Monday, June 9, 2008

Bay Area Slow Transit

And Rarely Dependable Service

On the weekend before I started my vacation, there was a fire in the South Hayward BART yard, which affected the service on my line (Fremont) for a few days. It was slightly inconvenient, but thought I would spare the worst of it by being away while they resolved the problem, and everthing would be back to normal when I got back home.

It wasn't. One month later, we're still four or more weeks away from BART service being restored, and it's really frustrating.  Before the fire, my daily commute took 46 minutes .

8:00 Catch a Richmond train at Hayward station
8:22 After six stops,
         walk across the platform to a Pittsburg/Bay Point train
8:46 Get off the train at Walnut Creek station and walk to the office.

The fire on May 10th shut down the Fremont-Richmond line during the day, so I need to transfer twice, and the trains are out of sync, so my daily commute takes nearly 1.5 hours.

8:00 Arrive at Hayward station, wait 5-10 minutes for a SF/Daly City train
8:10 Board SF/Daly City train (time uncertain)
8:30 Wait 5-10 minutes for a Richmond train at Lake Merritt
8:40 Wait 10-15 minutes for a Pittsburg/Bay Point train at 12th St.
9:20 Get off the train at Walnut Creek station and walk to the office.

The ride is a half-hour longer each way, and it's the same in the evening. The constant waiting and changing is getting old, and it seems like BART doesn't really care. After the MacArthur maze caught fire last year, there was a lot of local media attention and public cooperation and everything was back to normal in a week, but nobody cares about some fire at the tail end of a BART line that only affects 5% of the commuters except the 20 thousand people who are actually affected.

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