‘Here’s why I won’t ride BART anymore’: Roadshow
Q: I read the article asking why people take mass transit less. It said the decline is likely not driven by the quality of service. I disagree.
The quality of riding on a BART train has been degrading for years. It is not the service provided by BART; it’s the quality of the rider experience. It feels less safe and less clean. There are more homeless people occupying the cars.
We used to take BART to Giants games, but now we drive or don’t go at all. Going on a non-work-related trip is discretionary, so if the trip feels unsafe or unclean, then that is a factor in deciding if the entire event is worth doing. This is especially true for evening events. It’s just too sketchy.
Tom Bryan, Newark
A: Transit use is down across the country, and you raise valid concerns about BART. The agency is beefing up patrols and adding staff to ride its trains. Commute ridership is good, but weekend and night trips are down significantly. Also, cellphone and computer thefts occur too frequently.
Put away your phones, especially when the train slows to a stop at a station, which is when most thefts occur.
Q: Here’s why I drive and don’t take Caltrain. The total time in transit on my commute can be six hours, 15 minutes. The public transit option is way more stressful most days than is traffic. The difference in price is nowhere near enough to justify the time I lose every stinkin’ day I take public transit.
David Trish, Los Banos
A: Yes, figuring out the best way to commute often involves a tradeoff.
Q: I’ve had BART commutes, Caltrain commutes, and driving commutes. Caltrain is better than BART, but it does not run — one hour between trains — often enough.
Caltrain with three times more trains — and 20 minutes between trains, day and night — becomes a radically different system.
A: Yes, and it will be much welcomed when this takes effect in a few years.
Q. When traveling either northbound and southbound on Interstate 680 over the Capitol Avenue overpass (just north of Hostetter), there is a significant dip on both sides. I would estimate the roadway leading up to this overpass has settled 2 to 3 feet in the past four to five years. Depending upon your speed and the suspension of your vehicle, you almost go airborne — it is like a mini ski jump! It is especially hazardous if towing a travel trailer, which I have done, as it could lead to an accident.
Until it is fixed, the highway department should at least post a lower speed limit for this small stretch of roadway. Do you know if there are any plans to fix this?
Mike Baker, Milpitas
A: Yes, repairs are coming.