BART was miserable today. The moment I got to the boarding platform, I sensed something was wrong because of the longer than usual lines! Then of course, I read the electronic bulletin: Passengers should expect at least a 10-15 minute delay due to "ongoing switching problems." What does that mean exactly? Why is it ongoing? Why can't it be fixed during the long weekend when most people are not.
So I stand out there on the platform, wrongly dressed in summer gear when there is not a bit of sun out and the wind is blowing, just waiting for the train to come. For 8 minutes, there was no indication when the next SF bound train is coming. Finally, one arrives, and I thought the worst part is over. The train operator announces again that there are BART delays due to "continuing switching problems" but again, that explanation only brings about more questions from the rest of us that are left unanswered. She then goes on about how several trains have been asked to turn around once we get into SF, but she "thinks" our train will turn at 24th Street station although she "can't be sure." Thanks for this very useful announcement, I thought to myself.
To make matters worse, our train had to stop for several minutes at 12th Street Oakland station in order for passengers from the previous train, who were forced to deboard, to get in our already crowded trains. The ride was rough...with the train pulling into a halt every other minute. It was packed and patience was wearing thin. Passengers pushed and shoved to get out of the train, instead of the usual annoyed but reserved "Excuse me".
At Embarcadero, Montgomery, and Powell, the train would stop for at least 3 minutes. It didn't help that we hadn't received any explanations for why we're holding at each station. I really would like someone to explain why there are ongoing switching problems? Why it hasn't been fixed over the holiday weekend? Why they believe this "ongoing" explanation is acceptable? Because to me, that is not an satisfactory reason for my late arrival at work, my missing the company shuttle pick-ups so I need to pay for taxi to get to work, and my usual 30 minute ride turning into 45 minutes.