Just two of the 10 most remote major U.S. airports are connected by rail of any kind.

We've all experienced the frustration of getting off a flight then enduring a long, trafficky drive downtown. What a difference it can make to be able to zip to your meeting or hotel on light rail or the subway.

With the help of my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Zara Matheson, I gathered data on the distance from airports to the downtown core of major American cities. Matheson collected data on driving time and distance (using estimates from Google Maps, collected in March 2012) and whether rail transit connects airports to downtowns. 

The slideshow below by Cities fellow Tyler Falk shows the 10 major U.S. airports that are closest to and the 10 farthest from the downtown cores of the cities they serve:

One of the great equalizers for airports farther away from downtown is rapid transit. But just two of the 10 farthest airports are connected by rail of any kind. Five of the 10 airports closer to the urban core, on the other hand, offer convenient public transportation. Good transit connections can be pricey and difficult politically. But the cost of not having one means that the efficiency gained in the air is quickly lost once you land.

Top image: Courtesy of Flickr user madrazz

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man walks his dog on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco in the early morning hours on Mount Davidson.
    Equity

    When Millennials Battle Boomers Over Housing

    In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.

  2. A photo of a resident of Community First Village, a tiny-home community for people who were once living in homelessness, outside of Austin, Texas.!
    Design

    Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

    Community First! Village’s model for ending homelessness emphasizes the stabilizing power of social connections.

  3. A photo shows the Amazon logo on a building.
    Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal

    Each year, local governments spend nearly $100 billion to move headquarters and factories between states. It’s a wasteful exercise that requires a national solution.

  4. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks in Washington, D.C.
    Life

    Why New York and D.C. Make Sense for Amazon’s HQ2

    In splitting HQ2, Amazon gains a presence in New York, which has the largest number of corporate headquarters, and greater Washington, D.C., which is fast gaining as a popular site for a corporate base.

  5. Election 2018

    Mapping Where Americans Don't Vote

    “The United States of Apathy” showcases the dramatic effect of low voter turnout in U.S. elections.