Transportation: the word means lots of things. It can mean walking, driving, flying, sailing, taking the train or public bus. It even has a complete other meaning when examined in the context of Star Trek.

If you are a potential homebuyer, what it means to you is very important. The transportation option for the state, city, neighborhood and even street can all drastically alter the value of any prospective property.

First we will examine car transportation and what you should be looking for when you choose a residential location to purchase a home. The following is a list of the top ten best and worst driving cities in the United States. The reasons for their ranking should offer some insight as to what is important.

CARS AND ROADS The 10 Most Drivable Cities

1. Corpus Christi, TX

2. Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX

3. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX

4. Pensacola, FL

5. Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL

6. Oklahoma City, OK

7. Birmingham, AL

8. El Paso, TX

9. Memphis, TN

10. Tulsa, OK

The 10 Least Drivable Cities

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA

2. San Francisco, CA

3. Chicago, IL

4. Denver, CO

5. Boston, MA

6. Oakland, CA

7. Detroit, MI

8. New York, NY

9. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA

10. Washington, D.C

The Variables that were used to determine these rankings


Poor weather can hamper your transportation. For instance, areas with cold weather, snow, or lots of rain all scored poorly. Both because drive times are longer, but also because the chance of car related injury was higher. The wether can also effect how long your automobile is going to last. Rainy seattle for instance, is a city full of rusty cars, while relatively dry Texas can sustain an old car for a long time. This also greatly effects resale value.

Drive Time

To give you an idea about the massive difference drive times are for different Americans. A resident of Brownsville Texas, our number 2 selection, will spend an average of 5 hours a year stuck in traffic. The national average is 62 hours a year. Los Angeles, the city made the top of the worst list almost solely due to traffic, the average person will spend 136 hours a year stuck in traffic. So just think about how valuable your free time is. If you could be working during that time and you were making $17 an hour, you could have made $2312 extra dollars.

Gas Prices

Obviously the price of gas does not affect the length of your commute or the weather. Unless of course you drive to another state, with a different climate, to get cheaper gas. The most expensive prices for gas that we found were $2.20 a gallon. This was found most often in California, and some places in the northeast. Texas, being the gas producing center of America, had the lowest gas prices in the country. This partly helped out Texas top three, to reach a high ranking.

Road Quality

The quality of the road can have an affect much more grave than the smoothness of your ride. If your car is constantly driving on poor roads, you will go through more tires and you will need tune-ups more often. The road quality can affect your drive time as well. If the roads are bad than there is a larger chance of accidents, and gridlock. Also, you cannot really drive too fast on a road that has potholes.

Driver Safety

While you may be a safe driver, the guy in the lane next to you might not be. Part of the criteria for this survey was driving fatalities per automobile, number of accidents and severity of accident. A larger police presence can lower these stats, but often speeding and reckless driving is more of a social phenomenon. For instance, cities with a younger population tend to have more diving fatalities, and the culture of some cities simply endorses fast driving. You should really ask the locals what they think of driving safety in the city

While this is not a condemnation or endorsement for any of these cities, it should serve as a reminder that transportation can vary greatly from city to city, and this will not only affect the price of your home, it will affect the quality of your life.


People often assume that the interests of public transit and cars are different. This is a fallacy. Cars need buses and trains just as much as buses and trains need cars. In the public discourse these two are often pitted against each other and are forced to compete for attention and funding.

City planners tend to be a little more rational. They know that cars need busses to keep the street free of traffic, and buses need cars to make clean safe roads an American priority.

It is a fact that the America is car crazy. Our dependence on cars has risen sharply in the past two decades. This is having an affect not only on the drivers, but everybody. Communities are shaped differently, retail stores have been replaced by big box stores. You know what I mean.

There are good arguments that endorse both systems, but it is a fact that the car is here to stay for at least the next century. This means that public transit will face a massive crunch. A crunch that is already being felt. Here are some stats:

47% of locations in America are not accessible by public transit. 91.7% of American households have access to at least one automobile. 8.3% of households have access to the subway. 50% of households are not within a quarter mile of a public transit stop. 99% of Americans have access to paved roads. 52% of all public transit trips are trips to work. 20% of all car trips are trips to work. The U.S. Population has increased by 65 million workers since 1965 The total number of transit commuters has decreased from 7.8 million to 6.5 million in that time.

This may seem like a gloomy forecast for public transit. But there is hope. There are some encouraging numbers that have come out recently that show that when competitive, people favor public transit 3 to 1 over the automobile.

Also, Americas population is growing older. Many seniors are not permitted to drive, or they simply prefer not to. Their need could spur growth in public transit. Tomorrow's seniors will generally be more active, and more willing to leave their homes, and the chances are they will do so using public transit.

Another fact is that buses account for 62% of all public transit trips. Therefore, quality road and decongested traffic are just as important for bus drivers as it is for car owners.

When you are evaluating the transportation in the city make sure you use these entire variable in to consideration. You don't want to be a homeowner stuck in a city you can't get out of, due to a traffic jam.