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Archive for the 'connectivity' Category

no exit

I commute, therefore I am.

My apologies for disappearing for yet another hiatus. Last week I moved from a rental to the house we bought. It was supposed to have been Berkeley, from which I would have had what many would consider a normal commute to our large white office building near Oakland Coliseum.

Alas, my son signed up for biochemistry. That was my undoing.

Turns out it’s much more competitive than Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007
Under: Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, Freeways, Transit vs. driving | 5 Comments »

color my BART

metro-red-line.jpgOne thing that I, as a former Washingtonian (as in DC), couldn’t help but notice when I arrived in the Bay Area in March of last year was how much the BART system resembles the capitol’s Metro system.

The cars appeared identical, although I learned Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2007
Under: air travel, BART, Caltrain, connectivity, Funding | 7 Comments »

10 things I learned in a year by the Bay

arriving-at-platform.jpgOn 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 »

1.47 gallons for public transit

pumping-gas.jpg 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 »

busdinistas to rail against Van Hool hegemony

van-hool-for-sale.jpgWatch out! The days of AC Transit‘s cozy relationship with Belgian bus maker Van Hool are numbered, at least if a group of organized “Van Hell”-haters succeeds in staging its day of action at the entrance of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 8th and Oak streets in Oakland, at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The event is being organized by Joyce Roy, who only managed to rally a handful of mostly elderly and disabled riders, along with a bus driver, to speak to the AC Transit board recently against the buses for their shaky Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
Under: Buses, casual carpools, connectivity, driving, Funding, rail, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 15 Comments »

microcosmic bus vs. rail at Oakland Airport

airbart-now-3-one-way.jpg

At long last, people who don’t mind dragging their bags on and off of BART (or don’t have a car) will have to pay $3, starting March 1, to get from the Coliseum BART Station to Oakland International Airport. Senior citizen and airport employee fares will double as of March 1 to $1 and $2, respectively.

The current $2 charge for AirBART has been in effect since 1985, so one can’t be too shocked that the Oakland port authority decided today to raise it. At least it’s not going to $4 like the bridge tolls.

And consider that the extra $1 is for a good cause: Buying new natural gas buses. I’m guessing hydrogen fuel cell buses would require Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
Under: AC Transit, air travel, BART, Buses, connectivity, Environment, Fare systems, Funding, rail, tolls, transit equity | 31 Comments »

falling in and out of love with BART

mom-and-dad-still-love-you.jpg

Call me Capricious, but as much as I’m predisposed, I can’t seem to embrace public transit consistently.

I love to sit in one of the Capitol Corridor’s reclining seats with an AC (not to be confused with the bus agency) outlet nearby so I can watch DVDs of old movies uninterrupted on my laptop. Ahhh, this is commuting, I think. Did I mention the little Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, air travel, BART, Bicycling, Buses, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), connectivity, driving, rail, Transit vs. driving | 1 Comment »

great day to drive

open-road-sm.jpg

I was gratified to see that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission had launched a new service called Predict-a-trip. If you’re planning to drive from Fairfield to San Jose, this collection of algorithms at www.511.org will use the collective experience of FasTrak electronic toll tag users to estimate how long your trip will take using several different routes. You can also ask it for current driving times, just like you can when you dial 511 on your mobile phone.

Just what we need, another tool to make driving easier.

I say that because today I gave up Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, Altamont Commuter Express, BART, Bicycling, Caltrain, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, casual carpools, connectivity, driving, parking, rail, Safety, Transit vs. driving | 4 Comments »

one card to rule them all*

mt-translink.bmpThe new TransLink cards are here!

Much like Steve Martin’s refrain from “The Jerk,” this event is somewhat anticlimactic.

To quote Tommy, who announced this in a comment on my last TransLink entry,

Woohoo! My wife is a Cal student so it’s basically useless for her as she gets free AC Transit rides anyway. I probably won’t load mine up until BART, Muni, and Caltrain come online so I can do the Albany to Mountain View commute without having to fiddle with three different fare systems.

What? BART isn’t part of a Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Caltrain, connectivity, Fare systems, ferries, rail, technology | 12 Comments »

ACE up our sleeve

ACE forum flier1.png

Having been around since March, I suppose one could argue that I should be up on the history of the Altamont Commuter Express.

But alas, my colleague, Rebecca, at the Tri-Valley Herald, has done such a good job of covering the Stockton-to-San Jose commuter rail service that I’ve been able to focus my attention elsewhere.

But she’s off to a more important assignment, and I have to get up-to-speed. Luckily, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
Under: Altamont Commuter Express, connectivity, rail | 2 Comments »