Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Raise your hand if you hate BART?

With fewer cars in prime commute hour BART trains, I definitely am feeling the impact.  As if BART wasn't crowded enough before the mysterious train car issues forcing them to take trains out of service, it is even worse now.

I thought after riding BART for nearly 15 years, I've seen it all.  Well, I've experienced a few not so lovely firsts today.  More to add to my reasons for hating BART.

I've never had 3 homeless in one train car before.  Apparently fewer cars also mean fewer places for them to sleep.  In my train this morning, one was sleeping on the seat, one on the ground, and one against the door.  We all know what that means in a very crowded train.  You simply can't escape the smell and there really is no room to hide from it.  You just brave the smell.  Deal with it.

I've also never seen anyone smoke on BART until today.  One passenger was smoking on the West Oakland platform and carried the cigarette in.  Plenty of passengers including myself told him to throw it out.  He waited until the moment the door closed to toss out his cigarette but then blew the smoke in our faces as the door shut.  I still can smell that smoke...mentally.  It was unbearable in an already inhumanely crowded train that stunk.

Yesterday, I heard from a coworker that someone vomited on the train.  I felt so bad for her.  That is just about the worst thing that can happen (with the exception of a train accident).  I hope she isn't sick today from being exposed to the virus and/or bacteria.

So back to my question in the title of this post.  Raise your hand if you hate BART!

Both my hands are raised.  I hate it.  I wish we had better options to get from 925 area code to SF.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Types of 'Creeps' on BART

I'm a social person but I don't make an effort to socialize with fellow passengers on BART, and I think people prefer it that way.  In the mornings, we're all waking up and just trying to get to work on time.  Who really wants someone striking a random conversation?  And in the evenings, we just want to get home and are likely exhausted from a long day.  Last thing I want is for someone to chat with me about where I live and what I do for work in front of everyone!  Now there are times when conversations are ok and that's usually when we ALL have something in common-- like grunting about a medical emergency or laughing about a train operator's attempt to entertain the masses.

I encountered a creep today who was trying to either strike a conversation or trying to be physically closer to me.  Either way, it's creepy, uncomfortable and just weird.  This inspired me to write today's post -- 5 types of creeps on BART!  Tell me if you've encountered any of these guys!

1) People who stare at your phone screen and think it is OK to talk to you about the subject on your screen!!  This also applies to people who volunteer their opinions on a book you're reading.

2) People who can hold the bar at any other position on the safety bar but INSISTS on holding it right next to your hand and have the hands touch!  Seriously? Move an inch over at least!!  Gross!

3) People who make eye contact with you from afar and won't look away.  And every time you try to discretely check with a side eye glance, he or she is looking...I mean, STARING!  

4) People who think just because you are standing uncomfortably close to each other, it means you MUST TALK.  No, we don't!  Please don't ask me where I live, what I do, and where I park at the BART station.  I don't care to share anything with you.  I just want to read my emails or close my eyes.

5) People who have the choice to stand elsewhere but they insist on SQUEEZING into the highly sought after window standing box in cars where there is a train operator's seat.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  There usually is a standing space for ONE inside the window box right across from the train operator's door.  I don't understand why some people insist on squeezing their way into the space when they can stand right outside of it.  It's not meant for 2 adult standing passengers who are strangers.

There are probably more types of creeps on BART but these 5 irk me most!  Don't be a creep!  Just mind your own business and look at your own phone.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Did you feel like fainting today too?

If you took BART into the city today, you knew how horribly delayed the trains were!  I just read that there were apparently 3 fires this morning on the tracks, although I have no idea why stormy weather would cause that.

Additionally, BART was dealing with medical emergencies too!  Not surprised.  The longer we are all stuck on the train, the more likely people are going to faint, because as we all know, temperature is either too hot or too cold.  It is never just right, and never adjusted.  I was on a train this morning that felt like a sauna, especially with all the wetness on the ground from dripping umbrellas and raincoats.  The train windows were completely fogged up, some so moist that they were dripping!  We were packed like sardines, swaying right to left, as the train jerked to sudden stops (would it hurt to make  more gradual stops so people aren't falling?)  I looked around to see who might be the first to lose consciousness.  We had to hold for 5 additional minutes due to a medical emergency in a train ahead. The ride was miserable!!

Then I read this:

Only 3?  There were probably others that didn't require the medical crew or didn't make it on the news!  If I fainted briefly, I wouldn't ask the med crew to come-- I'd exit the train, drink some water, catch my breath and re-enter a train when I feel better.  Why stop the train by 5-10 minutes just because you briefly lost consciousness?  It's caused by the crazy heat and lack of oxygen!  If you feel woozy, then step out to get some air!

Hope the ride home is smoother for everyone today!!!  Don't faint!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

What are the chances BART will be delayed?? Here's my take!

If you're a daily commuter, you'd know these causes for delays quite well.  Would you agree with my take on how often these delays happen?

Assuming we commute 5 days a week using BART:

2 out of 5 days we would run into delays caused by some type of 'medical emergency' (typically someone fainting due to lack of air and anxiety caused by overcrowding)

1 out of 5 days we would run into 'police activities' at a station

1 out of 7 days we would run into 'track problems'

If it's raining, then you'll run into 'track problems' 4 out of 5 days!  Am I not right!?

New year and new commitment to revive BARTMusings

One of many resolutions I have is to revive BARTMusings.  Plenty of thoughts go through my head during rides that can make a blog post but Internet access while on BART is so sketchy that I can barely get on a website, and by the time I get to work, my BART experience becomes a distant memory as I'm shuffling myself from meetings to meetings.

Hopefully this post will keep me accountable because I still have PLENTY to say about BART.  

Happy 2016 everyone!  I wish you a year with better commutes and if not, you can always complain here!