Taking the train or bus to work is an ideal that residents of denser cities, like New York or San Francisco, take for granted. In many other metro areas, it's a little harder to muster the strength to get on a bus for work when it could take hours. At least, that's the assumption. Now you can easily find out exactly how good public transit it is any of the top 100 metropolitan areas of the country with an amazing interactive map from the Brookings Institute.
The map is part of a larger report--Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America--which notes that most jobs aren't readily accessible to transit. They typical resident, can only reach 30% of the available jobs by transit, and that's only if they're willing to spend as long as 90 minutes commuting.
But what's most exciting about the project is the map, which allows you to select any urban point and then see how frequently transportation comes, how long it will take to get anywhere else in the city, and even see how many jobs are available at various distances. Here, for instance, is the places you can reach on public transit within 30 minutes, from the White House:
And here is the service frequency in the Boston area. Darker blue means service is more frequent. Despite a lot of coverage, note that Boston transit does not come that frequently:
It's the first time all this national transit data has been combined, and it's a fun toy for comparing how different cities handle--or don't handle--public transit issues. But for anyone considering moving, or looking for a new job, it's a definitive resource toward finding out exactly where you should live and work for the easiest non-driving commute.