BART Sucks- could it cost more? could we have less in return?

1. To take my 2 kids (no discount for 11 yrs.+) to the City from N.Berkeley roundtrip- approx. 22.00? what?

2. 1.00 to park at the station on top of that? Fuck you!

3. 1970s-technology signs (my alarm clock tells me more) to tell me when the next train is coming? MAYBE I'll catch it in between -all- the notices that scroll on the screen in between, including the super long hard to remember BART Police emergency number (HA!)- yeah, I feel safe.

4. Train operators that tell you what freakin' train you're on instead of the freakin' stop you're at!? What the FUCK? People on the platform have a big flashing 70s-technology sign to tell them that PLUS a recorded announcement-Helloooooo! I only know what stop it is if I'm on the right car that happens to stop near one of the platform signs (and those things MUST be expensive cause there are so few of them)

5. The never-present BART Police. Where are they all anyway? They're certianly not making the trains safer. I hope I can remember that 800 number to call them if there's an emergency!:( DAMMIT, I misdialed-I"M DEAD!

6. Does anyone have bus fare to take the 2-3 buses they need to ride -from- the BART to get where they're going -after- paying the BART extortion fare? I'm surprised if they do, especially since these are the people that make the least per hour.

7. BART= overpriced, understaffed, sub-par, unsafe, ever-rising cost with no service to justify the previous cost/product-received ratio, complaining, over-paid employees (and I thought a lot of people wanted to work at U.C.B. for the easy civil service jobs!), somebody-must-be-taking-money-home-in-a-satchel "public" (yeah, there's the KEY WORD) transit system.

BART, you're a f-in joke!

1. If you're going to whine like a baby, drive next time.

2. See #1.

3. The signs seem to work fine for everyone else...what gives?

4. The train operators make announcement for the visually impaired... you know, the ones that can't see the '70's technology' signs.

5. Do you own a cell phone? Make use of some of that technology and program it into your phone, duh.

6. See #1.

7. See #1.

In answer to complaint number 4 the destination of the train announcement is required by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act ( required that announcement for years now. The station you are at is also required but is made approaching the station to the passengers on the train. It is assumed that if you are on the platform you will know what station you are at.
In answer to number 5 I have 3 words for you Nine One One. Seems fairly easy to remember.

where have you been living, a bubble in the southwest

Nice answers, jerk-off. Try actually -thinking- about what I said. I don't own a cell phone, do I have to pay 39.99 plus the BS 9.00 tax + internet access fees just to find out stuff about BART? Please! I am visually impaired because F***in' BART can't buy enough sings for me to see where I'm at out the window if I'm not on a 4 car train. Hey announcers, please continue to announce what station we're coming to at the -noisiest time- too, as you beep the F****in' horn.
Are the blind people -on- the train faring any better than me, I doubt it since they can't see the 2 signs BART bought for each station? They need to know what stop they're at too (there are loud announcements at the platform for incoming trains, on-train announcements are not needed at all). I wish I was disabled, I'd get one of the -only- discounts BART has to offer and someone who agrees, since impaired people can't "whine".

FYI, you do not need to have a cell phone plan in order to use ANY operable cell phone to dial 911.

Find an old cell phone that still turns on. Get the charger for it (or buy one of those $5 emergency cell chargers). Keep it on you. In an emergency, dial 911. The cell phone does NOT need to be hooked up to any cell phone provider. All phones are equipped to do this. This is mandated by the FCC. Don't believe me? Google "old cell phone 911."

Sure, you won't reach BART Police directly. But, if it's a true emergency, whomever you do reach will be able to direct your call to BART.

Also, you can dial the BART Police number (1-877-679-7000) from ANY payphone within the BART system for FREE.

there was a comment on this site that taking BART is now costing more than driving. I know that by seeing the costs going up and also the parking lots are starting to charge just to park. I'm not sure if I want to drive in the mess out there though.

I pay 12 dollars a day to ride BART and that includes the silly parking fee.

At five times a day pretty much $60 a week. At $240 on average a month, that is almost my SUV payment. I was spending $50 to $60 every few weeks to fill up the tank. So even if I had to fill up 3 times a month, that is still less than what I am now paying for this friggin BART.

I decided to leave an hour earlier or an hour later to avoid traffic and so far it has been working like a charm. Earlier is better. So far so good.

At this point, there is no incentive for me to take BART anymore. Yea, I'm not helping the environment and all, but I am helping my pocketbook.

Traffic is a mess, it sucks, it blows...but so did half the people I had to commute with. I'm in my own little world now that lasts 20 minutes longer. Oh well.

another satisfied customer. As a rank & file employee, it's pretty well known that ridership won't go down dramatically, all things considered.

Yes, traffic sucks, and I work swing shift. Living out here has its drawbacks and costs for everything: fuel, bridge tolls, vehicle maintenance, time and stress.

just try and imagine how bad traffic would be *without* bart-- that many more cars on the road, well, anyone remember what it's like when bart is on strike??

As a rank & file type, believe me, I hear what you're saying, but really think it's pissin' in the wind when it comes to "the system" really doing anything to change, and, gasp, management actually caring about us or the riders rather than their own self interests.

just my 2 cents...

I think that you might be forgetting something: The actual operating cost of your vehicle (fuel, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc.). The government is allowing about 44 cents per mile for business use.

So if you take a 10-mile trip by car, the actual cost of the trip is $4.40.

I pay $9.40 per day from Union City to Embarcadero on BART. Since we have the Commuter Checks--I get a lot of my rides pre-tax as well.

If I were to drive, it is 64 miles per day at 44 cents per mile--$28.16.

You can drive and avoid dealing with the passengers on BART. But it is probably costing you a lot more than you realize.

I agree, Bart is all of the above, to pricey, old, loud and damn right, some extortion is happening! Somebody is getting rich off this, some director in some agency who never had to even use the train to go anywhere is making this situation what it is! Think of bart as a micro-government model, all the things about your government that drives you crazy, you'll fins parrelels in BART.

I think there should be an organized BART Strike from riders. Just don't go, don't ride and don't pay for one day, nobody ride! Anyone interested?

Shrapnel's picture

AC Transit recovers only about 17% of operating costs from its fareboxes. Yet it manages to maintain round-the-clock service, to many locations, has a much, much lower crime rate (on AC transit property and buses) has the AC Transit Police Service (through AC Sheriff), and was named top bus system in the country last year. And they just upgraded their fleet to brand new, more efficient VanHool buses, and are leading the world with their HyRoad program, which utilizes Hydrogen Fuel Cells to run some buses. (Only another bus system in Canada has a similar program.) AC Transit also employs more personnel than BART.

How do they do it?

Financial oversight and listening to customers. Plus a dedicated, efficient staff. I believe BART should look to AC for some guidance in this area.

Therefore, what you are saying is the government (us, the taxpaying public) subsidizes the other 83% of their operating revenue. Keep in mind that ACSO will not handle any critical crimes on the buses; the only take care of infractions and misdemeanors. All felonies will be referred to the local police agency to handle (as well as any incident that that they are not in position to immediately respond to). How much easier would it be for a bus driver (who can see all of the occupants of his vehicle) to just sit there and park, and say to everyone on the bus “This bus is not moving until the (who ever is doing whatever) stops (or gets off)!” I bet the other patrons would put an end to the behavior that was keeping them from getting to their destination. A T/O can only see the first car.

Whoever wrote that crock about AC doesn't know what they are talking about. Delgado strikes again. AC gets over a third of its operating costs out of the farebox, maybe around 40%. BART gets close to 60%.

AC has minimum late night service that they are paid to run it by MTC. The service is provided by AC, Muni, County Connection, and maybe LAVTA and provides all night service along the BART line with limited stops.

AC has or had a couple of hydrogen buses on a demonstration basis. They don't have many because the infrastrucute required to support a hydrogen fleet is prohibitively expensive, not to mention that there is no manufacturer making hydrogen buses beyond use for demonstration. The Van Hools have been quite unpopular with riders, they have a terrible design and are particularly difficult to maneuver for people with mobility restrictions. There was a recent hearing about the Van Hools at MTC.

I don't know how many employees AC has but BART has somewhere between 3500 and 4000. AC needs mechanics, operators, and an admin staff. They contract out for police services with the Alameda Sheriff's Dept. (you got one thing right). BART needs operators, station agents, central control staff (train controllers, supervisors, maintenance support), electronic technicians working in the shops and mainline, train control technicians, track maintenance crews, communications specialists, BART police, etc. BART operates five maintenance facilities 24/7.

I probably got some things wrong so BART personnel will probably make corrections.

Shrapnel's picture

I got more than one thing right.

You make points that have no value whatsoever. The VanHools are unpopular with some seniors and disabled patrons. However, they were picked by AC employees and riders after a survey (a quick search of the AC website will prove this.) Furthermore, AC didn't recieve any Federal funds for the purchase of them, because they weren't purchased per the Buy American clause.

The POINT of my post, since you like detracting from the subject to go on little rants and raves, was that AC has better oversight than BART.

Not only does AC need operators, mechanics, and administrative staff, they also need customer service representatives, bus cleaners, people in Central Dispatch (a big facility, similar to BART's central control) located at the Richmond yard, where they track EVERY bus using GPS, AC's police services are a division of the sheriff. The AC Transit Police are deputies assigned to AC Transit ONLY.

And you're gonna love this! Go down to AC Transit headquarters (Located near the 12th street BART station), and pick up a "Facts and Figures: The Statistics of AC Transit" pamphlet.

In the future, I sincerely hope that you do your homework before making such wild and unfounded allegations. Look at the point, which was demonstrated by those facts.

AC has stronger oversight and is more accountable than BART. That's just a fact.

I refuse to stoop to your level, and will not answer any future posts about this topic to you. You are obviously a firestarter and will do quite a bit for attention. I'm not going to get into an argument or debate about this with you.

TreoBART's picture

Oh noes! Evil Delgado! Seriously, he hasn't been here in a month. Why don't you try blaming anonymous instead... oh wait that could be you.

Shrapnel's picture

1. We've discussed the parking and gas to drive to the city. I think you're still coming out ahead if you ride BART.

2. Why weren't your school-aged children in school?

3. What alarm clock tells you about BART? I want one! By the way, the number is 1-877-679-7000 for NON EMERGENCY. Emergency is still 911 from any BART station, pay phone, or cell phone. (The cell will connect you to CHP, but just say BART police and they'll patch you right over.)

4. Operators call out the final destination of the train (for the disabled, and those who probably are but haven't been diagnosed as, that can't read the giant red flashing signs or hear the booming announcement) AS WELL AS the stops and transfer announcements.

5. The never-present BART police. We're hiring! Come join us and help us. Since we need soooooo much improvement, maybe you can give us a few pointers? We have allocation for 201 officers, but only have about 180. Only about 160 of which are in the field. Divide by shifts. Three shifts daily, plus weekends? Divide it by the four zones. And the trains. We have a shortage. As for that "Damn 800 number," it's actually a damn 877 number, and that's the non emergency. (See number 2).

6. I take the walk to the bus, take the bus to BART, and ride BART (I admit that I do get on free), but BART offers these handy little things called BART TO BUS transfers. They save you money on bus fare after riding BART. Chances are I get paid more than you, muting your "people who make the least" argument. But I do admire you looking out for us, um, poor.

7. You're a fuckin' joke.

BART is one of the most advanced mass transit systems in the world still to this day, despite it more than 30 years since beginning operation. It is considered one of the top ten public works projects of the twentieth century, up there with Hoover Dam and the GG Bridge. Yes, it costs money to ride it like any other method of transporation. When comparing BART to driving, don't forget to factor in costs of vehicle wear and tear, maintenance, and time of driving and parking. I believe the current federal reimbursement rate is about 50 cents per mile.

"BART is one of the most advanced mass transit systems in the world still to this day ..."

Except for the tube under the Bay, that is very, very hard to believe. Post after post on this site talks about how under- and poorly designed BART is, including the very costly seismic retrofitting that has to be done since apparently the job wasn't done right the first time.

No one expects BART to be free, but cost comparisons mean little. BART is PUBLIC transportation which is supposed to be affordable for the public so that the public can and will use it.

Most advanced or not, it still sucks, it's still overpriced, and there doesn't seem to be much in the works to improve it.

no matter how many times it gets said, no one on this site will ever believe that bart is not expensive. i have posted multiple times about the costs of driving, how it is cheaper to commute on bart under most circumstances:

Bridge = $3
Parking = $20ish
Gas = $10ish

Not even accounting for wear and tear or driving a car that gets less than 30 mpg, you already spent $33. That same trip with parking at bart will cost you less than $10, meaning that you would need four adults jammed in a honda civic to better the cost of taking bart.

and the arguement that NY's subway is cheaper is plain dumb as they serve totally different markets. Bart covers a much larger geographical area (Pittsburg to Millbrae is about 55 miles) whereas NY's subway covers a distance about half that.

PLUS, the NY subway will take about 1 1/2 hours to go 20 miles. In the same amount of time, Bart will get you almost 3 times as far!

bart is cheap.

If you're the one who keeps trying to say how affordable BART is, what you still don't get is that BART is public transportation that ought to be inexpensive enough for just about everyone to use. How is the minimum wage earner supposed to travel from the East Bay to SF with a family when the roundtrip is almost $9?

The cost of gas, parking, bridge tolls, airplane fares, a gallon of milk have NOTHING to do with it. It's not something that is relative, so that it's ok if it's high as long as it costs less than another mode of transportation. That line of thinking just allows BART to raise it's fares ... "Gee, we cost less than paying for gas, tolls, and $30 a day parking, so our fare of $25 round trip is a real bargain." Sure, if you buy into that line of thinking and don't understand the ideas behind public transportation. Yours is the kind of thinking one would expect if you worked for BART and didn't want to look at things realistically. If it's high, it's high.

if you are only making minimum wage, maybe you need to rethink taking your entire family into the city. if you really must do it, and you think bart is too expensive, take the bus. everyone has options. no one has a gun to your $6.50/hour head saying "take bart, please"

and i noticed that you conveniently decided to ignore my NY Subway example...

Yeah, if someone only makes minimum wage or, heaven forbid, has expenses so that they need to watch their spending, they shouldn't take BART nor expect to be able to use BART to go into the city! Obviously you don't think so, but these are exactly the people who need affordable public transportation. And there are many others in not quite the same financial situation who just think the fares are too high. But, thank you, for admitting where you are coming. As to New York or elsewhere, who cares except that numerous other systems seem to provide better public transportation at a more reasonable cost?

if bart was the same cost or cheaper than a bus into the city, what exactly would be the purpose of providing bus service to the city?

the bottom line is that we all have many different options to get around the bay area, and these options have varying levels of cost associated with them. you can take the bus, i will take bart, joe granola can drive his prius and some high powered CEO can take a helicopter for all i care.

if you think bart is expensive, i challenge you to find a more cost effective way to commute from the east bay to the city. (don't forget to factor in your time and the potential for axe murders in the casual carpool)

your "public transportation is for the masses it should be cheap don't forget about the little guy boo hoo poor me" argument is dead wrong. if that were true, how come other public services cost so much? for example:

why does it cost me ANY money to camp in a national/state park? i can sleep for free on lumpy dirt in my OWN BACKYARD!
why does the govt charge me a service charge to use my credit card to pay for things like parking tickets online? there is no service charge when i buy a sammich at lunch!
why does the city of pleasanton charge me an additional $30 PLUS the cost of traffic school if i choose to do traffic school instead of putting a speeding ticket on my record?

and one more thing... if bart is soooo incredibly expensive, what IS a fair price?

Shrapnel's picture

Y'all bicker like a bunch of kiddies!

Now here's a breakdown as I see it.

If someone is making minimum wage, they undoubtedly made some conscious decisions that adversely effected their life. Be it under performance in high school, leading to them either dropping out or not going to college, use of drugs, etc. Don't give me that whole "The system failed them" crap. The system doesn't fail people - people fail the system.

Anyhow, back to BART. Even if someone is making minimum wage, the government still has an obligation to provide affordable public transportation. It is ridiculous that people think BART is expensive. I bet the same people who ridicule BART as being too expensive undoubtedly smoke a pack a day, and go to Starbucks for their Venti Mocha Frappucino Whippy Carameley things that cost $4.50.

Now, simple economics (and common sense) says that getting to and from work should be a priority. Don't smoke. Put that money towards BART. Only get your Starbucks once a week. Or, just drink, god forbid, regular coffee.

BART does charge a fair price for the service offered. If you hate it so much, don't take it. And if you don't take it, you have no reason to be posting at this Web Site.

No bickering, just a response to a specious and repetitive argument.

There will always be people who are poor or those whose life circumstances are such that they just don't have a lot of spare cash. If you can't think of any such people, try divorced people, single parents, those who have a medical condition that has changed their financial situation, the unexpected unemployed, and so on. It sounds like you don't have much experience and thus little sympathy for such people. And, no one raised the "system failed them" argument except you even though it clearly does not apply to many of limited means.

It's also interesting how you assume that those who complain about high BART costs also probably indulge in various luxuries. This predisposition obviously colors your thinking about this subject, but what if they do? As stated, a high price is still a high price. The ability or inability to pay doesn't really change whether something is over-priced. Is gasoline at $3 a gallon fairly priced? Many pay it because there is little practical alternative yet may try to use less.

It seems that what you think is fair is because it is an amount that you can afford, but you can't see that it is at the same time just too expensive for many. As public transportation, BART should be inexpensive enough so that people could ride it often which you seem to recognize. Try this for some possible perspective: For someone earning near the minimum wage, a round trip from the East Bay to the city will cost more than an hour's pay (gross). Now would you pay what you earn for an hour of work (gross) for such a BART roundtrip fare? Do think this would be a fair amount? How about even half of what you earn in an hour? I doubt it, but this should I think show you the true effect of the cost of BART for some people. Last, extraneous comparisons or BS about choices or saying not to ride BART just pollute the discussion and distract from the primary focus which is about BART's fares.

By this logic, if BART ran all the way to LA or NY it should be priced low enough for anyone to use it as often as they want. Why don't you just admit that you believe that all Public Transportation should be free, paid for by raising the taxes on the middle and upper class.
The fact is, that we all would like things that we can't afford, but most of us don't expect someone else to pay for it.

plus, no one has answered my very simple question. WHAT IS A FAIR PRICE AND WHY?

consider this: say you make SF minimum wage, which is currently $9.14/hour. you commute from 20 miles away. on bart, this 20 mile trip would cost you around $3.65 one way and take 25 minutes. that same commute on the NY subway would cost you only $2. HOWEVER, it would take you about an hour and a half to go 20 miles. the extra hour taking the NY subway will "cost" you an hour of your time, which after tax equates to at least $7. subtract the $1.65 difference in fare, and bart still saves you $5.35 each way.

on a round trip the disparity becomes $10.70 a day. considering that by taking bart you could wake up at the same time, work an extra two hours, and STILL get home at the same time, someone making minimum wage will make an extra $2,700 per year AFTER TAX by taking bart vs. the NY subway.

add in the fact that NY minimum wage is $2 LESS than SF, and you will make over $7,000 more (still after tax) by working in SF.

I am not sure how long a bay area bus would take or the cost, as the schedules are so difficult to read. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am guessing that same 20 mile bus trip would require multiple transfers and would cost more and take about as long as the NY subway.

So, to answer my own question, the current price of a bart ticket is relatively cheap as is. and that is in relation to anything: a gallon of milk, a gallon of gas, other local and global methods of public transportation.

BART is cheap, compared to any other transportation.. Adjusted for inflation is cheaper today than when it opened.

The facts are there.. gas, bridge tolls, cars, wear and tear, on and on.. Before BART went to the airport, I couldn't get there for less than $40 from contra costa.

Everything goes up in price over time and there will always be people that whine each time it does, but it has to.

you need to get out more.

Shrapnel's picture

What was the point of that post (you need to get out more.)?

That was just designed to belittle the poster.


boopiejones's picture

my guess is that you finally realized that your "bart is soooooo expensive" argument is dead wrong, and that your lack of intelligence left you with no ammo except to insult someone.

oh shit, they're right - bart is a good deal. "well, uhh, you're a poo poo face!"

welcome to pre-school, moron.

Shrapnel's picture

This made me smile. You raise great points and I couldn't have said it better myself, boopiejones.

Well, you'd be guessing wrong. There's just no point in trying to discuss isues with people who won't or can't actually discuss anything. It's tiresome to repeatedly have to wade through and respond to unfounded conclusions, pointless extraneous data and ramblings, and ridiculous exaggerations only to find at the end that there is nothing of substance left. There's not much point when the most thought-provoking replies are and stop at "BART is cheap" and "I can afford BART, so what's the problem?"

While misdirected, look at your own post as a prime example of this kind of nonsense: " ... your lack of intelligence left you with no ammo except to insult someone." This is the pot calling the kettle black, in error, but typical. And you call someone a moron?

Other posters have been right ... there's very little worthwhile going on here.

It's tiresome to repeatedly have to wade through and respond to unfounded conclusions, pointless extraneous data and ramblings, and ridiculous exaggerations

Translation: You're all WRONG! Just WRONG! I feel WAYS about THINGS so the rest of you are all just... WRONG!

Or were you commenting on your own posts?

boopiejones's picture

someone who provides nothing to support either side of the arguement and instead just chooses to insult someone IS a moron. i think most people would agree with me on that.

also, what is the purpose of a debate (or this website) if people are not allowed to voice their opinions, right or wrong, on the subject? if everyone agreed on everything, there would be no reason to live, let alone have websites like bartrage.

if you think there is little worthwhile going on here, i suggest you do one of two things:

1) don't log on to the website
2) contribute thoughtfully to the conversation and hope that others follow your lead

if you read the posts above, i think you will find that most people arguing the side of "bart is cheap" back it up with some sort of data. the people arguing the "expensive" side just keep saying "bart is expensive" "there are people in the east bay making minimum wage that want to take their children to see coit tower" etc.

bart is cheap ;)

Questions were posed about BART's affordability basically from the point of view of those who are unfortunate enough not to be able to afford $9 daily fares when their taxes also support BART. NO ONE ANSWERED OR EVEN TRIED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION OF WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE TO DO. Please read that last sentence again. In retrospect I don't think those who replied even understood the question since, again, the best they could do was repeat "BART is cheap, BART is cheap, and on and on" or in effect that they can afford BART so what's the problem or try to turn it into a personal complaint so they could take a potshot at it. This is thoughtful contribution?

Amidst this were the just plain irrelevant replies and conclusions such as if people can't afford BART it's there own fault for their bad life decisions. Please. And how about the statement that people who can't afford BART are just wasting their money at Starbuck's or on cigarettes. These are what you call thoughtful contributions? Stuff like this does little more than cloud the attempted discussion and are unsupported personal opinions and conclusions that were not even logically brought into the discussion to show their relevance.

However, this matter is an economic-social issue that requires a social solution for which, surprise, there does not seem to be an answer yet. Please re-read that again, too. However, instead of trying to see and respond to the real issue or question, we see comparisons with the New York subway, a gallon of milk, or who knows what else. If that's the useful data in support of a position, can you explain how knowing how BART compares to the New York subway actually makes BART more affordable for a poor person?

I agree that we should be able to have differing opinions, but what you do not mention is that the responses don't address the question which is about how poor people are supposed to afford BART. It is tiresome trying to get people to understand the basic question, but that, I now see, was my error. Let's just say that those who responded above do not seem to have any idea of what it means to be poor or just don't care, or both. To think that there might be some meaningful discussion about a social issue and program was an even bigger error.

Shrapnel's picture

Boopiejones and the anonymous poster above him/her hit the nail on the head again...

And the anonymous poster right above me, the question goes to you: Do you know what it's like to be truly poor? Because I sure as hell do. Try working 3 jobs to pay your way through college. And juggling expenses like rent back and fourth. And trying to afford food to feed your family. Yeah, I went through it.

Yet somehow I appropriated money for BART. Why? Because without a car, BART was my lifeline. So it CAN be done. You know the saying, "Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk?"

While I've walked the walk. So either step up or shut up.

As for everyone else reading this, I apologize you had to see me this feisty. As most regulars know I try not to get nasty, but this just pushed me over the edge.

boopiejones's picture

i think that a comparison to the bus is fair. there is no more cost effective way to move people from the burbs to the city than bart. during commute hours, it will get anyone (including a minimum wage earner) into san francisco quicker than any other form of transportation (public or private, helecopters excluded).

yes, a round trip ticket costs a hours salary, but that's the breaks. if you don't like it, find a minimum wage job closer to your house, which, by the way is NOT a better deal than paying for bart:

contra costa county minimum wage is $7.50, meaning over the course of 8 hours you'd make $60, vs. $73 working in SF. Since the commute only costs around $9/day, you are still better off commuting to the city for a minimum wage job. plus, rent is cheaper living in the burbs, so it would likely not be advisable to move to the city.

i don't feel that the underlying purpose of public transportation is to get someone where they WANT to go on a whim. it is to get people where they NEED to go, and i think i have provided adequate proof that they come out ahead by using bart for their NEEDS. there is a HUGE difference between wants and needs, and everyone (poor and rich) needs to understand that.

as a taxpayer, i don't mind subsidizing someone else's commute to work or public school education, but my tax dollars shouldn't subsidize their "mini vacation" to fisherman's wharf.

so to answer the question of what people are to do: for starters, i'd say live in the burbs, work in the city and commute there on bart. they will be ahead financially by doing so. as for how they get their entire family into sf for a weekend excursion, i'd say that seems like a frivolous expense for someone making minimum wage (just as a hawaii vacation every six months would be frivolous for me, a father of two with a regular job and a mortgage).

and to answer the question regarding how poor people are supposed to afford bart? in my eyes, they can't afford NOT to use bart.

bart is cheap. (i think i will make that my signature so i don't keep having to type it)

Umm... Hour and a half for 20 miles??!? I commute 50 miles from the East Bay into the city. By car, this typically takes me 1 hour and 15 minutes; Taking Bart, it's about the same (factoring in driving to the station, finding parking, walking 5 minutes+ to the platform from the parking lot).

On the city-side, I need to walk 15-20 mins from the station to my office, so taking the car is almost always quicker.

If you're driving 90 minutes for 20 miles, you need to re-evaluate your commute route and/or the time of day you commute.

boopiejones's picture

umm...the post said that the new york subway takes 90 minutes to go about 20 miles. the words "drive" or "car" were never even mentioned.

Schleprock's picture

The bottom line's dirty and gross and there is NO other way to get from the East Bay to the City unless you drive your freakin car and pay a jillion $$ every day for it! It is cheaper and more reasonable....but, usually so gross!