Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BART over-crowded due to Bay Bridge shut down-- my nightmare commute today

Where do I even begin? First, the parking situation! Everyone probably purchased a one day reserved parking pass and there were no spaces left by the time I got there! Good thing I set aside some extra time to circle the vicinity and found 3/4 of a space that I managed to squeeze into. My doors have little dents already so what's one more?? Then, the dangerously crowded platform. It was chaotic. Lines were forming from all directions.

By the time the train arrived, it was already max capacity. In the specific car I was lined up in front of, all 12-15 of us managed to squeeze on. Keep in mind that Orinda is usually not that crowded! I was practically hugging the woman in front of me-- thank goodness she was clean and pleasant, and even told me that if I needed to, I can grab on to her arms or her gym bag.

Every station was packed. The train got to be ridiculously over capacity but passengers kept on rolling in. To make things worse, it was stop and go the whole way. At the 30 minute mark (typically I'd arrive at CC station in 30 minutes), we were only at 19th Street.

Infrequent BART riders got up at 19th Street Station thinking that was Embarcadero, which caused more chaos with all the unnecessary pushing and shoving.

At West Oakland, those waiting on the platform could not get on and screamed inside the train for people to clear the path for them somehow. They managed to squeeze on and sat on the ground before there was more room by the legs than up top.

Once I finally got to CC Station, I lined up for my company shuttle. One arrived and it got to max capacity before half of us got on. I had to wait for the next.

It took me about 1.5 hours to get to work today.



Anonymous said...

Yes tele commuting is smarter. Too bad most management can't figure that out. 'course if BART ever could run at the originally promised "train every 90 seconds" there would be more capacity. Instead of p#^&(@g away a half billion on an unneeded toy airport connector to OAK, more cars and more sophisticated service patterns would be a much better investment.

Anonymous said...

If management is smart it would happen but normally management is never very smart because managers are afraid to stick their necks out to make fast decisions if they know what to make at all!

Anonymous said...

Um, I've been on full BART trains. A full train is one that is packed with people such that you are packed up against other passengers in a standing-room-only situation, and that is the case throughout the car. The only time I've seen BART like that was on the last train out of the City on New Year's. On most somewhat crowded BART trains, pax crowd the doors, but not the aisles, making it almost impossible to get a full BART car.

If people were able to squeeze onto the train at West Oakland, then it wasn't full prior to getting there--although it may have been more full than pax would prefer.

Forget telework--your company couldn't put a few more vans or a bus or two into its shuttle rotation today?

The joys of living across the Bay but working in the City, in a part of the world where there are very few ways of getting between those two places. Chicago (i.e., redundant grid) it's not.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Deleted my first post due to a few spelling errors. Guess I care.

Tele working is where it's at (esp. in an emergency) for those that need to cross the bay.

But even better to set it up (at least as a contingency) ahead of time.

True, bosses, even in this day and age, are reluctant to do this.

So...I have a question...what have workers done to engender the respect necessary to make this happen?

I have been working remotely for two decades.

My experience with most other remote workers is that they are less than trustworthy and would take this occurence as a chance for a day off.

Earn the respect, then you might earn the rewards.

Otherwise, suck it up 'cause you have not earned it.

BTW, showing up during an ordeal like this helps you earn the respect and provides an opening of discussing how tele working w/b more productive.

But my guess is that anyone that is productive tele working has already shown that is not on those crowded trains :)

Otherwise, take a sick or vactation day...but don't expect your employer to pick up the tab for a choice you have made (i.e. commuting.)

fuzzyone said...

I was shocked by how easy my commute was this morning. Got to Fruitvale at about 8:40. Plenty of spots in the reserved lot and in the pay lot next door. Got a seat in a train that was never full (was a 10 car which we don't usually see at Fruitvale). Shockingly easy commute. Go figure.

Shane Eckert said...

I am a regular commuter on BART, though I wish I was not. I go from Pleasanton to Embarcadero. Last night was the worst ride yet. I was standing all the way from Embarcadero to Pleasanton. Get this. A seat opened up by me and I motioned to a woman to come sit there, and some guy with a bunch of boxes and a UPS jumped in before she got there. Sheesh. Gimmme a break man!