PARIS (AP) _ A ride on the London underground beats out Paris and New York, but a new report Thursday showed that the best ride in the four major cities studied is on the Tokyo subway.

The Four World Cities Transport Study report by the London Research Center, released in Paris, compared the public transport systems in Tokyo, New York, London and Paris.

The report's index of service quality that assesses frequency and punctuality found Tokyo on top, followed by London, New York and Paris.

The report showed that Tokyo was the only system to offer consistently excellent service on all trains, with a perfect 100 percent record for punctuality during peak hours.

But Tokyo passengers must put up with terrible overcrowding during peak hours and are sometimes physically shoved into their train by rail staff.

The incentive to use public transport in Tokyo is great because 86 percent of Japanese companies pay the full travel costs of their employees, the report said.

Measures have been taken recently to lengthen trains and platforms as well as open doors.

Residents in London have good access to public transport, and buses and trains run frequently with good off-peak service.

The majority of Greater London residents live or work within five minutes of an underground stop. But London is second to New York in poor punctuality and the worst waits for bus service.

London recently has taken measures to improve bus service, but, just like Paris, 65 percent of all journeys in Greater London are by car or motorcycle.

The report noted, however, that the London system is in need of renovation and modernization because of its age and ought to work on improving Sunday bus service.

Paris has the densest metro network, but even though trains run frequently at rush hour, the system is often hit by strikes. Even though it offers the cheapest travel, 65 percent of all journeys in Paris are by car or motorcycle.

The New York subway system is the commuter's virtual dream, operating 24 hours a day in addition to bus routes. Metropolitan New York has an even greater density than Paris and the most number of journeys per day.

But New Yorkers have to wait, and the city has the worst punctuality record of the four cities surveyed. And the cost of using the system surpasses even Tokyo, making New York the most expensive city for public transport travel.