Belching

I took the number 30 bus from East Sac to downtown yesterday. The bus driver was calling out each stop on his microphone. Cool. No problem. I was absorbed in my book pretty much ignoring it. Until he called out the Alhambra stop, and then belched before turning off the microphone. Ouch. Everyone looked slightly uncomfortable and there were a few snickers. Part of me thinks maybe he did on purpose, and part of that part of me thinks in that case, AWESOME! The other part of me feels confused and slightly violated. Plus the bus was late. Still better than driving and parking. That is all. Over and out.

GOLD LINE DOWN! But Sac driver saves the day.

This morning I arrived at my stop along the new “Gold Line” (formerly Sunrise line) on the light rail. You know, the one that’s been expanded to go to Folsom. When it runs. Everyone was milling around and there were about 5 times as many commuters as normal. After a few minutes it was clear that a) the train was not coming and b) it had not come for a while, leaving so many extra commuters waiting at my stop. Rumors were flying – that the train had just stopped one stop up, that there was some kind of threat to the train, etc. There was an RT truck parked but no RT worker and no sign posted with information. Finally, just as I was contemplating the bus map to figure out an alternate way to work, a bus driver came up and shouted that the whole line was down both directions and had been for over an hour. She said the stop before ours had at least 100 people waiting, so even when the train started again it would take several passes before we could fit on.
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Folsom RT Woes

Apparently the huge popularity of the newly opened Folsom light-rail line caught Regional Transit off guard, too. I know that nobody likes the backseat urban planning guy (especially when he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about), but I’d like to know how something as large as a commuter rail line gets completed without a clear picture of how it’s going to be used. Survey, anyone? Polling? Calling random numbers? Anything ringing a bell?

But from the picture of RT this article paints, I guess the lack of user sampling is not the biggest obstacle RT faces.

Last week, a consultant for the south line extension told an RT committee it now looks like capital costs for that extension will be $150 million – a whopping $38 million more than anticipated.

And that’s not the only project over budget. If the people at RT misplace their tickets, they might want to look up their collective ass.
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Conversations on the Light Rail

Friends, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a new category (did I need CoolDMZ permission for this?) to house my records of bizarre commuting experiences. For example, conversations overheard on the light rail. For example of that, the following: At 7:30 a.m. a completely wasted woman sitting behind me had the following to say on her cell phone: “I’m going to go to Folsom and get me some new KSwiss as soon as it does…. he said he want a baby, that dumb F-**ker don’t even know that he’ll be lucky if he gets to eat dinner at home tonight and he thinks I’m gonna give him a baby…” Rinse, lather, repeat for my entire morning commute. And for yet another example,
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