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Roadshow: VTA makeover; BART dumps Caltrain-SFO link

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  • 1/11 SJ Mercury
    Published Friday, January 11, 2008, by the San Jose Mercury News Roadshow VTA launches major service changes By Gary Richards Mercury News Staff Columnist Q
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2008
      Published Friday, January 11, 2008, by the San Jose Mercury News


      VTA launches major service changes

      By Gary Richards
      Mercury News Staff Columnist

      Q What ever happened to talking about alternative modes of
      transportation -- like buses, trains and bicycles -- on a regular

      Erick Marcheschi
      Morgan Hill

      A Today is the day, for good reason. Monday, the Valley
      Transportation Authority begins a significant change in bus service,
      affecting nearly all of its 74 routes. Some routes will get more
      buses running more frequently, while a few are being eliminated.
      To learn more about the changes, visit <http://www.vta.org>, call
      (408) 321-2300 or look for VTA workers in yellow vests at stations
      this week and next.

      Q I am thinking about taking mass transit to work and will need to
      start on a bus line and then transfer to light rail. Does the single-
      fare rate of $1.75 allow you to start on a bus and transfer to light

      Eric Unruh
      San Jose

      A No. If are going to be transferring from light rail to a bus, buy
      a day pass. It's good for unlimited rides on both bus and light rail
      for an entire day. The pass costs $2 for seniors and those with
      disabilities, $4 for youths and $5 for adults. For regular adult
      riders, a $61.54 monthly pass is the best buy. The regular $1.75 fare
      covers just a single ride and cannot be used to transfer.

      Q Can you figure out what BART has against Caltrain users? Some
      brainiac decided that in order to get potential riders to downtown
      San Francisco a little faster, BART no longer runs to the airport
      from Millbrae. As a conductor pointed out, it is now faster to get
      off Caltrain at Hillsdale and take a bus to the airport than to take
      BART. ... Sounds like it's going to be more of a hassle to get to
      SFO on BART than it's worth if coming from Caltrain. I guess more
      people will put their cars back on 101 or call a cab.

      Larry Blair, Paul Krill and more

      A Unfortunately, less than 450 people a day were riding BART from
      Millbrae to the airport. They now must take the train north to San
      Bruno, and backtrack to the airport. The change helps the 3,700
      riders traveling from Millbrae north with stops at Colma, South San
      Francisco and San Bruno every seven minutes instead of every 15.

      Q On Jan. 2 at about 6:30 a.m. in Palo Alto, I was on my bicycle
      when I was struck by a motorist exiting a parking lot. I'm a regular,
      law-abiding, bike commuter and am OK -- abrasions and bruises not
      withstanding. To the lady who struck me: I'm not angry. You probably
      weren't even thinking that someone might be out on a bike that early,
      and you were only looking for cars. I hope your day got better.

      Russ Wood
      Mountain View

      A Boy, with that generous attitude, please continue.

      Q I'd like to take this opportunity to remind motorists that there
      are people out riding bikes on these cold, dark mornings. Most have
      proper lights and wear bright and reflective clothing. Most of us
      aren't fanatics or out to prove anything. We just like riding our
      bikes. And every cyclist I know realizes that in a collision between
      a bike and a car, the car always wins.

      So, motorists, please, when exiting a parking lot or side street and
      entering traffic, look for bikes, too. Most of us are traveling 15 to
      20 mph -- faster than you may think.

      Russ Wood

      A Russ is doing his part to ease global warming, biking to work in
      Fremont. I hope his pleas get your attention.

      Q One night recently I received a frantic call from my wife, who
      had left her purse on light rail while making a transfer, leaving
      her stranded at the River Oaks station with no money, keys,
      identification or cell phone. I called VTA customer service to see
      whether there was anything they could do. After a few checks by the
      operator, I found out that my wife had enlisted the help of the
      conductor of the next train. He notified the train that my wife had
      just deboarded to look for the purse. He looked, found it and passed
      it off to the conductor of the train going back toward River Oaks.
      Within 20 minutes, my wife had her purse back, with all contents
      intact. Kudos to the VTA operator, and the customer service rep, for
      ensuring that my wife's purse was quickly returned. You all deserve
      a medal.

      Paul Wanless
      Mountain View

      A Yes, indeed.

      Contact Gary Richards at mrroadshow@... or (408) 920-5335.
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