Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

SF in SF

In a little while, I'm heading up to the New College Valencia Theatre in San Francisco, where I'll meet up with cherylmorgan and we'll both attend the SF in SF reading, featuring Robert Silverberg and Kim Stanley Robinson.

I hate driving in San Francisco, so BART is my best choice. Fortunately, the event is near the 16th Street Mission station. At first glance, you'd think the best thing to do is to drive to the end of the BART line at Millbrae and take a train toward San Francisco. But thanks to the boneheaded design errors (that I and many other transit advocates pointed out at the time1) that locks BART into serving SFO with direct trains, every Millbrae BART train gets to make a detour into SFO, where we sit while the operator changes ends and heads on back out toward The City.

Rather than deal with all that, I plan to drive to the San Bruno station (I've never been there before) and avoid the Airport Tour.

1I and many other people who consider ourselves transit advocates said that the logical way to build the Airport line was to bring BART straight into Millbrae to a multimodal station shared with Caltrain (that part was done), and to extend the SFO people mover (which was being built at the same time as the BART extension) to Millbrae, a couple miles away. People riding BART intending to go to SFO would transfer to the (free) people-mover, which would take them to the terminals. Instead, they built a wye-shaped line, with legs pointing into the airport and to Millbrae. For a while, they ran some trains to SFO and some direct to Millbrae, but the loadings were much lower than the (wildly optimistic, inflated to get federal funding) projections, and to save money, they cut back service so that all trains go via the airport, adding a bunch of time to travel to/from Millbrae. Sigh.

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