But public transportation is another story—and another useful metric in how livable a neighborhood is. Public transportation in the Twin Cities is roughly 15-20 years behind the rest of the US metropolitan areas, mostly because our electoral politics have gone from the Minnesota Miracle to the Minnesota Tragedy.
Walk Score has just added a new Public Transportation score and a Commute report to its offerings, both of which are quite useful. The free service is pretty close to becoming a de-facto livability index, at least for urbanites.
On my block, the only public transportation is one bus going North-South every 30 minutes, one bus going East-West every 30 minutes, and one bus going to Minneapolis every 30 minutes. Walk Score recognizes this as poor, and rates it a 48 (some transit). It accurately reports nine routes within a half-mile of my home.
When I click the Commute tab and input the address for my University of Minnesota office, it accurately reports that it takes about 1.25 hours to walk the 3.83 miles; a half-hour to bike the 4.21 miles; 11 minutes to drive; and suggests the appropriate bus route. I was especially impressed with the level of detail of hills between here and there (mostly flat; ~100 feet elevation difference)—a critical issue for bikers. But it fails to say how long the bus takes (~30 minutes depending on season).