I discovered this week that in addition to adding six miles to my commute by moving our office to another part of Oakland, the company that was kind enough to hire me and continues to show that kindness by paying me every two weeks (Thanks, guys!) is seriously considering deleting its Commuter Check subsidy.
To be fair, I should point out that when I took this job, I knew I would have a long commute, some 67 miles each way, 90 minutes by car and 2 hours by train and bike on a good day. I was Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, April 27th, 2007
Under: Bicycling, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Environment, Fare systems, Funding, Transit vs. driving | 3 Comments »
Sorry the blog has been idle, at least as far as my efforts are concerned. I had jury duty last week and will again starting April 30, so please be patient.
You may have heard about the Capitol Corridor incident in which an engineer was severely beaten by thugs on the train tracks just outside of Sacramento, but I receieved an e-mail with a full account of the incident from Gene Skoropowski, who runs the Corridor:
[Monday] evening we had perhaps the most Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), rail, Safety, Security | 4 Comments »
As I noted earlier, the wheeled speed record set by France’s train à grande vitesse (for you non-francophones, that’s “high-speed train”) got everyone talking, especially Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, who was onboard when the train hit 357 mph.
The Scramento Bee’s Buzz column quibbled over the San Francisco legislator’s claim to have been aboard the world’s fastest train:
“The world’s fastest train remains a Japanese bullet train that hit Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2007
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, Environment, Freeways, high-speed rail, rail, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »
After dropping $208 plus $105 in Commuter Checks for my monthly train ticket today, I should feel ripped off that it takes me 90 minutes to get to Oakland from the Central Valley.
Especially so after reading today that Assemblywoman Fiona Ma took a train that went a record-breaking 357 miles per hour through the Champagne region of France, the same type of train that I know could get me to Oakland in 11 minutes for a price so low that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Environment, Freeways, Funding, high-speed rail, rail, technology | 26 Comments »
I’ve pretty well covered what Gov. Schwarzenegger is doing with public transportation funding in next year’s (starting in July) state budget, so I won’t re-hash that here.
The question I’m going to nibble at, after enduring six hours of legislative budget subcommittee meetings this week, is what’s going on with the rest of the state’s normal transportation budget.
I’m not talking about the $20 billion Prop 1B transportation bond, which I’ve also spilt considerable ink over. That’s separate, or at least it was until the governor’s fiance people decided to snag Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, March 30th, 2007
Under: Bay Bridge, Caltrans, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), driving, Freeways, Funding, rail, Retrofitting, Safety, Transit vs. driving | No Comments »
Today I wrote a piece on Union Pacific’s miraculous reconstruction of the wooden train trestle in Sacramento that was so well protected by creosote that it went up in flames last March 15 like a book of matches.
This time, they used concrete and steel.
Anyway, read the story on www.insidebayarea.com. Unfortunately, I found out too late to get into the story the specifics of how opening one of the two tracks will improve service.
For anyone who obsesses over Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Funding, rail, Safety | No Comments »
As difficult as it is, I work very hard to convince myself that the world does not revolve around me. Today that was a little harder, because I learned about a new website that seems designed just to make my life easier.
Several times a week, I’m confronted with the possibility that I will miss Train #544 out of Amtrak’s Jack London Square, a.k.a. C.L. Dellums Station. As the train is late once and a while, I sometimes jump online to see if a delay will save me from waiting another 80 minutes for Train #546. The problem, however, is that the Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Under: BART, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), rail | 4 Comments »
On March 20, 2006, I arrived in Oakland to set myself up as an expert on Bay Area transportation. I’m still working on that, but I’ve learned a few things since then.
The first lesson, after living and working in the wilds of Central Maryland, remote Long Island and Southern California, was learning just what Bay Area commuters had to complain about.
I mean, this place has a mass transit system like no other west of the Mississippi, freeways that don’t back up at midnight and commuter trains that run after 7 p.m. Not to mention, its denizens make their homes in tight valleys that make perfect little transportation corridors, like, you know, the Livermore Valley.
Ok, so I had a lot to learn about Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
Under: 511, AC Transit, BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, connectivity, driving, Environment, Fare systems, ferries, Freeways, Funding, parking, rail, Retrofitting, Safety, tolls, transit equity, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »
Rooted by half in the frozen tundra of Scandanavian emotional development, I’ll have to admit that sometimes I withhold my love and affection much as one keeps religious fervor in check at a Lutheran worship service.
But the random Ellis Islander half of my upbringing forces the suppressed emotions to the surface every so often, and I’ll lay them bare right here, in front of God and everyone.
I love the Capitol Corridor.
There, I said it.
I know there are those of you who will go on about how inefficient it is to drag megaton double-decker rail cars around with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), rail | 2 Comments »
Public transportation records, at least for the last half-century, continue to be broken on a regular basis these days. BART had its best Saturday ever this month with the celebration of the Year of the Pig and it seems more and more difficult to find two seats to myself on the train these days (not that I’d ever block the #2 seat — I hate it when people do that on a train that’s getting crowded).
Today I was not surprised to learn that national ridership is up to levels not seen since Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Buses, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, connectivity, driving, Environment, parking, rail, Transit vs. driving | 3 Comments »