San Diego, the country's eighth-largest city, according to 2012 population statistics, ranks 33rd in mass-transit use, according to data compiled last week by FiveThirtyEight.com.
The survey, which looked at 290 of the most populated regions in the U.S., compared the number of "unlinked trips," where each time a passenger transfers from one bus, trolley, or train to another is counted as an individual trip; a passenger could therefore rack up multiple "trips" during a single commute (e.g., taking a bus to a trolley station, then a trolley to another stop, then a bus to a destination would count as three trips).
Using this statistic, the San Diego region's 3 million residents logged an average 34.2 public transit trips per year; that places our region below Seaside-Monterey, CA (34.7 trips) and above Las Vegas-Henderson, NV (33.9 trips).
San Diego's average falls far below mass-transit leader New York City (1st, 229.8 trips) and San Francisco, tops in California and second overall at 131.5 trips. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim area, featuring similar SoCal suburban sprawl, ranks 15th with an average 54.9 annual trips.