public transit

variants: US public transit or British public transport

Definition of public transit

: mass transit … an annoying little secret of suburban life is that, even with traffic congestion, it's almost always faster to get somewhere in a car than by riding public transit.— Gregg Easterbrook

Examples of public transit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ridership is down on nearly every major public transit system in the country. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit," 14 Sep. 2018 Today, conventional city buses are the workhorses of most public transit systems. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "This city has a vision for mass transit that doesn’t involve city buses," 31 Aug. 2018 The camp was set up on land owned by the city and TriMet, a public agency in charge of the public transit system in Portland’s metropolitan area. Fox News, "Portland, Ore., to clean up 'disgusting' Occupy ICE camp, calling it biohazard," 26 July 2018 One solution to the problem would be to build more apartments and condos clustered around downtowns and, ideally, public transit. Mark Pothier,, "The kids are gone, but their boomer parents can’t afford to downsize," 4 June 2018 Of course, seniors and the disabled who cannot or should not drive also have other ways to get around, through taxis, ride-sharing services and public transit. Mary Wisniewski,, "New service offers transportation help for seniors," 14 May 2018 Passport not required to access island by foot, bike or public transit. Detroit Free Press, "FIRST Robotics championship: Things to do in Detroit, nearby," 25 Apr. 2018 Modacity How do bikes fit in with public transit in the Netherlands? David Roberts, Vox, "No helmets, no problem: how the Dutch created a casual biking culture," 28 Aug. 2018 Waymo is about to launch a pilot program to explore how self-driving cars can be used in combination with public transit, the Google self-driving car unit announced on Tuesday. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo pilot program shows how self-driving cars could boost transit," 31 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public transit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of public transit

1847, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about public transit

Statistics for public transit

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public transit

The first known use of public transit was in 1847

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on public transit

Spanish Central: Translation of public transit

Comments on public transit

What made you want to look up public transit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!