Once I took a very long bus trip from Santa Monica to the IKEA store in Burbank and bragged about the feat in my personal blog. Well, a writer for SF Weekly has outdone me by about 400 miles. The guy took a 32-hour trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles taking only buses and trains from local public transportation agencies!

Along the way, he met enthusiastic storytellers, smelly co-travelers, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa himself. His whole story is a vibrant, fascinating read — but here's the skinny of it:

"I wander off into the heart of downtown L.A. beneath a staggeringly bright midday sun. Doing the math, I have just taken 16 buses or trains operated by seven public agencies. Transportation costs totaled $41.25 for a trip that took exactly 32 hours and seven minutes and covered some 480 miles. And was it crazy? Of course. But traversing the state via public transit allows you to meet people and see places you'd never encounter in any other way. You share a seat with a cross-section of California."
In stark contrast, my Santa Monica-to-Burbank trip required three buses operated by two public agencies, cost $1.75, took less than 2 hours and covered 26.7 miles. My trip was roundtrip, however, so I did end up going more than 50 miles by public transit that day in 2006. More than five years later, that same trip now costs $4 — and takes just as long, according to Google Maps. On the upside, the public transit info is now on Google Maps, making intra city adventure travel easier for public transit geeks. 

What's the longest trip you've taken on public transportation?

Man takes public transportation from San Francisco to L.A.
Joe Eskenazi braved a 32-hour, 14-transfer trip down California, shunning Amtrak to take advantage of low-cost local transit agency lines.