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Los Angeles Tops List of Cities For Carless Residents

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A surprising survey shows that Los Angeles tops the list of areas offering public transportation to its carless residents, trumping even New York.

The Brookings Institution compared the 100 largest U.S. metro areas for the number of households with no cars and no access to transit. It then ranked them based on how effectively its public transit system gets residents to work.

The report's author Adie Tomer told the Huffington Post he wasn't surprised by the findings, despite the stereotype that Los Angeles is the capital of car culture.

"The reality is, it's also really good transit culture too when it comes to the ability to get on a bus," Tomer said.

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However, the stereotype that even Angelenos opting for public transit will have to spend hours of everyday in gridlock is borne out by the report: only 36 percent of carless residents can reach work under 90 minutes.

But how did Los Angeles manage to beat out New York for the title of the city that best serves carless drivers? That looks like a statistical trick than a definitive win for Los Angeles' public transit system.

After all, the survey shows that there are many times more New Yorkers than Angelenos that completely forgo owning a car. The survey estimates there are 355,457 carless residents in Los Angeles, compared to 2,065,904 in New York.

On top of that, the margin between the two cities is very close. The survey shows Los Angeles' transit system reaches 99.1 percent of its carless, while New York's reaches 98.7 percent.

To be clear, the survey didn't focus on a game of coastal one-upmanship (although, btw, San Francisco was ranked third). The survey focused most of its analysis on metropolitan areas in the South and Southwest that do the poorest job of connecting workers to public transit.

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We might have gridlock, but in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and St. Louis, many residents can't even get on a bus.