Public transit in the South Bay…

August 30, 2005

SUCKS! Now I know why there’s a traffic problem; most public transit routes are ridiculously stupid. Yesterday, my flight got into San Joes airport (SJC) at 8AM. No one was available to pick me up, so I decided to take public transit – after all, I figured my office was just down 101, there’s gotta be a quick way to get there.

So I look at some maps and see that there’s actually two ways I can get to Mountain View: I can ride CalTrain or I can take the VTA Light Rail. However, there’s a problem: there’s neither a CalTrain nor a VTA Light Rail station at SJC. Instead, they have “Airport” stops that are too far to walk to; you have to take a bus.

Fine, it’s just a quick bus I figure. So I go to the bus stop in front of the terminal and wait… and wait… and wait. One of the buses on the schedule never arrives and the next one arrives about 5 minutes late. In total, I have to wait about 30 minutes at the bus stop. The first one that arrives is a #10 to the CalTrain station. Looks like it’ll work so I get on.

Now this #10 bus decides to take the long way to the CalTrain station, winding its way through an airport employee parking lot and not making any stops, but driving extremely slowly. It’s bad enough that there’s no CalTrain station at the airport, why does the transfer bus have to take a roundabout path to the station?

I get to the CalTrain station and since the #10 was late, I had just missed a Northbound CalTrain. I had to wait another 30 minutes for the next one. For some reason, they decide to drop people off at a random CalTrain station instead of a main station. This means that only half the trains decide to stop there. Why would they do this? Don’t they anticipate people coming from the airport and wanting to get on CalTrain?

At this point, I was thoroughly annoyed, but what other options did I have? And to make it worse, there’s absolutely nothing by the CalTrain station. A Starbucks or a small cafe would have totally capitalized on me at this point.

The Northbound CalTrain finally arrives and I get on. It takes me to the Mountain View CalTrain station where there’s literally 20 company shuttles waiting around – none of them mine. There were 2 or 3 Yahoo! shuttles, an Apple shuttle, a Microsoft shuttle, and shuttles to some other random companies around the area. So again, I sit around and wait.

Anyways, the shuttle finally arrives and I finally get to work. Total travel time: over 2 hours. That’s ridiculous. I’m never riding public transit again… maybe I’ll buy a huge SUV just out of spite :-p


No Responses Yet to “Public transit in the South Bay…”

  1. Pushing The Senses Says:

    if only there was the nyc nightlife and transit system in the south bay…this place would be paradise…ahh, one can only dream! i absolutely love this blog, mark. awesome work…i check it every day. thanks, blog on!

  2. markjen Says:

    Checking it everyday? We gotta get you using RSS 🙂

    This place would definitely be awesome if there was nightlife and late night dining available… anyone know any good places to eat after 10PM?

  3. derek punsalan Says:

    ah.. the public transportation system here in seattle is like clockwork.

  4. Danny Howard Says:

    My trick, when I lived down there, was to park near the Caltrain station and take the #10 to the terminal — free long-term parking.

    Now I live in the East Bay, near BART. The OAK shuttle bus costs $2 but is otherwise pretty punctual and zippy.


  5. Hasan Says:

    Outside of New York, Boston, and perhaps Chicago, public transit sucks anywhere in the states. Buenos Aires has a reasonably efficient subway system and Argentina’s a third-world country.

  6. NYC Society Says:

    That was a great post. I will have to bookmark this site so I can read more later.

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