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on Jul 5, 2007
Bravo! It was a huge mistake to not have BART ring the Bay. Time to correct that mistake.
I also commute to SF but find BART takes too long; it's not just the long drive to Daly City but also the circuitous route BART takes before it arrives downtown. CalTrain is much more direct and can be much faster round trip door to door; of course its schedules in Menlo Park stink right now (used to be better). CalTrain's connection to buses and Muni train to downtown have been superior to BART.
Don't get me wrong, as a former east bay resident who used both BART and AC Transit - BART is great in the right places.
What we really need is much more frequent trains so the convenience of a car is nullified. I fear CalTrain's schedules are going to continue to worsen for Menlo Park residents, at least for now. However, spending a ton of money on BART is silly.
How about merging the two train systems so they will make the most prudent financial and service decisions. With new leadership!
Merging BART and Caltrain certainly is a step in the right direction, but only a very small step. There is an alphabet soup of organizations around the Bay Area, each managing a small piece of what needs to be an integrated transit system, JPB (Caltrain), BART, VTA among them. What is important to understand is that no single modality -- trains, light rail, buses, shuttles, etc. -- can do the job. Urban mass transit means getting from door to door conveniently. An effective, coordinated, networked system consists of multiple modalities. So long as they all compete for insufficient funds and criticize each other, the commuter will suffer.
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