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Public Transit & Ride Shares
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Public Transit & Ride Shares

Guide to getting around big cities in the USA

Public Transit

While all major U.S. cities offer public transportation, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco have the largest public transit systems in the country. It is relatively safe and easy to get around those cities using public transportation. The base fare on subways generally ranges from $1.75 to $2.75. If you are staying for an extended visit, consider buying a pass for the length of your visit. Each system offers a variety of options, so check with the specific transit system for more information. Most other major cities have smaller transit systems that utilize buses, trolleys and light rail.


Taxicabs are a convenient and reliable means of transportation within most major American cities. The cost of a cab depends on how far you are going and how long it takes to get there. Feel free to ask the cab driver for an estimated cost and be prepared to pay with cash. Some taxicabs allow for the use of credit cards. 

Ride-Hailing/Ride Apps

Ride-hailing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, have become increasingly popular in the U.S., allowing passengers to call and pay for a ride with private drivers through a smartphone app. These services are widely available throughout the country.

Bicycles & Bike-Rental Programs

Bicycles offer a convenient and inexpensive way to see big cities. The USA is increasingly bike friendly and some roads in major cities have designated bike lanes. Countless tour operators offer fun and informative city tours, or you can rent a bike and create your own tour.

More than 50 cities, including New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have bike-rental programs, and that number is growing. These programs enable you to pick up and drop off rental bikes at kiosks around the city, giving you the convenience and flexibility to explore at your own pace. You can rent a bike per hour, per day or longer with a membership. You will need a credit card at the kiosk to rent a bicycle. 

Accommodating Disabilities

The United States is very accommodating to those who have or are traveling with someone with a disability. Many U.S. laws prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation. To ensure that traveling with or as a disabled person goes smoothly, it is key to plan in advance.