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Archive for December, 2006

one family’s sleighride


At times like this, sitting on the train with a laptop and breakfast sitting in front of me, it’s easy to understand why I like my job so much. My life is so deeply enmeshed with modes of transportation that I have to either embrace the concept of mobility or regard it as a haunting dark cloud.

Today I awakened to my mobile phone vibrating against the particle board of my computer desk. It was my wife, having arrived safely at her new job. When last I heard from her, she had been warned that the final flight of her four-leg trip would be delayed until the weekend because of the foot of snow that had fallen on Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2006
Under: Misc. Transportation | 1 Comment »

Sgt. Gluss’ lonely carpool band

carpool.jpgA recent survey by my favorite champion of saving gas and smog turned me on to a powerful, albeit secondary, reason to carpool.

Susan Gluss, who made a big splash in Tuolumne County recently with her frank appraisal of the difficulty of convincing people to carpool, offered up some startling Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 18th, 2006
Under: Carpooling | 3 Comments »

why we drive


Many people could read this blog and conclude that I’m a car-hating transit advocate. As I sit here with my laptop 20 minutes into my 80 minute wait for a train home, I can testify to the contrary.

To start with, I drove every day last week and this Tuesday. A monthly Amtrak pass keeps me on the train. Every day I don’t use it, the more expensive per-ride it becomes. In this holiday month, I’m taking more than a week off work, so no monthly pass. I get a smaller discount with a 10-ride pass and I’m left with a day-to-day decision on whether to drive.

So there it is: I can pay $5.29 plus $1.50 per trip in tolls, plus whatever Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2006
Under: Transit vs. driving | 14 Comments »

flying by the seat of the bowl

low-flow-toilet-dnr-metrokc-gov.jpgOakland International Airport just issued a press release that’s just too good to waste:

Customer surveys and analysis of passenger concerns show that OAK passengers rank the condition and quality of public restrooms high on their Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2006
Under: air travel | 8 Comments »

lessons learned from the third world?


After many delays and distractions, I finally got a chance to hear how Rod Diridon‘s trip to Hong Kong went.

The Mineta Transportation Institute director and member of the California High Speed Rail Authority found that countries like India and China, where a few trains are still powered by coal and steam, regard the United States as Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006
Under: Funding, high-speed rail, rail | 6 Comments »

a glaring trend toward transit

bart-glare.jpgNews flash: While chatting with BART’s Linton Johnson this evening, I learned that ridership was up for the first quarter of fiscal year 2007 over last year’s July-through-September quarter. People entered and exited the faregates an average 338,897 on weekdays, a 3-percent boost over last year’s 329,369.

But wait, there’s more: I asked Linton to check this against Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2006
Under: BART, Buses, driving, Transit vs. driving | 11 Comments »