Wednesday, July 05, 2006

BART switching issues...AGAIN!

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.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem must have started after 8:00 Wednesday morning. My ride from Walnut Creek to Embarcadaro was smooth and uneventfull....

bartmusings said...

I think it started after 8am, according to the SFGate article.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/05/MNGQJJPI186.DTL

ConcordCommuter said...

I was apalled that the problems were still going on in the evening. I spent nearly a half our at Civic Center waiting for a Bay Point train. It only added insult to the injury of having to work nearly 2 hours later than usual.

dndgirl said...

Must vent... I didn't get caught in the switching problem yesterday but it would have been better off that what did happen on my evening commute. I left at 5:30 instead of 5:00 and caught the Dublin/Pleasanton train right away. It wasn't crowded and as I started down the aisle towards a seat, I hit my middle left toe really hard on something. I looked and there was a jerk sitting in the reserved seats with his legs sticking out. Stupid me, I didn't realize that I couldn't just walk down the aisle without checking for legs in the middle. I actually said "Ow!" He just moved his foot and said nothing. It really hurt the whole way home and when I got off the train it hurt to walk. By the time I got home the toe was swollen and turning black and blue. Not broken I hope but severely sprained at least.

rafael said...

Yeah, it took me an hour to get from Daly City to Montgomery when it should of taken 25 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I don't have all the details, but what I've heard is that the first half of the first car of one train went over a switch, and then the switch changed, and the back half of the car started to go the other way.

It took a while to figure out what caused this, since it's a very unusual problem, and not "pilot error".

This is what I hear, it's a fuzzy tale thru many ears, so I'm sure the final answer is a bit different.