Archive for Bus
After spending the last month in Europe using public transportation, I am determined to use it more here in the Bay Area. Everyone always says the public transportation here sucks. I’m not so sure I agree with that. It may be limited but it doesn’t suck! For the last 2.5 years I took the bus from Marin to San Francisco 5 days a week and never had an issue. It was always on time, I always got a seat and the driver was super friendly.
Tomorrow I need to be in San Leandro at 10:30am. I used Google Maps to find out it would take me 45-60 minutes to drive there from my home in Marin. The thought of driving and sitting in traffic for an hour sounds dreadful to me so I decided to do a little research. I found out I can get there in about 1.5 hours using public transportation and my feet. I am going to be adventurous and give it a try. I will take a bus in to San Francisco and then take BART to San Leandro and then walk about a mile to my meeting place. Instead of spending 1 hour behind the steering wheel, I will be sitting on the bus and BART being able to use that time to read, check my email, tweet, Facebook, take photos, or even just space out while I get over this jet lag.
1.5 or so hours of public transportation and an opportunity to get in some exercise (more steps on FitBit) sounds way more appealing to me than sitting in my car, probably in traffic and very likely to get lost (I always get lost when I drive in the East Bay).
I will let you know how my little experiment with Bay Area public transportation goes. I figure if I can handle the metro in Spanish, French and Italian, I should be able to figure out how to get around in English!
Wondering how to get from point A to point B in the Bay Area using public transportation? Check out this handy little Website: 511.0rg
Other helpful resources:
GoldenGateTransit.org (bus and ferry info)
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
For over 2 years now I have been taking the Golden Gate Transit bus #4 to work every morning. It is early and usually dark when I get to the bus stop. Strangely enough I look forward to my early morning commute and that is because of Ricky, the bus driver! He was always there on time and always greeted me with enthusiasm and a warm smile.
Awhile back GG Transit changed the schedule and Ricky was no longer the driver on my usual bus route. I missed Ricky. The morning commutes just weren’t as fun without him. A few weeks ago a nice woman named Ali came up to me at the bus stop and asked if I had been one of the regular riders on Ricky’s bus. She told me he was retiring and invited me to take his bus on his retirement day. That is when I figured out where Ricky had gone. He’d been driving the earlier bus! The one I never take. The one that left at 6:39am. I’m more of a 6:49 or 7:04am kind of a bus rider.
Today, December 5, 2012 is Ricky’s last day driving the #4. I am going to miss Ricky’s beautiful smile and contagious positive attitude towards life. I am grateful I had the opportunity to be a rider on Ricky’s bus.
Thank you Ricky!
Seems I am not the only one who loves Ricky:
The bus was full of people on this stormy, dark morning who arrived with thank you gifts and well wishes for Ricky.
PS. In all the excitement I left my umbrella on the bus.
I smiled as I walked 2 blocks in the pouring rain to my office and arrived sopping wet.
On this dark grey morning at the bus stop, the typical southern Marin white-collar commuters sleepily waited for their bus to pick them up and deliver them safely and comfortably to the financial district of San Francisco.
While we were waiting, a homeless man shuffled up and quietly said “Excuse me may I sit down?” as he made his way through our small crowd to the covered bench.
He sat right next to where I was standing. He smelled like you might imagine a homeless man smells. He opened his can of iced tea and took a sip.
Nobody looked at him, nobody looked up from their phone. I looked at him. He didn’t look back, he just looked down and mumbled to himself. I wanted to say something to him but I didn’t. I wanted to treat him like a fellow human being and ask him if his tea tasted good, but I didn’t. I was scared. I wasn’t sure how he would react. I’ve had some very unpleasant experiences in the past when engaging in conversations with certain homeless people and this has left me with a wall around myself that I do not like but it is a wall of protection. I feel like a jerk but I don’t know how else to take care of myself.
I wonder why he decided to come sit there instead of other chairs nearby away from the crowd. Maybe he was lonely, maybe he wanted some human contact. We weren’t able to or we chose not to give it to him. We just looked down at our phones pretending not to notice him. For a moment I saw myself through his eyes, I put my phone in my pocket and just stood there next to him trying to be fully present and offer love instead of fear. I smiled at him as I walked passed him to get on the bus. He mumbled something.
I wonder where he is going to sleep during the storm tonight…
I am thankful my family of origin decided for Christmas instead of buying gifts for each other we will give the money we would have spent to charity.
Some resources in Marin for homeless people:
I have not had much time to blog lately so here is a quick update on what has been happening.
1. Empty Nest – I’m about to have an official empty nest. All 3 kids are off to college as of this weekend. Big changes around the home front. No dependents except for my old dog that seems to be aging rapidly. We had to put a baby gate up so he wouldn’t fall down the stairs. He does not like the baby gate at all!
2. Commuting – I am still commuting in to the city everyday via bus and taking photos as I cross over the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though I have lived here for almost 20 years I never stop being amazed by the beauty and the weather of the San Francisco Bay Area. It changes every day! To see the photos I take click LIKE on my Facebook page: (a little secret: I look forward to seeing who likes my photos every morning on FB. It gives me something to look forward to on my early morning commute. Thank you to those who take the time to click LIKE each day, it means a lot to me.)
3. Social Media – I’m trying out Paper.li an automatically generated online newspaper that is created from my Twitter feed. I pick the people, Paper.li chooses the content. You can follow it here.
4. Celia was recently featured on Success and Chocolate! (I’ll wait while you go read the interview.)
How has your summer been? What are you plans for the Fall?
Trivia: How to Prepare Kale Chips is still my all time number ONE most visited blog post.
For people who live in Marin and work in San Francisco here are 5 reasons to take a Golden Gate Transit bus to work.
- You can. If we don’t use our public transportation we might lose it.
- It’s better for the environment than driving in.
- Way cheaper than driving in. You only have to pay the bus fare, no bridge toll, no parking fee, no gas, no wear and tear on your car.
- Frees up your time to do other things. You can read, rest, text, work, check your Facebook, tweet, blog, space out, whatever – all sorts of things you can’t (or shouldn’t!) do while driving.
- It’s one of the most beautiful commutes in the world!
I know there are hundreds of excuses why not to take the bus to work but I challenge you to try it. Don’t forget we also have the awesome Golden Gate Ferry option!
A friend whom I adore once quoted Eleanor Roosevelt to me when I was making an excuse for not doing something. That quote has stuck with me for years.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Yes, Marin is filled with many spandex wearing folks doing their part by commuting on a bike. I commend the cyclists. However, Marin is also full of very steep hills and not all of us have the strength to go up the hills or the guts to go down them on a bike. For the rest of us who are not triathletes , thankfully we have other options for getting around.
If you use some form of public or alternative transportation please leave a comment below sharing with others how you do it.
When you do start taking the bus here are some basic bus etiquette tips to follow.
Views from the bus
A year of photos from the bus: Google+ Album
This has been the strangest winter I have ever spent in the Bay Area. The weather has been nicer than a normal Bay Area summer.
Here are some photos from the past week.
This has been the strangest winter I have ever experienced in the Bay Area. It’s been sunny and beautiful. No rain. I know this weather is probably not a good thing but worrying and whining about the fact that we haven’t had any rain is not going to change the fact that we haven’t had any rain. I have to say I have been enjoying the beautiful weather and views. I think I remember last year we got some record rain fall and Tahoe got some record amounts of snow. Maybe it is just the earths way of balancing things out.
Thanks to this odd weather I have been able to get some beautiful photos.
Hope you are enjoying this weird winter weather!
It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over
because there’s nothing you can do about them,
and why worry about things you do control?
The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.
Wayne Dyer (via BrainyQuote)
To see regular morning sunrise photos, taken from the bus, on the Golden Gate Bridge, be sure to like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SallyAroundTheBay
This was my view today: a cyclist riding over the bridge at sunset.
What a great day for a bike ride!
I take the bus to and from work. I think I have one of the most beautiful commutes in the world!
I often take photos through the bus window as I’m crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge. I never get tired of this view. It’s just amazing and it looks different every single time I cross.
Below are 2 pictures from today. The first one was taken around 7am on my way in to San Francisco. The second one was taken around 4pm on my way out of San Francisco.
I take all the pictures with my iPhone. I’ve started using a new app called Camera+ that I really like.
I’m participating in the #Mostly365 take a picture a day and share with the world. Have you seen this Website yet? It’s awesome!
I love San Francisco!
I have been riding the bus to and from work for awhile now and I’ve noticed a few things… some (not all) people have forgotten common courtesy on the bus!
Here is some basic bus etiquette:
- Leave the seat next to you open for other riders. (It’s kind of rude to put your briefcase, purse or pile of papers on the adjacent seat when the bus is full.) Also, if there are 2 seats in your row, sit next to the window so the seat next to you is available. If you really want to sit by yourself go toward the back of the bus, it’s more likely that the seat next to you will remain open.
- If the bus is full and an elderly person or someone with a cane or walker gets on the bus and you are sitting toward the front of the bus, get up and offer your seat to that person. (Duh!)
- When a lot of people are exiting the bus at the same stop, it works just like an airplane: row 1 exits first, row 2 exits second and so forth. If you are sitting at the back of the bus please don’t rush ahead of everyone bonking them with your briefcase just so you can get off first.
- Please don’t talk on your cell phone while on the bus. We really don’t want to hear about your sales plan, how your date was last night, what you are having for dinner tonight, or what a jerk you you think your boss is.
- Finally, it’s okay to say good morning and thank you to your bus driver. It’s also okay to say hello to the person sitting next to you.
I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Golden Gate Transit whose drivers are friendly and the buses are always on time, always clean and always a comfy temperature. Thank you!
How to behave on public transportation by @SFist