Commuter LifestyleGreen Living

Best Places to Live Without a Car

By October 3, 2019 May 19th, 2020 No Comments

Are you sick and tired of having to make that car payment every month? When you include gas, insurance and other costs, it costs you more than $700 expense every month, according to the AAA.

What if you could live car-free? What if you could hop public transit or a rideshare, paid for by your commuter benefits, to get to work? Where would you live?

City Lab took a stab at finding the right place for you, depending on the size of the city you want to live in, by ranking car-free metro areas all over the country. It even looked at data that showed where the worst places to live car-free.

Before we get to the lists, know that some of the best places tend to be college towns, and the Washington D.C. to Boston corridor can’t be beaten.

The worst? Cities in the south (by and large, but there are tough places to be car-free everywhere).

The best and worst places for living car-free.

Large metro areas

If you live in the San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward, Calif., you live in a car-free haven. Only one other city is more car-free friendly, and it’s very small. We’ll get to it in a minute.

First, the others in the metro Top 5:

  • Boston, Cambridge and Newton, Mass.
  • New York, Newark and Jersey City, N.J.
  • Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue, Wash.
  • Portland and Hillsboro, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.

The worst large metros include:

  • Birmingham and Hoover, Ala.
  • Nashville, Davidson and Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Oklahoma City
  • Kansas City, Mo.

Other great places to be car-free

If you’ve always had to live in Hawaii on your bucket list, it turns out Honolulu is one of the top places to be car-free for cities with 500,000-1 million people.

In the smaller metro areas (250,000-500,000 population), Ann Arbor, Mich., ranks number one. The honor of top car-free place for smallest cities (under 250,000), goes to Ithaca, N.Y., home of Cornell University and Ithaca College. Ithaca is ranked number one overall for other cities of any size in the country.

If you live car-free, you’re probably going to need commuter benefits to help pay for your commuting costs. Save up to $265 per month tax-free with commuter benefits.

Want to learn more about commuter benefits? Download the 101 Guide:

Download the Commuter Benefits 101 Guide

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