I Left My Heart on a BART Train in San Francisco
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…