New California Transit Map Simplifies Car-Free Travel Across the State

See a larger version on the ## Rail Map website##.

Finding a highway map for a road trip is easy, but comprehensive transit maps for car-free travel in California have always been a little harder to come by.

Not to worry: Alfred Twu and his team of cartographers have created a map of transit throughout the state. The new map features “both intracity and regional rail lines as well as connecting buses, proving once and for all that it’s possible to get to almost anywhere in the state on public transit,” says Twu.

The map ties together networks for Amtrak, BART, Muni, VTA, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Diego North County Transit District (NCTD), San Diego Trolley, LA Metro, and Metrolink, as well as key bus and ferry connections.

Of course, travelers can use apps like Google Maps to plan a transit trip automatically, but this map provides a nifty overview of the possibilities for transit trips that are available.

For those looking to reach camping and hiking destinations in Northern California without a car, another great resource is Post-Car Adventuring, a handbook which includes specific guidance on how to reach Big Sur, Mt. Diablo, Lake Tahoe, Tassajara, Yosemite, and Napa using only transit, bikes, and your own two feet.

  • BikeCommuter

    That’s cool. But the bigger problems is convenience and cost. I took transit from southern Marin to the Oakland Airport. It took three hours and cost $12.  I missed a BART connection on the way home and it took four hours. I’m (oviously) all for efficient transit, but I think the agencies have to do a better job of providing value by minimizing fares for long rides and better coordinating services between districts. Or invite private competitors to do better.

  • This is awesome – just the sort of larger-scale thinking we should be doing.

    Now if only actual travel could be so seamless.

  • mike

    Took a fun trip to Catalina Island with my wife where (after driving from SF to SLO) we took the Pacific Surfliner (beautiful route!) from San Luis Obispo to Union Station in LA, then the LA Metro Red line a couple stops to the Blue Line (hey, there’s Compton and Watts!) all the way down to Long Beach  where we walked to the ferry station and took the boat to Long Beach. There are some great rail trips that are reasonably convenient and fast (SF to Sacramento is one example), but overall, for a state like California, it blows.

  • Anonymous

    Be sure to read up on Joe Eseknazi’s trip from Sf to LA all on mass transit in SF Weekly too!

  • Anonymous

    That is a sweet, sick map. The distortion is a little disorienting… it makes SJ look closer to Chatsworth than SF… but still.

  • Vickylinn

    Huh? This doesn’t make sense to me. If you took the Blue Line to Long Beach how did you then take a boat to Long Beach if you were already there? And what ferry station? I live in Long Beach and the only boat I know of that you might have taken was the Aqualink over to the Belmont Shore part of Long Beach from near downtown. I guess that must be what you meant. Otherwise, I can’t figure it out. Hmm.

  • that’s amazing.

  • i’m assuming that was ferry to Catalina Island.

  • Anonymous

    Tell you neighbors to support a BART extension into Marin and help create a ballot initiative to increase sales tax to fund it, a la San Jose.

  • Bob Stiles

    CitiCar has the answer

  • Christinedavid

    Wow its superb….Great blog.

  • Joseph Michael Dunn

    Why not extend your new SMART train and have it come into the new transbay transit terminal under construction.



A Pilot Project Will Explore How to Make Transit Easier for Riders in California

Among the recent allocations of transportation funds from the gas tax, S.B. 1, was money for a pilot project to integrate transit services in California. Three regional transit agencies—Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin Regional Transit District, and Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN)—will team up with seven as-yet-undecided connecting transit agencies to work on […]

Overcoming the Barriers to a Seamless Bay Area Transit Experience

Ratna Amin is SPUR’s Transportation Policy Director. This piece originally appeared in SPUR’s The Urbanist. The Bay Area’s prosperity is threatened by fragmentation in the public transit system: Riders and decision-makers contend with more than two dozen transit operators. Inconsistent transit experiences and disjointed planning and investment make our transit system less efficient, less usable, […]