Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Increasing # of SFO-bound riders. Good?

This is a good and bad thing. I've noticed that there are more and more SFO-bound passengers on BART. I don't blame them: I take BART to SFO too, but, during commute hours, this is really becoming a big problem.

Why? Because airport-bound passengers come with suitcases! Business travelers have one, that's tolerable. Young backpackers have one, that's fine. But families and older travelers, my goodness, I counted 7 pieces of luggage today for one older couple. On my train this morning, there were at least 8 airport bound passengers within the same train car, and about at least 15 pieces of luggage total. That's a LOT of room to take up in an already crowded commuter train!

Even worse, some airport-bound passengers don't know the basic BART etiquette. For example, some take up two seats (one for luggage), others completely block the aisle.

I proposed overhead racks in my blog post last week, but I've noticed since then that BART trains are probably too low for overhead racks (and in our lawsuit-happy society, I can see someone getting hurt and suing BART, not good). I looked around carefully today and noticed that if BART can raise the seats just a little bit, people can slide their suitcases under. Actually, as the seats are now, there IS enough room for a small to normal-sized roller suitcase. I'm going to try that in my next trip.

All I'm saying is, something needs to be done as SFO train becomes increasingly popular. Can we make airport-bound passengers all take car #1 and install racks or raise seats there? Probably not a viable option. Today was just especially frustrating because the couple did not seem to care that their SEVEN bags were taking up standing room, a corner seat, another passenger's leg room...etc.

I always scoot my bags immediately in front of me, taking up my own leg room, smashing my legs. But that's just me! I don't want to act like someone that typically annoys me on BART!


Anonymous said...

Until they get rid of carpeting all together in all the trains, there is no way you could even pay me to slide my luggage under my seat.
Hell, if I drop a pen down there I consider it gone for good.

bartmusings said...

You're absolutely right! Forgot how nasty the carpeting is. But the carpeting underneath the seats may be a tiny bit better since they don't get stepped on and all the other things people do to it. Still...I'd hesitate.

Anonymous said...

Ridership is still very low compared to the system, making exceptions and instituting rules won't resolve the issue. Sure the morning trains can be crush loaded, especially on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line. I think that morning commuters and regular riders alike will have to continue to deal with air travelere and the oversized bags that take up much of the room.

Anonymous said...

i think if certain traveler's in the morning are a little more considerate with their bags (don't put your bags in an empty seat), things would work out. these travelers could even keep a bag in their lap if they have to.