Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for the '511' Category

BART to extend service until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve

BART riders on New Year’s Eve will get three hours of extended service until 3 a.m., plus extra trains and staggered train stops in downtown San Francisco to ease crowding from the popular midnight fireworks show on the Embarcadero.

People going out on Friday, New Year’s Eve, will be able to board trains until 3 a.m. Saturday throughout the rapid transit system.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Under: 511, AC Transit, BART | No Comments »

Tweet that bridge open, please

Twitter users will get the news quickly this Labor Day weekend about the closing and reopening of the Bay Bridge.

Go to to the Caltrans Web site - baybridgeinfo.org - for tips on getting tweets about progress on the construction project triggering the need to close the bridge for four days.

We all know the bridge will close 8 p.m. Thursday. The big question is: Will it reopen by 5 a.m Tuesday as planned? Will it reopen earlier, as is possible? Or will it reopen later, an unlikely but possible outcome that would cause traffic chaos on freeways after the long holiday ends.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009
Under: 511, Bay Bridge, Bridges, driving, Freeways, Misc. Transportation | No Comments »

meet the new bud, same as the old bud?

It being the day before California Handsfree Day, I was moved to run out of the office down to get a new ear bud to replace my busted three-year-old model. I drove to my friendly neighborhood T-Mobile store, only because that was the only place in the vicinity I could be sure would sell such things.

I don’t really like any cell phone stores. Walking in the front door runs the gamut from salespeople with their backs turned trying to get other people to sign away two years of their lives to a shark tank. They must work on commission, because even when I was looking at measly ear buds priced at $14.99, I was accosted by an extremely helpful sales associate.

“What kind of phone do you have?” she asked.

“Aren’t they pretty universal?” I asked, trying to sound Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, June 30th, 2008
Under: 511, driving, hands-free driving, Safety, technology | No Comments »

traffic congestion is sooo 2007

After three weeks of on-again-off-again vacation and quality time with my intercontinental marriage, I am back and promise to keep the blog from getting stale. I am also somewhat ashamed that when my colleague next door is writing haikus and quoting Lao-tzu for his blog, I’m doing the sound of one hand clapping.

And as luck would have it, my overflowing e-mail box contained a pitch for me to talk to a company that provides traffic data for navigation services.

It said that San Francisco/Oakland area has the nation’s ?-worst traffic congestion and seemed to imply that this should make me stand up and take notice. (I can’t tell you Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2008
Under: 511, AC Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, Amtrak, Buses, driving, Environment, Fare systems, Freeways, fuel, global warming, Transit vs. driving | 3 Comments »

clairvoyant traffic reports?

dr-who-gridlock.JPG

I get a fair number of calls from people with wacky stories or ideas, like the guy who called the other day and thought that BART’s computers were under the control of evil hackers. I wanted to tell him that evil hackers only subvert sophisticated, post-1990s software.

Today I got a call from somebody whom I could believe, although I have no solid foundation to do so or not. Still, what he said makes sense and I’ll let that be the blog’s verification standard for today.

As so often happens with these calls, he’d gotten my number from a story, this one about a U.C. Berkeley test on I-880 of a real-time traffic reporting system that relies on cell phones with GPS. It’s a tidy little concept: No sensors except the satellites for the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
Under: 511, BART, Caltrans, driving, Freeways, technology | No Comments »

the horror: AC Transit’s jet lag

the-far-flung-east-bay.jpg

When I called attention to another local news outlet’s story on AC Transit’s love affair with Belgian-made Van Hool buses a week ago, I said I would be waiting impatiently to read this week’s sequel.

Looks like the East Bay Express’ Bob Gammon saved the best for last. This week’s story gives AC Transit officials a lot more to explain, and it certainly left me wishing I had done all that digging through the bus agency’s records.

While I enjoyed reading last week’s story, it didn’t convince me that these buses had dragged down the entire agency nearly as much as the drop in Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Under: 511, AC Transit, air travel, Buses, Funding, transit equity | 9 Comments »

some good things about transit

i-880-in-the-rain.jpgAfter getting the most vigorous response to date for my Nov. 30 post, I shouldn’t dwell too much on the positive aspects of taking public transit.

But I believe in fairness, and today was a good day for transit; at least it was for this and a few thousand other commuters.

I made it to the train station with five minutes to spare and had the wisdom to avoid taking my bicycle because of the wet forecast. That left me with the dilemma of how to get the last 1.7 miles from the Oakland Coliseum Amtrak station to work on Oakport Street.

No worries, the 98 bus was there, waiting for me. It left about five minutes later, leaving some leeway in case the Capitol Corridor had been late. I made it to work in good time, which is more than I can say of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, Amtrak, Bicycling, Buses, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, Fare systems, Freeways, Misc. Transportation, rail, technology, Transit vs. driving | 16 Comments »

you can’t get here from here

511-transit-planner.bmp

As anyone who reads this blog should know, I love to complain about my long commute, about the 80-minute drive (in good traffic) and the 2 1/2-hour bike-train alternative.

If only I could have moved to Oakland or Berkeley, my life would be better, the lament goes.

But I recently learned that even people smack in the middle of the Bay Area can have an equally crappy commute, at least where public transit is concerned.

Lucinda, one of my colleagues here in Oakland, came up to me the other day and told me she could be asked to run another newspaper in our group while its editor was incapacitated. The San Mateo County Times is located in the city of that name, and by car, it’s less than a half-hour from her home in Alameda.

But she wasn’t too keen on Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, BART, Bicycling, Buses, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, Environment, tolls, Transit vs. driving | 18 Comments »

TransLink: it’s no FasTrak

TransLink, the universal transit fare system that just launched, after two decades worth of development, service on AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit buses, has clearly had its share of problems.

I mean, they’re trying to integrate 26 different transit systems, some of which have trouble keeping things together within a single agency.

Now they’ve got the thing up and running, and Eric Schatmeier of Alameda raises yet another point for the system to worry about: Statements.

Here’s part of his e-mail to me:

I, too, have been a Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, Buses, Fare systems, technology | 15 Comments »

the real change on the Bay Bridge

new-fastrak-on-bay-bridge-sept-07.bmp

Throughout last weekend and the week before, I was constantly shaking off attempts to write anything about FasTrak changes on the Bay Bridge.

Why? Because it’s boring. Moving a 6,700-ton slab of earthquake-stressed concrete two stories in the air is a lot more compelling. At any other time, I would have been all over the FasTrak story.

It’s not just that I had better things to do. It’s that it’s difficult to look at that map and say what’s so different about it. They’ve moved some lanes around, they’ve added one and they’ve made the approach lanes longer by 2,000 feet.

The latter change I think most regulars will agree is a big improvement. I’m a Carquinez user myself, and I was positively bubbling Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2007
Under: 511, art, Bay Bridge, Bridges, Caltrans, driving, Freeways, Funding, maps, tolls | No Comments »