It’s called the Commutometer, an online app that crunches the numbers on nine public transit networks operating in San Francisco (Muni, BART, AC Transit, Baylink, SamTrans, Caltrain, Golden Gate Ferry, Harbor Bay Ferry, and even the Blue & Gold Fleet) and maps out how far they can all take you in 30 minutes from any designated point in the Bay Area.
Actually, you can set the clock at anywhere between five minutes (lots of luck with that) and two hours (if you’ve got that much time to kill, what’s it matter). As you can imagine, the eccentricities of overlapping transit networks make for some unexpected maps:
You can get to the Mission in 30 minutes from Oakland (more than eight miles away), but not from the Presidio or from Hunters Point (both just about three miles away). Treasure Island is less than two and a half miles from downtown San Francisco, but can barely get there in half an hour. From Potrero Hill, you can get to San Bruno in 30 minutes, but not to downtown San Francisco.
The app is still a work in progress, so it’s possible that these figures are a bit off. And they operate on the assumption of a best case scenario, with no margin of error for traffic, long waits for transfers, or slowdown from crowding, making it more of an academic curiosity than a practical planning tool.
Still, once you’ve started using it, it’s hard to stop. And the results are usually more gratifying than your actual commute.