Come June 12th I will have been at Metaweb for 3 years. All that time I’ve commuted via Public Transit. Go ahead and tell me I’m not green because I don’t own a Prius – I take public transit EVERY DAY to get to work.
My boss has asked me to be in around 10, which is fine, but it means I can’t park at Caltrain. (I could go earlier or later and park at the station, which would certainly make life easier.) So my commute consists of going to VTA Light Rail, which I take 2 stops (I wait 5 minutes for a 4 minute train ride), then I get on Caltrain, then I take a bus. My commute, usually, takes over 90 minutes in each direction. It takes 3 different transit agencies. My green commitment is not to be questioned.
However, my commute often shows just how completely fucked up public transit is in this country. None of the three agencies involved ever talk to each other and try to co-ordinate things to make life easy for people. Of course not – that wouldn’t make any sense.
When I started at Metaweb there were 2 lines I would take from work to get from the office to Caltrain in the afternoon – the 10 and the 15. They both stopped at the same stop. The 15 ran twice as often as the 10. Getting a bus to Caltrain was not a problem. These days it’s not quite the same and its going to get worse.
First they cut the 15 completely when they brought up some new trains. They really want us to take the train. The problem with taking the train is that it’s a 3 block walk (takes me about 15 minutes, since I’m slow) and then it’s a 15 minute or longer train ride. To do the same thing the bus does in 5 minutes (if no traffic). And the bus stop is about half a block away.
Now, due to the budget mess, they’re going to cut the 10 in half. As it stands right now the 10 is always standing room only. And often I have been left standing at the bus stop because the bus was too crowded to get on. Now they’re going to cut the number of runs that bus makes in half? Really? So now the bus will always be completely full and never even stop at my stop. That’s a win.
If I push it, I can probably get a handicapped placard out of my doctor. This would be win. I could then drive up to the city and park for free on the street. Driving, if I don’t have to pay for parking, costs about the same as the train and takes a lot less time. Gives me more freedom. Oh, and I would be putting more traffic on SF’s streets, adding smog and carbon, and not giving the city any money. All this because Muni is too stupid to get their shit together. Between what they’re doing and what Caltrain is doing (cutting service, killing weekends completely) I think we’ll see a complete death of public transit in the Bay Area. Yay green!