The World's Ten Worst Public Transit Systems

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

If you think your city has a terrible public transport network, visit these places and see what they're dealing with. Here are the ten worst systems out there according to our readers.

10.) Los Angeles


Here's the complaint from a local:

The Los Angeles Red Line subway system. It doesn't go anywhere, it's too short, it's too expensive, and there's also, you know, building a fucking subway in the most earthquake prone part of the country near a faultline, cause that's a fucking DYNAMITE idea.

Seriously, the red line is unusable and the buses suck here too.

It's a pity, cos we -did- have working public transit at one point...

And here's the answer from renniSaint, who happens to be working for the company:

As an engineer who happens to design for the LA Metro Subway system, I will say that it is currently not that extensive. However, we are trying to rapidly expand the system but that isn't cheap or easy. As to safety, contrary to what you might think, being underground is safer in an earthquake. Surface waves dissipate at a square rate, while body waves dissipate at a cubic rate. Trust me, you'd rather be underground than in any tall building during an earthquake. Also subway tunnels are tubes, quite a strong geometry.

Now if you want to complain about LA Metro public transit the green and blue lines.... those suck.

Finally, complaining about LA's lack of public transit is kind of like complaining about the U.S.'s lack of high speed rail. It is all about density. NYC has nearly FOUR TIMES the population density of LA.


Suggested By: itsNitroNickdude, Photo Credit: JoeInSouthernCA

9.) Detroit


Smart, but not finished according to Auto Guy:

Actually, the Detroit People Mover works pretty well. It does exactly what it was intended to do: Transport folks around downtown Detroit destination in a looped configuration. It's been doing so reliably since the 87's, and uses magnetic induction motors and runs under computer control — pretty advanced stuff, especially for the day. It's not the PM's fault that the rest of the system (Detroit Subway) was never built.


Suggested By: Patrick Frawley , Photo Credit: javYliz

8.) New Orleans


New Orleans Transit seems to be pretty useless unless you live or work near one of the few streetcar lines:

It only runs in the city on New Orleans, and does not connect to any of the surrounding suburbs. Makes it pretty useless for many of the people who work in the city. Also, no service from the airport, because it is in Kenner, not New Orleans.


Suggested By: KMarino, Photo Credit: smaedli

7.) Minneapolis


MacGuffin is not impressed by the Minneapolis metro service. Here's why:

The public transportation system in Minneapolis/St. Paul is criminally bad. For the 15th largest metro in the US with close to 4 million people, there are two trains, but only one of which is of any use.


The best map I could even come up with shows many "proposed" routes that are currently not in existence. On that map the only trains actually in service are the Brown Northstar line and the Blue Hiawatha line. The Central Corridor line is currently under construction.

The Hiawatha line runs from the Mall of America (to which no one who actually lives here ever goes) to downtown/Target Field. The Northstar line actually does serve a purpose, running from St. Cloud, through the northwest metro, to downtown. The Northstar stops running after rush hour and Hiawatha stops at 1am, so it doesn't adequately serve the bar crowd.

The bus system routes every single bus through the downtown station, which means that if you want to go anywhere, you have to go downtown, transfer busses, and then head back out. Getting anywhere on the bus easily takes 2-3 hours.


Suggested By: MacGuffin, Photo Credit: Mulad

6.) Boston


Boston has good lines, and bad lines. Apparently, Orange is good, Red and Green are bad:

MBTA in Boston. Not only is in on a brink of bankruptcy, but the entire operation is run by a woman getting paid $220,000/year and it's still the worst transit system I've seen in my entire life. Buses are late or don't stop at all, drivers get attacked by the public every month, trolley trains made in 1986 (yes, those are still used) catch fire every week, subway trains get shut down for several hours because of a power outage, AC working only on about 40% of trains, trains are never on time, I could go on for the entire day. But MBTA is the worst public transportation system I've ever seen. Want more proof? Search #mbtaannoy on twitter.


Suggested By: Erzhik Tem, Photo Credit: tyger_lyllie


5.) Toronto


Canuk blames Canada:

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is by far the worst transit system for a large global city. Its appalling the conditions that people have to travel in and the shit they have to take from the people running the system. Over 2.7 million passengers use the system daily and its barely getting any better as the whole system is muddled in unions, bureaucracy and ever increasing ridership.

Suggested By: Canuk, Photo Credit: 松林L

4.) Atlanta


The Olympics are long gone. What remains is a pointless system:

There are certainly worse options out there, but Atlanta's MARTA system may be the most useless. It goes nowhere, you want to go, the trains are often late, the bus schedule is constantly changing, and it shuts down way to early for a night out.

Of course if you want to go down Peachtree street and to the Airport, or the Jail, then it is perfect. Oh MARTA is also known for giving a guy with to many DUIs to drive a bus anymore a job driving the train. WooHoo go Atlanta.


Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaguar, Photo Credit: veggiefrog


3.) São Paulo


DConsorti says it's hell:

Expensive as hell, inefficient as hell, crowded as hell... in resume, HELL!

Suggested By: DConsorti, Photo Credit: Fora do Eixo

2.) Manila


In the Philippines, you better pray to someone while using one of the Jeepneys...

Suggested By: Vanishing Boy , Photo Credit: Stefan Munder


1.) Mumbai

Mumbai's suburban railways experience over 3,500 deaths per year. It's easy to see why.


Suggested By: CosmicDrive00

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: pushkar joshi