Part of the Bay Area News Group

Point of origin

By enelson
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006 at 6:38 pm in 511, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Carpooling, casual carpools, Fare systems, Freeways, Retrofitting.

I’m told that today this blog will be linked to the outside world after a two-week trial, so welcome, inaugural readers.

The point: to provide an outlet for Bay Area transportation stuff that crosses my path, but isn’t necessarily “a story” in the traditional sense. I’ll also drop in comments from readers and ad-lib from time-to-time about my own commuting tribulations.

In an area with such diverse ways to move around as the Bay Area, this kind of stuff is ridiculously easy to come by. In my short time here, I’ve found there is no limit to my fellow commuters’ appetite for transportation news.

Please tell me what you think and feel free to suggest improvements. I’ve put up some links to transit and highway agencies, but I’m already thinking of some that need to be added.

Who am I? I’m the transportation writer for ANG Newspapers, which, according to the back of my business card, includes the Alameda Times-Star, Argus (Fremont and environs), Daily Review (Hayward, San Leandro, etc.), Marin Independent Journal, Milpitas Post, The Oakland Tribune, Pacifica Tribune, Reporter (Vacaville, Fairfield, Dixon and Winters), San Mateo County Times, San Ramon Valley Herald, Times-Herald (Vallejo) and the Tri-Valley Herald (Pleasanton, Livermore, etc.). As such, I hope to provide links here to transportation-related stories in our papers.

I’m new here, really new. I visited San Francisco for one short day in 2001 and moved to the area, loosely defined, in July 2005. I started work on ANG’s regional staff March 20, and two days later, Caltrans opened a $1.43 billion bid for the Bay Bridge “signature span.” I’ve been trying to keep from getting bucked off this horse ever since.

I did come in with one advantage, however. I love this stuff. I am a first-class transportation obsessive. When I fly, I always get a window seat so I can look at the roadways layout below. When I visit a new city, I save bus and subway tickets for my collection.

Did you know, for instance, that one of the world’s most impressive archeological hauls was from a subway dig? Unfortunately, it’s in the middle of Athens, Greece, so people just scurry by on the way from Point Alpha to Point Beta.

So as you board that bus, start that car or insert that fare card, look up for a second and consider the wonder of it all. Engineers, politicians and construction workers have struggled for centuries so you can get to work on time. When it seems like wasted effort, I want to hear about it.

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