Re: BART usage.... Rail usage annectdotally.... And then there is MTA...
Date: 08-03-2022 - 20:04
Here's my anecdote: trip to the Bay today from Sacramento.
Drove to/from light rail. There is not now and has never been usable transit for me between home and the nearest light rail station, and for best schedule availability coming home I need to go to a station about twice as far away as the closest one that has no local transit connections at all.
Light rail to/from Amtrak was lightly patronized, but not totally so. Off-peak travel to Amtrak was, as expected, a light load, but most seats had at least one occupant. Returning at commute time (~5pm out of Amtrak) was heavier, but the standing loads of the old days (when I was regularly riding it to work, before Covid) are not there; those standing were either holding up bicycles or choosing to stand.
Amtrak (Capitol Corridor) trains were decently full both ways, visually more than 1/2 (essentially all seats had at least one occupant, and many had two). Was actually a bit more crowded heading west than returning, despite the return being the early shoulder of what should be the commute.
As for Bob2's tutorials: RT has resumed pre-Covid light rail schedules, and those of most main-line buses. Locals, shuttles, and the like are a little more scattered; RT has a with-an-app type of local service that they're pushing for the last mile, replacing or supplementing some local routes, but which don't start early or run late enough to be a reliable substitute for commute and evening entertainment purposes. So the jury is still out. Light rail - the real main line of the system - is used, just not at the packed levels that used to be there at commute times (logical, considering how many downtown offices are still all or partly work-from-home); just another sign, I think, that transit's obsession with commute service in the US is now, probably, a bit overdone. Another possible sign: those app-driven (think Uber, but picking you up and dropping you off at the corner rather than at your door) local operations are in fact oversubscribed, and often can't provide a ride when and where needed. And Cap Corridor, while admittedly a bit more lightly patronized than before, is not doing badly with filling the trains even after restoring essentially all of their pre-Covid schedules.
Of course, today's schedule went into the bin for the run toward the Bay, resulting in part of my business there having to be cut and still getting home a couple of hours late. Train hit a gravel truck that nosed through the gate into the crossing. Not badly, more clipped it than hit it. Of course, the local news says the gate didn't come down: ummm, while going by with the train in emergency, the remains of the gate sure looked like they were down. No injuries except to the front clip of the truck, and from the lumpy jittery ride afterward perhaps a few train wheels got flatspotted. A bit more than a 2 hour delay getting to my Bay Area stop, mostly waiting for crew replacement. Conductor we had before the incident was quite chatty and good at explaining things over the PA; afterward, not so much, perhaps somebody from Amtrak Police (who eventually did show up, outside) had a word.