Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The "Excuse Me" man is alive and well

Do you guys know who I'm referring to? The "Excuse Me" man? He's been around for many years but good to know (I think) that after my long break from BART, he is still doing his thing. What's his thing you ask? Basically, he goes from train car to train car, screaming "excuse me!!" at passengers even if they are far from being in his way.

If you ignore him, he keeps screaming "excuse me!!" in your face, but if you look shocked, scared, or just acknowledge him with a stare, he moves on to scream at a passenger 5 feet from you.

He didn't scream "excuse me!" at me but he did scream at a woman sitting a few feet from me, and a man standing across from me.

Maybe one day I should just ask him why he does that?? He's an older man, usually wearing a beat up t-shirt that is way too small for him, long white hair, and appears to be a little bit mentally unstable.

Have you seen him lately??

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot weather + Food = Miserable BART commute

Things haven't changed much on BART and the stations, despite staying away from it for a year and half. What did I expect really? That suddenly there will be cleaner trains, more considerate passengers, cleaner stations, and better temperature control?? Yeah right.

A few observations that stuck out this week:

1) Is it really that tough to turn on the AC when its 80-90 degrees outside? Especially when you have less than 6 inches of space between your head and the next head.

2) I've noticed that more people take dinners to-go on BART. They're not eating it, but it doesn't matter! Whether it's pizza, pasta or gourmet burger, every food item on BART stinks and it's unbearable when mixed in with the musky scent of hot, sweaty passengers and the 30 years of dander on those nasty BART seats. Can they please just buy food to-go near home? It'll be fresher and hotter for the family!

3) Isn't Clipper supposed to make it easier for passengers? I've had to stand behind several confused Clipper owners this week who can't get it to work. That's fine, no big deal, but step aside if there's no solution to the problem. Don't repeat the action over and over while a line is congregating behind you.

That's it for now! Happy to be back on BART for this one is back alive again :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saving seats??

I knew it was only a matter of time before I found material to write. Day 2 of my return to daily BART riding and I knew the "honeymoon" stage was short-lived. 

In a fairly crowded train, I find an empty seats amidst a sea of heads.  I get myself there and ask if I may sit down.

There was a lunch bag and a huge backpack on top of the empty seat.  The man in the other seat looks at me and said....sorry I'm saving this seat for my friend who gets on at Rockridge station.

What??  Saving a seat?  You can't do that on BART!  This isn't the movie theater, people.

I said, well, I'll sit there until your friend finds you.

We just past Rockridge and the 'friend' is nowhere to be seen.

Rule people: seats are first come, first serve, except with priority to disabled, elderly, pregnant women and found children.  In my book, at least.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

BART Parking Vendor, ParkingCarma, much improved than I last remembered

6 more days until BART becomes a daily routine again for me, with one SIGNIFICANT difference...I get off now at Powell instead of Civic Center. You all know how much I 'loved' the character of CC. Well, I won't miss it and will instead look forward to a much more pleasant scenery outside of Powell Station.

Anyhow, I'm not signing up for monthly permit at Orinda Station and unfortunately, I'm 376 on the waitlist! Goodness! I guess I'll have to pay daily permit rate until the 375 people ahead of me get their space first. Geez. Through this parking purchase process, however, I realized how much ParkingCarma, BART's parking vendor has improved since the last time I've written about them. Now I can sign up for the waitlist with one click, and customize my vehicles and parking lots with a much more intuitive interface. About time! I can pay and print with one click too. That's going to make my life easier since I'll need to print/buy daily permits until I'm off the waitlist.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I am looking forward to taking BART again, primarily because of this blog and how much I've missed interacting with fellow BART riders here and on Twitter.