll never miss a class due to an unreliable system!

America is built around cars. Therefore, many cities in the US lack robust and well maintained public transit systems. But fortunately, there are some cities that defy this trend. Some have subways, buses, trains and other means of public transportation that are reliable, clean and inexpensive. Going to a college with one of these great systems in place can make a big difference to your degree outcome.

Public transportation could become something that you have to use on a daily basis at college. And something that you use every day should be affordable and do all that it can to make you happy. Therefore, this list has prioritized the price and quality of the public transportation systems surrounding the colleges above all else. The college (or city) offering public transportation discounts to students also plays a strong role in the rankings. Luckily, many colleges and their cities are more than keen to help students out when it comes to these costs. This article shows which colleges are really excelling in this area.

All of the colleges on this list boast a strong public transit network around them. They should be ideal for anyone looking for a college with this resource. However, it’s also possible that none of these colleges is the right place for you. If that is so, then this list can still be handy. We’ve highlighted what makes each college special with its public transportation connections. You can use this information to compare it with your own options so that you know what to look for in a great public transit college!

Methodology

This article has had to compile its data from a range of sources. There are a few lists online that recommend institutions for their public transit network. These made a strong starting point, allowing us to contrast and compare colleges and their transit systems all over America. These articles are as follows:

College Being, The Best College Campuses for Public Transportation: http://www.collegebeing.com/best-public-transportation/

Fast Company, 4 College Campuses That Can Teach Cities How To Do Transit Better: https://www.fastcompany.com/3026547/4-college-campuses-that-can-teach-cities-how-to-do-transit-better

After studying these articles, we’ve also researched colleges with their own public transportation systems in place and which are creating innovative new solutions to public transport. These were discovered on these sources:

American Public Transportation Association, University Transit: https://www.apta.com/resources/links/Pages/USUniversityTransit.aspx

U.S.PIRG Education Fund, A New Course, How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving on Campus and Creating New Models for Transportation: https://uspirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/US_A_New_Course_scrn_0.pdf

Additionally, we’ve consulted sources that name the best cities in America for public transportation. The best sources are as follows:

Smart Asset, The Best Cities for Public Transportation: https://smartasset.com/mortgage/best-cities-for-public-transportation

Business Insider, The major US cities with the best public transportation: https://www.businessinsider.com/cities-best-public-transportation-2017-6

Money Talks News, The 30 U.S. Cities With the Best Public Transit: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/the-30-cities-with-the-best-public-transit/

Perfecting public transportation: 10 U.S. cities with progressive plans: https://www.curbed.com/2017/1/24/14361030/best-cities-public-transportation-light-rail-bus

Lastly, we’ve gone beyond the college-related methodology sources and looked into many different colleges for their relationships with local transit networks. These colleges were sourced from these sites:

Times Higher Education, Best universities in the United States 2019:https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-united-states

Niche, 2019 Best Colleges: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges/

After this, we’ve conducted extensive research into each of the colleges to ensure that their access to public transportation is easy and cost effective for students. The final list is ranked by quality of the public transportation network, discounts that the college offers to students to use public transportation, the proximity of the college to the public transportation network and a city’s commitment to improving its public transportation in the future.

Our results, from 50 to one, are below:

50. Columbia University

New York City, New York

Website

Although New York City has one of the most robust public transportation systems in the world, with the MTA offering a subway and/or bus service in all five city boroughs, colleges do not get discounts on this system. However, Columbia University students can get discounts with New Jersey Transit to allow them to have 25% off of bus, rail, and light rail services. Although the majority of New Jersey Transit’s network is across the Hudson River in New Jersey State, some of its Path train systems run through Manhattan. Columbia University also eases its student transit cost pressures by offering a range of free shuttles from campus to residential areas.

49. New York University

New York City, New York

Website

Like its local rival Columbia University, New York University has no discount for its NYC transportation. Students can access a 25% discount from New Jersey Transit instead. This discount may be more beneficial to New York University students than Columbia University students, as the New Jersey Transit run Path trains are much closer to NYU’s main campus. New York University is also well served by New York City’s subway service. Nearby its main campus, stops for the 1, 2, 6, A, C, E, B, D, F, M, N and W trains can be found. New York University also runs seven different shuttles that travel across Manhattan and Brooklyn seven days a week.

48. Brandeis University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Despite being far out of Boston’s city center, Brandeis University is well served by its public transportation. The 553 bus runs by its campus, and a commuter rail train stops on the south edge of the college. The only downside is that the city’s subway does not have a stop nearby Brandeis University. The college does also run free shuttles to Boston, Cambridge, and Waltham, somewhat easing the lack of subway access. Students at Brandeis University benefit from a deal with Boston’s transportation authority that allows them to get 11% off a range of different transportation options.

47. Bryn Mawr College

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

It may be located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, but Bryn Mawr College does a lot to provide transit options for its students. For example, “Students who are engaged in direct service, activism, and/or advocacy at a site in the greater Philadelphia area during the academic year are eligible for reimbursement of their transportation costs.” Bryn Mawr College also provides shuttles seven days a week to other colleges in the area. And as the college’s website states, should a student need to go into Philadelphia for a study related reason, the college may be able to reimburse the student.

46. Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Like many Boston based colleges, Northeastern University allows students to purchase a range of Boston transportation passes with an 11% discount. The college itself is very well connected to what three methodology sources consider to be America’s third best public transportation system. Its campus has the Orange Line and Green Line stopping right next to the heart of the college’s campus. Northeastern University also offers students the use of its own safety escort vans at night. These vans can be arranged by a student to drive them to their home, as long as it is within two miles of the college’s campus.

45. Swarthmore College

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

While it is located far from Philadelphia’s center, Swarthmore College has convenient transportation right at the foot of its campus. The SEPTA R3 train “is the transportation of choice for many students.” The college doesn’t have a discount public transportation pass for all of its students, but it does offer free tickets in certain circumstances. Students that are participating in volunteerism can ask the college’s Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility for train tickets and bus tokens to aid their charitable work.

44. Stanford University

Stanford, California

Website

Stanford University is based nearby San Francisco, which Business Insider, Money Talks News and Smart Asset rank at first, second and second for public transportation in America. To get to this area, students can take the Caltrain, which costs $7.25 one way. For commuting through Stanford itself, the college has created a robust free shuttle system that connects students to the entire city and nearby Palo Alto. This system runs all of its lines from 7:30 am to 5 pm on weekdays and has reduced service on weekends.

43. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

Website

The University of Southern California is showing strong signs of catching up with other colleges in Los Angeles in terms of public transportation discounts. In 2019, it began offering graduate students discount passes for services run by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. These passes cost $105.50 for six months of use. This pass is likely to expand to its undergraduate population in the future. The University of Southern California is well served with both Metrolink Rail and bus routes that stop nearby the university campus.

42. Tufts University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

A Tufts student’s transportation discount depends on where in the Boston metropolitan area they study. Those who are in the downtown Boston campus get a 35% discount on transit prices. But those studying elsewhere in the city only qualify for an 11% discount. All three Tufts campuses, Downtown Boston, Grafton, and Medford/Somerville, are well served with public transportation options. The Downtown Boston Campus has the Orange Subway Line and five bus routes stopping at the campus. Grafton Campus has a commuter rail line. And Medford/Somerville Campus has the Red Subway Line, three buses and easy access to buses to New York City.

41. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

The University of Pennsylvania’s website boasts that “public transit stops are never more than a five-minute walk from any part of campus.” And the college has a range of options that save frequent users of this transportation lots of money every year. In all, there are six different passes that can be purchased, with each allowing students to access Philadelphia’s buses, trolleys and trains for certain distances. A pass just for the main city is $345.60 per semester. A pass to anywhere that the transit goes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is $734.40 per semester. SmartAsset names Philadelphia as having the ninth best public transportation in America. Business Insider ranks it at seventh. Money Talks News ranks it at sixth.

40. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Thanks to an agreement between the University of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, students are able “to take local bus transportation at a substantial discount!” A ride on one of these buses is only $1 and transfers are only 50 cents. The University of Cincinnati also runs five shuttle bus routes from Monday to Friday, a night bus service from Thursday to Saturday and a weekend service. Money Talks News names Cincinnati’s transit network as the 29th best in the USA.

39. Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

SmartAsset, Business Insider and Money Talks News all consider Boston to have the third best public transit system in America. Curbed also notes that Boston has some incredible ways to access a performance dashboard, which shows the city’s residents how public transportation is functioning at the present time, allowing commutes to be easier. Students at Boston University also have much more flexibility when it comes to choosing public transport options for them. Students can get passes that allow them to access either local buses, inner and outer city buses, trains, boats or all forms of transport combined together. The discount on these services is only 11%. But to ease this low discount, Boston University also runs its own free bus service which runs two routes through the city to the campuses. These free shuttles run from 7 am to midnight seven days a week.

38. Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

Website

While Atlanta’s Marta public transportation system is still growing, Money Talks News considers it to be the 25th best in America. It is getting better every day, and Emory students get to travel on its rail and bus services for $68.50 a month. To further incentivize its students to travel on public transit, Emory University offers its students a range of benefits. Students who use alternatives to car rides every day can access one of the 3 following perks: one 20 use parking permit when public transportation isn’t working, two 20 trip public transportation passes per semester or one 10 use parking permit with one 20 trip public transportation pass.

37. Tulane University

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Instead of offering discounts on New Orleans’s public transportation system, Tulane University offers a wide-ranging free shuttle system to students. These shuttles have five lines that go all over the city. The college even puts on special shuttles to coincide with holidays and events within New Orleans. For instance, during Mardi Gras, there is a range of shuttles that take students to parades. Even if a Tulane University student has to use public transportation, they will find that it is affordable and convenient. A ride on a streetcar or bus costs only $1.25. The transit network in New Orleans is ranked as America’s 28th best on Money Talks News.

36. Wellesley College

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

It may be located on the fringe of Boston, but that doesn’t stop Wellesley College from having great public transit options. In fact, “Wellesley students have more regular and reliable access to the resources and entertainment opportunities in the greater Boston area than any other suburban campus.” And thanks to Wellesley’s relationship with Boston’s transportation authority, students are able to get up to 30 cents discounted on each ride that they take. However, the college also runs weekday shuttles that go straight to Boston and Cambridge.

35. Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website

In terms of its location to public transportation stops, Drexel University is incredible. Philadelphia’s SEPTA subway system has two lines that run through the college. The Market Frankford Line runs east and west. The Broad Street Line runs north to south. These have multiple stops near different parts of the campus, allowing students to access all of the city. Additionally, a number of bus and trolley routes stop at the campus. However, the discount that Drexel University students can have on the SEPTA system is somewhat low, at 10%.

34. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Website

Business Insider names Baltimore as having America’s ninth-best transit system. Money Talks News considers it to be the 14th best. Students attending Johns Hopkins University get to access this system for $52.90 per month compared to the normal fare of $72. However, Johns Hopkins students do have other means of affordable transportation available to them. For example, there is an eco-friendly bus called the Charm City Circulator that is entirely free. This bus operates year round, seven days a week with service every 10 to 15 minutes. It runs five bus routes which cover all of the central parts of Baltimore.

33. University of Miami

Miami, Florida

Website

Miami’s transit network ranks at 11th on Business Insider and 13th on Money Talks News’s best public transportation lists. The city has a range of public transportation options, and students at the University of Miami are able to get 50% off of the regular price of commuting on the Metrorail, Tri-Rail, Metrobus, and Miami-Dade express bus systems. Miami has five different bus routes that go to the college’s campus. The college also has one Metrorail station that is close to the university.

32. University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Website

Houston’s public transportation system has made great leaps in recent years. And the University of Houston has been quick to offer students, staff, and faculty options to access this system in an affordable manner. For instance, the college runs COAST (Coogs on Alternative and Sustainable Transportation), which gives students $27.50 each month for public transportation costs. If this money is not enough to cover all of a student’s public transit, then the University of Houston offers students other advantages. For example, the college allows students to purchase two different kinds of discount cards. One gives students a 50% discount on all bus, rail, and park and ride services. The other ensures that students never pay more than $150 a day for bus and rail services.

31. University of Minnesota

Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota

Website

The public transportation pass offered by the University of Minnesota can save students up to 71% in costs. Students pay only $114 a semester to get unlimited rides 24/7 throughout the Twin Cities. Business Insider ranks the Twin Cities’ transit system of buses, light rail streetcars and trains as being the 12th best public transportation network in America. Money Talks News ranks it at 11th. The network allows University of Minnesota students to access 907 square miles of destinations throughout Minneapolis and St Paul.

30. Northwestern University

Chicago, Illinois

Website

The Chicago Transit Authority’s Purple Metro Line allows students to travel from the college’s outer Evanston area and into Downtown Chicago. But students looking to travel all across the Chicago metropolitan area will be in luck. Northwestern covers the cost of a metro U pass for all CTA buses and trains in its tuition. Students only have to walk a couple of blocks from the college’s campus to access these transportation opportunities. The college also runs frequent shuttles from its main campus to downtown Evanston and to its Chicago center based campus.

29. Macalester College

Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota

Website

In 2017, Macalester College changed its student public transportation offering. Prior to this date, the college charged all students $175 for unlimited travel for the fall and spring terms. However, the college discovered that the majority of its students were not spending this value on public transportation. Therefore, from 2017 onward, Macalester college has offered a 50% subsidy on local public transportation. This move is restrictive for a very small number of students who use public transportation every day of the week, but the majority save money in this new system.

28. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University offer similar levels of service when it comes to public transportation. Both offer a 50% discount on public transportation. Both also run shuttles around their campuses. However, MIT ranks just slightly lower, as it has a smaller variety of free shuttles on offer to students. But MIT’s shuttle is still a great resource for students, with the SafeRide shuttle allowing students to travel safely seven days a week at nighttime from campus to MIT student neighborhoods. Additionally, the college puts on weekend shuttles to shopping destinations such as Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

27. Harvard University

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

All three methodology sources that rank city public transportation systems agree that Boston offers the third best in America. Harvard students can gain access to this system through a range of different discount passes. Students that only want to use the local bus pay $137.50 for five months of use. Students that want to use the local buses and subways pay $211.25 for five months of use. For students that want to use the pass for greater areas around Boston, the price increases depending on the zone that they want to commute to, with the largest area costing $995.63 for five months of use. All of these passes are offered at a 50% discount to the public rates.

26. University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Unlimited travel on Chicago’s public transportation system will cost the University of Chicago students $95 per quarter, which is part of a student’s course fees. Two of the Chicago Transit Authority’s bus lines circle through the University of Chicago’s campus, the 171 U and 172 U. Additionally, another bus links the college’s medical center to the rest of the college. However, the 2, 6, 15, 28 and 55 buses also stop very close to the campus. The only downside to this system is that the college’s passes cannot be used on the nearest train system to the University of Chicago, the Metra Train System.

25. American University

Washington, DC

Website

What makes SmartAsset name Washington DC’s public transportation system the best of any in America is its speed and efficiency. The source notes that commuters save 10 minutes of travel time per trip compared to the average commute on America’s public transportation systems. The source states that the only downside to the system is its high cost. But students at American University don’t need to fear about high prices, as their course fees cover the cost of all of the city’s Metrorail and Metrobus services from August to May every year. Therefore every student essentially pays to use public transportation, but they won’t notice it. This system saves students lots of money in real terms. A monthly pass to a nonstudent would cost $230 a month. But for students, the cost of course fees taken out for the metro services is just $136 per semester.

24. Lewis and Clark College

Portland, Oregon

Website

The free shuttle that runs hourly from Lewis and Clark College to supermarkets and downtown Portland is what has led College Being to name the college the second best for public transportation. However, Portland itself has fantastic public transportation options. Business Insider names it the 13th best and Money Talks names it the 18th best city for public transportation in America. Lewis and Clark College offers students a 75% discount on public transportation. For just $25 per month, they can ride Portland’s buses, light rail, and commuter rail systems as much as they like during term time.

23. Oregon Health and Sciences University

Portland, Oregon

Website

Students at Oregon Health and Sciences University are entitled to a 90% discount on Portland’s TriMet system and 70% discount on the C-Tran system, the two major transit providers of the city. However, the city’s streetcars and trams are completely free. Oregon Health and Sciences University has four main locations around Portland, and each of them has strong public transportation options. The college plans to increase the number of people commuting to its campuses by public transportation significantly by 2028.

22. California State University, Northridge

Los Angeles, California

Website

Los Angeles may not have a reputation as a public transportation mecca, but that is set to change. Curbed details how, in 2016, the city created Mobility 2035, which aims to build a new network of bus-only lanes, light rail extensions, and many more public transportation improvements. Money Talks News currently considers Los Angeles to be the 17th best American city for public transit. Currently, four different bus lines connect to California State University, Northridge’s campus on weekdays. Students at California State University, Northridge can access all of the city’s buses and rail lines for just $95 per six months.

21. California Institute of Technology

Los Angeles, California

Website

All that students at California Institute of Technology need to spend for unlimited public transportation across 23 different metro systems across Los Angeles County is $60 per semester. However, if students wish to travel in the surrounding Pasadena area of California Institute of Technology, then they can access all of its buses for free. This local transit is highly reliable. In fact, in 2017, Pasadena Transit even won an award for being an outstanding transportation agency from the California Association for Coordinated Transportation.

20. Arizona State University

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Phoenix has had a light rail public transportation system for just over a decade. And Curbed states that ridership of this service has “soared above predictions.” And it’s planning on adding an additional 66 miles of track by 2034. Students at Arizona State University can access the city’s light rail and bus system for just $150, which covers all transport from mid-August to mid-May. If a student wants a summer pass, then they cost $75. The college also runs two free shuttle services between its two campuses on weekdays from 7 am to 1 am.

19. Santa Monica College

Los Angeles, California

Website

The Big Blue Bus service has stops all over the Santa Monica campus which takes students to every corner of Los Angeles for free! These buses run seven days a week. On weekdays, the buses arrive at most stops every 12 minutes or less from 6 am to midnight. On weekends, the buses arrive at all stops every 15 minutes from midday to 8 pm, with less frequent service before and after this. Students can also transfer from the Big Blue Bus service to Los Angeles’ metro rail system for just 50 cents. Students who ride the metro more frequently can get a pass that lets them on all metro lines and metro service buses for $43 a month.

18. Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, Ohio

Website

Cleveland has America’s 24th best public transportation system according to Money Talks News. And accessing this transit network is easy and cost effective for the students of Case Western Reserve University. The college charges a mandatory $25 per semester fee for each student’s universal pass to access this system. Case Western Reserve University has “two nearby rail stations” and a range of free shuttles. In fact, the public transportation efforts that Case Western Reserve University has accommodated for its students have led to it winning four Commuter Choice Awards in the last decade.

17. University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Website

Los Angeles has several public transportation services running throughout its sprawling city. Luckily, students at the University of California, Los Angeles are able to access many of these for free. The Bruin Commuter Transit Benefit gives students quarterly passes that allow students to have unlimited rides on some of the city’s public transit. The only catch is that students get access to different services based on where they live. One form of the pass lets students travel on the city’s Metro rail and bus lines, while another allows students to ride the Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus for free. However, some students are able to get both passes for free if they live close to both services. Therefore, the distribution is uneven, but all students do get to enjoy free public transportation in one form or another.

16. Colorado School of Mines

Denver, Colorado

Website

The population of Denver, Colorado is booming. Because of this, the city is rapidly expanding its rail network, states Curbed. But Denver already has America’s 22nd best public transportation system, according to Money Talks News. And students at Colorado School of Mines are able to use Denver’s buses and light rail stops as much as they want for free! The only downside is that there is currently just one bus that stops nearby the Colorado School of Mines Campus. However, the expansion work of the transit system should change this in the future.

15. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Website

Students at the University of California, Berkeley enjoy free public transit throughout the East Bay area. Thanks to AC Transit, students can ride to most areas from San Pablo in the north to Palo Alto in the south. The only downside to this service is that it doesn’t have extensive service throughout the San Francisco downtown area. Instead, buses will take students over the Oakland Bay Bridge and drop them off in the Salesforce Transit Center in Downtown San Francisco. Downtown San Francisco itself has some of the best public transportation in the country, but Berkeley students can’t take advantage of discounts on these services. Still, AC Transit does cover a lot of ground and some incredible areas of the East Bay extensively.

14. University of Hawaii, Manoa

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

Money Talks News names Honolulu’s public transportation system as the 12th best in America. And students have no trouble using this transit network, as the college provides students with a free pass throughout the fall and spring semesters. What’s even better is that all of the buses in Honolulu are equipped with bike racks, meaning that students are able to combine biking and public transportation, should they feel the need. The college also provides shuttles seven days a week that go on multiple routes through the island of Honolulu.

13. State University of New York, Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Website

New York State may be famous for its NYC subway system, but some of its other cities have similarly robust public transportation networks. Money Talks News even considers Buffalo to have America’s 20th best public transit. The city’s NFTA-Metro bus and rail services in the city are highly reliable and frequent. In fact, in 2014, the metro traveled 10 million miles overall. There are 400 buses for a population of 1 million people. And throughout term time, this system is 100% free for students at SUNY Buffalo. Seven days a week, students have the option to travel on dozens of lines around the Buffalo metro region.

12. University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

The University of Illinois at Chicago proudly proclaims that its campus “is easy to reach from virtually anywhere.” And when it comes to Chicago’s public transit network, this is especially true. Three Chicago Transit Authority subway train stations are located around campus, two on its blue line and one on its pink line. These make getting to downtown Chicago, the airports and the historic neighborhoods incredibly easy. All of the costs of traveling on the CTA’s trains and buses are completely covered by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

11. Rice University

Houston, Texas

Website

Houston’s public transportation system has seen some rapid improvements in recent years, Curbed notes. From 2015 to 2016, its ridership increased by 6.8% due to improved routes. Rice University students are perfectly placed to take advantage of this system. Not only is their college located adjacently to Houston’s Red Metro line, but transportation on this and the system’s buses are free during term time. Graduate students don’t get the service entirely for free, but they do still get a great deal, with a year pass costing $55 instead of $500 for nonstudents.

10. University of Colorado, Denver

Denver, Colorado

Website

The University of Colorado, Denver’s website states that a free pass to access all of its city’s public transit is “One of the best things about being a student.” The college’s three campuses are well integrated with the city’s public transportation. Two campuses have bus routes stopping nearby and on campus, and the third has a light rail stop within its campus itself. University of Colorado, Denver also takes an active role in engaging with its transit authority as it expands. This ensures that the college will remain a central part of the Denver community in the future.

9. Washington University in St Louis

St Louis, Missouri

Website

St Louis isn’t what most people think of when they imagine a city with a thriving metro system. But the connections on offer at Washington University in St Louis show that it really is! The college’s Danforth Campus has two Metrolink stops. And its school of medicine, West Campus and North Campus all have their own stop. The metro system is completely free for full-time students and connects them to routes spanning 46 miles across Missouri and Illinois. There are 37 stops on the metro and hundreds of bus stops overall. Money Talks News names St Louis as having the 27th best transit system in America.

8. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

Taking public transportation in Pittsburgh only takes commuters, on average, nine minutes longer to reach their destination than if they’d taken a car, according to Smart Asset. The source names Pittsburgh the eighth best public transit network city in America. Business Insider places it at 15th, and Money Talks News places it at 16th. Students at Carnegie Mellon get to use this network entirely for free 12 months of the year. Students can be sure that there are plenty of buses running, as the city’s Port Authority has over 700 bus vehicles and 80 light rail vehicles. It also runs two inclines that are popular tourist destinations for their views of Pittsburgh.

7. University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

Website

There is a light rail stop in Denver’s public transportation system that stops within the University of Denver campus, which has the E, F and H trains stopping. If that weren’t good enough, then a number of bus lines stop on campus, meaning that the city is highly accessible for University of Denver students. These public transportation options will not cost a penny for the college’s students, thanks to the city’s college pass. The only time a student could pay money for using Denver’s bus or light rail systems is if they lose their pass. In that case, a replacement pass costs $10.

6. Loyola University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

College Being praises Loyola University for a good reason. Not only is it located in Chicago, which is Smart Asset’s fourth best, Business Insider’s sixth best and Money Talks News’s eighth-best city for public transportation, but it also subsidizes student’s transit passes. The Chicago Transit Authority U-Pass allows most students at Loyola University to use all of the CTA’s buses and trains for free in an unlimited capacity. Students don’t even need to register for these passes. Loyola University does it for them!

5. University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

Like Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University, University of Pittsburgh has partnered with its city’s Port Authority company to offer year-round free public transportation for its students. But what puts the University of Pittsburgh ahead is its breadth of college-run, free shuttle services. While Carnegie Mellon runs five shuttles from its campus (one of which is just two other routes combined into one,) the University of Pittsburgh runs nine shuttle services, with significantly more stops overall. The University of Pittsburgh also runs its shuttles much longer into the day than Carnegie Mellon’s, with a night bus operating to 3 am on weeknights and 5 am on weekends.

4. University of Colorado-Boulder

Denver, Colorado

Website

Although Boulder is a separate city from Denver, it is still in Denver’s metropolitan area. This is a huge advantage, as the college has easy access to Denver’s transit system. In fact, the majority of students and staff that work at the University of Colorado-Boulder use buses to commute to the college. The number of students and staff that rely on bus transportation for their college commute currently stands at over 12,000 individuals. Like most college students in the Denver area, students of the University of Colorado-Boulder get to use the city’s transportation services entirely for free.

3. University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

Website

Seattle’s public transit system has undergone a rapid improvement in recent years. Curbed notes that in 2015, the city paid $900 million to diversify its public transportation offerings. Seattle has also approved a $50 billion budget to expand its rail system. Students who study at the University of Washington can ride all of Seattle’s public transportation for free, including King County Metro Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Everett Transit, Sound Transit, King County Water Taxis, Kitsap Fast Ferries and the Seattle Streetcar. If that weren’t impressive enough, then the college’s U-PASS gives students discounts with Alchemy Goods, Clipper Vacations, Evo, MonkeyLectric, Recycled Cycles, RydeSafe, Zipcar and other companies.

2. Rush University

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Thanks to having a central Chicago location, Rush University gives its students ample public transportation options. There are two subway lines adjacent to the college, the Blue Line and the Pink Line. The Blue Line is especially advantageous, as it runs 24 hours. It also has the 7, 9, 126 and 157 buses stopping close to the campus. Like many Chicago colleges, Rush University provides passes that allow students to ride the Chicago transportation system for free. The college also runs a free shuttle for students who commute by rail from outside Chicago. This shuttle leaves the nearest train station to the college every 10 to 15 minutes from 6 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6:30 pm.

1. University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California

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San Francisco has the best public transportation system in all of America, according to Business Insider. It ranks highly on the other sources. Money Talks News and SmartAsset consider it to be the second best public transportation city. And the University of San Francisco is perfectly located to enjoy this transit system, being right in the middle of the city’s Bay Area. To incentivize its students to take advantage of this world-leading public transit, University of San Francisco gives students the Muni Pass, which allows them to have unlimited access to all of the city’s “buses, subways, streetcars, and historic cable cars,” for free during semester time. College Being also considers the University of San Francisco to be the best public transportation college in America.