Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rainy days are always bad days on BART

I can't even begin to discuss how many things went wrong today. I prepare myself for a bad BART ride everytime I see rain but today was beyond expectations. First, the estimated 5-7 minutes delay was actually more like 15-17 minutes. Of course, when the trains are THAT delayed, each train is packed to beyond maximum capacity. Wet umbrellas were sticking to me. There were passengers with luggage trying to squeeze on, but have no clue that they just landed their luggage on top of someone's foot. There are passengers who refuse to step out of the train for a moment to let other passengers get off at a stop. Then there are waiting passengers who insist on squeezing onto the train when there is evidently no room left.

I stood between two tourists with horrendously bad breath. They were probably just 4 inches away from my face. They kept on talking and talking. I wished I still had my cold so I didn't have to smell them anymore. Don't they smell each others' breath?? How could they stand it?
I turned my neck unnaturally to the left to try to get away from their breath.....now I have a neck sore.

But this was not all. The delay caused me to miss two company shuttle pick-ups. I was about 7 minutes from the next pick-up so I thought I could treat myself to a hot cup of coffee at Starbucks. Usually, 3-5 minutes is enough time to get some coffee. But today, an idiotic cashier was working the lines...she was not only slow but messed up on people's orders. Then, they ran out of coffee! The cashier DIDN'T KNOW how to make a new fresh pot....and held up the line for about 3 minutes.

Finally, I looked out the STarbucks window and saw my shuttle pass by me. I thought I could still make it if I got my coffee right then! But of course...I didn't get it until 2 minutes later, and missed the shuttle.

Horrible start to the day.


Unknown said...

I understand totally, I cringe at the weather report before bed knowing rain is going to fall during the morning commute.

However, I try and plan accordingly and at least my work allows me to. If it means getting up a little earlier in order to get on a train that isn't filled I'm all for it.

I disagree with you on the Starbucks, I mean, I don't know how old they were but those things happen. Especially during the holiday season. If they've been there for a few months than I could understand a bit more.

Anonymous said...

How exactly did you prepare yourself for a bad BART ride? If you know that the weather is bad, and that this causes delays, why didn't you leave a little earlier?
If you know that you’re running late, why would you stop for coffee? Sometimes the choices that we make are the source of our problems.
You may have had a bad day, but you definitely didn't prepare for it.

bartmusings said...

How did I prepare? I went to the station 12 minutes earlier than usual...the train, however, was 16 minutes later than the scheduled time of arrival..which means i was waiting for 28 MINUTES TOTAL!

Also, BART flashed signs on the platform that trains are 5-7 late. Again, misleading and FALSE.

I didn't blame BART for Starbucks- I blamed my luck. I am good at judging the lines since I go there very frequently. The line had 5 people today-- significantly DOWN from the usual 15+. It was safe for me to assume that I'd get my normal coffee to go pretty quickly. Of course, I shouldn't always expect it. That's why I had to vent on the blog...that I had a bad day...from rain and bad luck.

ConcordCommuter said...

I always dread rainy days because of this. The steamy, musty train ride is no fun, even when you do have a seat. The train operator came on the intercom several times yesterday morning saying "This is not the meat train!", alluding to how many people were piling in, in spite of another train just minutes behind.

I honestly cannot fathom why BART is still running 8 and 9 car trains at 8 AM on rainy days such as this. Rainy days always see more riders, they should look at the forecast and plan accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, still 8 and 9 car trains during rush hours. And, especially during the winter when it's cold, wet, and windy, suburban riders may wonder why so little of the station platforms are under cover?

Anonymous said...

I think there is a huge car shortage. The yards have a bunch of out of service cars. I don't have any exact numbers, but I bet some of them could be put in 9 car trains, as the tenth car, with all the stuff not working (except for lights and doors). There's enough horsepower and braking from the other 9 cars, for safety and speed. Then, when the shop workload lessens, pull them and fix them.

Anonymous said...

I commend you all for taking public transportation, especially on the bad days. I live in Northern Northern California where we have NO trains. We have the most environmentalists with the least public transportation. Where I live, we can only dream of bad days on BART. Thank you for doing your part to keep our state pristine!