U.S. Airports With the Best Public Transportation Options

Last Updated on December 24, 2022 by Snezana Grcak

Flying into another city or state is faster and more convenient than driving, but getting from the airport to your destination might be a hassle. Many cities don’t have an extensive public transportation network, so airport passengers need to go out of their way to find an affordable ride. That’s where Shuttle Fare steps in! We singled out U.S. airports with the best public transportation services and stations within the terminals or a short walk away. Discover the nitty-gritty of every public transit service at some of the largest airports in the country!

Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport

MARTA’s Red Line and Gold Line trains help passengers avoid heavy Atlanta traffic and smoothly travel to and from ATL. The station is inside the Domestic Terminal, between the North and South Baggage Claim areas. Travelers arriving at or departing from the International Terminal may use a free shuttle, which runs 24/7 between the terminal and MARTA station.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has frequent departures, so you won’t wait for too long whenever you need a transfer. The standard MARTA fare is $2.50, while senior citizens and individuals with disabilities pay only $1.00. Click here to learn how to take an Atlanta Airport train to and from any location in the area.

Philadelphia International Airport

PHL and SEPTA offer several easy and cheap ways to reach the city and other locations in the area. The Airport Regional Rail Line operates between the airport and the city every 30 minutes. After landing, follow the signs from any terminal to get to the train station:

  • Terminal A—at the east portion of the terminal;
  • Terminal B—a short walk from the Marriot Hotel;
  • Terminal C/D—close to both terminals and easy to access;
  • Terminal E/F— a short, indoor walk away from Terminal F.

Purchase a SEPTA Key Card from a Fare Kiosk at any terminal, and travel from Philadelphia Airport to the city center (or vice versa) for only $6.75. You may also buy an $8 ticket onboard. Click here to learn more about taking a train to PHL.

SEPTA Train Station

PHL is also served by three SEPTA bus lines that regularly pick up passengers outside of every terminal’s Baggage Claim at Zone 1:

  • Bus Route 37—runs to and from South Philadelphia and Chester;
  • Route 108—to/from 69th Street Transportation Center;
  • Route 115—to/from Delaware Community College.

You can ride a SEPTA bus for only $2.50 or $2.00 if you pay using a SEPTA Key card.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

RTA’s Red Line offers frequent rail service between Cleveland Airport and East Cleveland. The RTA train station at CLE is located on the lower level of the main terminal—to get there, use the escalators in the center of the Baggage Claim and Ticketing levels. Once you hop on a train, you’ll get to the Louis Stokes Station in less than 30 minutes.

Before taking a train from Cleveland Airport, purchase a ticket at a vending machine. The fare depends on the type of ticket.

  • One-Way Cash Fare: $2.50
  • 5-Trip Card: $12.50
  • Daily Pass: $5.00

Click here to learn more about taking a train from CLE to the downtown area.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

DFW provides three public transportation options that connect passengers to several communities in the area. DART trains frequently run between the DFW Airport Station and Dallas, and a midday pass is only $2.00. Take the following steps to get to the train station after landing:

  • From Terminal A: Exit the terminal building, and follow the signage to the lower level A10.
  • From Terminals B, C, D, and E: Follow the Terminal Link Shuttle signs, take a shuttle to Terminal A, and head to the lower level.

TEXRail trains take DFW passengers to downtown Fort Worth and several in-between locations. Purchase your TEXRail ticket at any station kiosk or online; a two-hour pass costs $2.50, while a day pass is $5.00. The station is at Terminal B—follow the signs to the lower level at B47. Take the free Terminal Link Shuttle to get to the station from another terminal.

The TRE also connects Dallas and Fort Worth and stops near the airport. Even though the Trinity Railway Express station isn’t on-site, you can reach it by taking the Rental Car shuttle bus to the lower level of the RCC and then hopping on the TRE shuttle to the CentrePort Station. The two-hour pass is $2.50. Click here for additional details about rail services at DFW Airport.

Denver International Airport

The RTD operates A Line commuter trains, which directly connect Denver Airport and downtown. Trains depart from the base of the DEN Transit Center; the DIA train station is at the south end of the Jeppesen Terminal, right underneath the Westin hotel. If traveling from the city, use the escalator to get to Level 5 and find the terminal’s south entrance.

Denver Airport Train System Map

A Day Pass for adults is $10.50 and includes unlimited transfers on the A Line for the duration of one day. You can purchase it at any vending machine on the airport train platform or at the RTD Information Booth. Click here for a detailed guide on how to get a train from Denver Airport to downtown.

San Francisco International Airport

BART’s Red and Yellow Lines serve SFO, and the station at the airport is inside the International Terminal. Passengers from the Domestic Terminal can reach it easily thanks to a free AirTrain. Trains run approximately every 15 minutes and take 30 minutes to get to the downtown area.

The cost for a BART ride from SFO to the Powell St. station is $9.65; use the fare calculator to discover the cost for another route. If traveling with a child younger than 5, note that they ride free of charge.

SamTrans provides a 24/7 public bus service. Take Route SFO, 292, and 398 at any of the following locations.

  • Terminal 2: On the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level adjacent to Courtyard 2.
  • Terminal 3: On the Arrivals Level adjacent to Courtyard 4.
  • International Terminal: On Level 1 at Courtyard A and curbside next to Courtyard G.

Click here for a full guide on how to take a train to SFO.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

The Chicago Transit Authority provides “L” train and bus services connecting ORD to the city and surrounding area. The Blue Line is the most convenient around-the-clock transport option, and the CTA station is located near elevator center 4 on the lower level.

  • From any domestic terminal: Use the pedestrian tunnel and follow the Trains to City signs to reach the station.
  • From Terminal 5: Go through the lower level’s Door 5E, hop on a shuttle to Terminal 1, and follow the overhead signs.

The fare for “L” trains is usually $2.50, but the cash fare for O’Hare passengers is $5.00

O'Hare Train Station

If you plan to travel from Midway to O’Hare, take the Orange Line train at the Midway Station and transfer to the Blue Line at the Clark/Lake Station. Click here for additional info on taking the Blue Line to O’Hare.

Portland International Airport

TriMet’s Red Line offers comfortable transfers from PDX to downtown Portland with trains running every 15 to 30 minutes. The airport train station is outside the Baggage Claim area—follow the airport signs to get there. The journey to the downtown station takes less than 40 minutes, and the train fare is $2.50. You can also purchase a TriMet pass with unlimited rides for $5.00.

Click here to learn more about trains at PDX and how to get from the airport to the Amtrak Station.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport

METRO Blue Line is an excellent way to travel between MSP and downtown Minneapolis in less than 30 minutes. Blue Line trains operate approximately every 15 minutes from the following locations.

  • Terminal 1 Blue Line Station: take the tram to the Red/Blue/Silver parking ramp and then follow the light rail station signs.
  • Terminal 2 Blue Line Station: take the elevator from Level 1 up to the Orange Ramp skyway, follow the signs to the METRO station, and go one level down to the train station platform.

You may purchase a ticket at a vending machine or through the Metro Transit app. The METRO fare is $2.00 to $2.50, depending on the time of the day. The same fee applies to the Route 54 bus service, available from the Transit Center on the Silver ramp’s Level 1. 

Seattle–Tacoma International Airport

The Sound Transit Central light rail system is perfect for Sea-Tac passengers since it covers the most important points in the city. Follow the Link Light Rail sign inside the Baggage Claim area and through the parking garage to reach the train platform. The train fare depends on the destination, but the cost to the downtown stations is only $3.00. Click here for more detailed directions to the train station and additional info.

Seattle Airport Light Rail Signs

Sound Transit provides two express bus services that pick up at the sound end of the main terminal and run to Bellevue, Tacoma, Lakewood, etc. Seattle Airport is also served by several King County Metro bus routes: Rapid Ride A-line, Route 156, and Route 161. The bus stops are next to the SeaTac/Airport Link Light Rail station and on International Boulevard.

Find a Ride Easily at Any Major Airport

Making a clever travel plan doesn’t end with booking a flight—finding a convenient airport transfer is essential, and Shuttle Fare will help you do that easily! Apart from the listed airports with the best public transportation systems, we can assist you in traveling to and from the following airports.