Another Week, Another Incident

No LightsHeading home last night on BART, we pull into Glen Park. After a longer than normal delay, the train drops to emergency lighting. Then we get an announcement from the train driver telling us he’s lost power and it should be back in a second. Next it will be back in a couple of minutes. Then we are told that they have an incident at Balboa Park (the station behind us), and power will be back on soon.

Then he announces that he has to power down the train completely. So there we all are, sitting in total darkness on a train in Glen Park station (with the doors closed). Trains on the other side, heading towards Balboa Park, are moving. Finally he announces “Passengers we are just waiting for the word to er power this train back up” – something I’ve never heard on any train before.

Once power is restored, the doors open to allow people who have been waiting on the platform to board, and he makes another announcement: “Due to the problem at Balboa, board this train wherever you’re going.”

The end result of this was that I missed my ferry (it was just casting off as I arrived at the dock), so I had an hour’s wait at the Ferry Building. More on that in subsequent posts.

One final BART related note though, since the end of 2001 BART has had all of its station toilets closed (for security). Judging from the smell of the carriage I was in on Friday night, I’d say some of their passengers are simply using the trains as replacements. I also managed to capture one of the “Number 1 Transit System in America” stickers.

2 thoughts on “Another Week, Another Incident

  1. Not sure why you take the ferry … can you not take BART all the way from Oakland to San Bruno???

  2. The main reason is that I am in Alameda and not Oakland. I would have to drive to West Oakland or Lake Merritt and park there (which is now $5/day if you can even get a space, which is unlikely after 6am). In contrast, the ferry has ample free parking. BART was designed by people with little or no idea of how it would be used I think. To not have large, free parking lots at West Oakland and Lake Merritt shows that they didn’t think about how their riders would get to the train. The lack of integration with the other transit systems in the bay area shows a similar lack of understanding of what would happen when people arrive at their destination. The ferry has transfers to both Muni and ACTransit included in the ticket. Why can BART not manage this as well?

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