Thursday, July 13, 2006

Coordinating Transit: How About Starting with a Map?

Coordination between Bay Area transit agencies is pretty much non-existent. I mean, if you try transferring from one to another, even at one of the officially designated connection points (say for example CalTrain to BART at Millbrae) chances are pretty good that you'll either get off one train just in time to see the one you wanted to catch leaving, or if not it will leave while you're fumbling with change to buy your next ticket.

When it comes to Bay Area transit, it's always good advice to bring exact change and something to read.

But to me, something that really drives home how totally uncoordinated our area transit agencies are is this: you can't even get a map that shows them all. Try Google, try the official Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("...coordinating transportation for the nine county San Francisco Bay Area") website; I defy you to find one.

Perhaps this is where the geniuses at the MTA, who seem totally incapble of coordinating schedules, or coming up with a unified ticketing system (no, TransLink is not a solution, just a kludgy workaround) might try to take their first "baby steps" towards building an actual integrated regional transit system: print a damn map of what we have now.

4 comments:

Dave said...

Good ideas on transit, Nick! I always wished our US transit systems could be better coordinated like they are in other countries, e.g., Europe and Asia.

But this is not the only thing our country has fallen behind in, I guess. What we really need first are people with brains in government, and there's no sign of that anytime soon!

295bus said...

Absolutely. Our government is astoundingly incompetent, and it goes way beyond public transit (see for example FEMA, most public schools, the post office, utility deregulation, etc).

Forget left/right politics--I think there's no more revolutionary idea than that our government should provide services that actually work!

Dave said...

Mind if I link your blog to mine?

I enjoyed your model railroading blog too, by the way. Makes me want to build another layout, but I suspect that won't happen for many years to come! (For the next several years I guess I'll be playing with languages instead of trains!) Thanks for the Free State Brewery info!

295bus said...

Go ahead!

And just in case anyone else out there just happens to be interested in both public transit and linguistics, here's the link to Dave's Anthro-Ling blog:

http://anthro-ling.blogspot.com

Which I'll also add to the links section of my sidebar.