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I Left My Heart on a BART Train in San Francisco

December 29, 2016


It’s somewhere in one of these empty BART trains at Millbrae. Or Hayward. Embarcadero? 


Sooooooo….i’m back. Been around the world and I, I, I…I can’t find unity – regionally or with this country.  But this isn’t about angry oppression. Let’s talk about my travels.


I had a lovely three-week stint in the Bay Area studying regional transit and the minds of human resource departments. While trying to figure out what an employer wants to hear from a fresh college grad, I attended sessions at the 2016 Annual Rail-Volution Conference held in Downtown San Francisco.  Not only did I make major networking waves,  I also explored the luscious landscape that is the Bay. I could not fathom how many different options for transit dotted both sides of the bay from BART to Muni to Caltrain to AC Transit to Marin Transit to the cable cars to VTA to ACE to the Capital Corridor which I was unaware you could take to Sacramento…


But do they all connect? Clipper card, yes. Physically, no.


Similar to the tumultuous climate of this year and the even worse future that is upon us with the orange squirrel and legions of mad-as-hell fundamentalists that are going to run our country for the next four years, the regional unity of the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan area has about as weak a united front as a 90’s pop band after one smash hit. The obvious pain point of affordable housing isn’t a secret as most monthly rents here could pay for half a year’s rent in Bozeman, Montana. Connecting it to a minority flight from the city itself (San Francisco in this case) and BART’s ailing system eyeing expansion to San Jose, the largest of the Bay Area cities, it baffles me to wonder how the whole region can keep this world wide web woven.

Given the massive population, a regional government probably isn’t possible.  Merging all of the 20+ transit systems also is out since not all systems go everywhere. However, the transit issues should definitely connect to the other issues that plague this region so that we could kill two birds with one stone. Until then, I will continue to fix Metro Atlanta’s transit woes. But I will return for my heart…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2017 5:02 pm

    Two ways to get to Sacramento – the Capital Corridor, and the bus option – Soltrans to Vacaville, Yolobus to Davis, then Sacramento. Not very often on the Vacaville/Davis part, but it’s possible.

    Next time you’re in the Golden State, go south to Los Angeles. You want to see Balkanization of transit? It’s not all about Metro. Despite it being the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, they don’t serve Los Angeles County north of my home town, the San Fernando Valley. For an area that needs an MTC-like agency, they don’t have one.

    However, it is possible to get from Eureka to San Ysidro (via US-101) via public bus transit, as well as from Yuba City/Marysville (via in general CA-99). That’s a positive for transit in California.

    BTW, I lived in Chamblee in ’91, and used MARTA to commute to my job at Hartsfield. I recently returned for a week last August, and used both rail and bus services. I like the positive changes in the area (GRTA), but the fringe opinions (see Clayton Co.) of transit still are way too strong in NW Georgia.

    And good luck for CCT to handle the new Braves stadium (which, IMHO, is going to be a traffic nightmare, with no rail transit).

    • January 3, 2017 5:19 pm

      Thanks. I have been to Los Angeles twice and agree that it’s an even bigger mess, but you could incrementally get to San Diego. MARTA is headed in the right direction, but the ground continues to stand still like the constituents of Cobb…

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