Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How far can you commute in 15 minutes?

Just spotted a blog post about Mapnificent, a new transit trip planning tool that uses Google Maps. You drag the map to where you are and it shows you how far you can get in however much time you specify, taking into account walking, Metro, and bus. The above map is starting from about 14th and Newton.

Does it seem accurate? I know that taking the 14th Street bus south often takes 30-45 minutes to get to about F Street, depending on traffic and the number of stops, but if you include Metro (and catch the train just right) it can be much faster.

Interestingly, it also shows bubbles around Metro stations.

Play around with it and let everyone know in the comments if it seems accurate. Might be a useful tool.


  1. No—it does not seem accurate. I don't think it accounts for traffic.

    An example of a trip I need to make frequently: Columbia Heights Metro station to the National Zoo entrance on Connecticut Avenue, N.W. The trip is theoretically do-able in 15 minutes, but only on a Sunday morning in a cab. Certainly not with public transit and walking options.

    On a day with actual traffic, that trip usually takes at least 30 minutes.

  2. It's not smart enough to know that I can bike to Foggy Bottom and Georgetown from U St. pretty fast, and it's too optimistic about metro, assuming no platform waiting times (I'm guessing), but otherwise it's pretty freakin' cool.

  3. No idea where they're getting their numbers. If you go to the WMATA website, they have an online version of the fare & travel time chart that's at each station. Columbia Heights is http://www.wmata.com/rail/station_detail.cfm?station_id=75 . Union Station is 16 minutes travel (and, based on my daily commute, about 25 minutes including walking around the station and waiting for trains), but Mapnificent programs it as 13 minutes.

    However, once they program in the data correctly, Mapnificent looks like a wonderful tool.

  4. Great concept and I like the look and feel, but they need more accurate data. GIGO.


Please don't advertise in the comments, and please enter some kind of name when you comment instead of being anonymous.

If the post is more than 28 days old, your comment must be approved first.