Friday, July 3, 2009

BART Reliability

As much as people complain about the old cars and the noise in the tunnel and the sometimes surly folk that ride BART, I feel that being on time and reliability is the strength that BART has going for it. Because it has its own right of way, it's pretty easy for BART to keep a schedule, and for that reason, a lot of people can rely on them to be on time. So I sort of cringe when people give one of the reasons for not liking BART is that it's not reliable.
It's not exactly the most reliable ride either but we deal with it because it is the lesser of two evils.
As someone who takes BART almost every day, I have to say that over the last 4 years there have been sooo many delays I can count them on two hands. That's a lot right?? As compared to traffic and services that run in traffic such as say, the Municipal Railway. I understand the gripes about the strike. BART workers get very generous pay and benefits, higher than most agencies in the country, but to say that it's not reliable is just plain wrong. If anything, that is the main reason why people continue to ride BART.

It will be a shame if BART workers go on strike because they want even more, but the real shame will be the loss of a reliable transit service that allows people to get to work at the same time every day, so when people do get back to work and more are driving, you don't have to worry about your travel time or paying attention to the road. And if there are people who use talking on the phone as an excuse for not taking BART and driving instead, I'm glad to be underground and out of your way.


Michael said...

BART riders shoul not be complaining. Out here in washington, DC, metro breaks down approximately 40 times per week, with a large fraction of those break downs resulting in train offloads or single tracking. I subscribe to the Twitter feeds for both WMATA and BART and the out of service messages are about twenty times more frequent for WMATA.

arcady said...

Maybe WMATA just reports delays more thoroughly than BART does. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that WMATA has more service disruptions because they have less system shutdown time, being as they run trains till 3am on friday and saturday night, and start up service an hour earlier than BART on sundays (seriously, the first train through SF on sunday is at 8:30 am!)

Jonlin said...

BART also has the comfiest chairs ever. It's a shame they're getting new cars with smaller, lamer chairs.

Anonymous said...

Of course WMATA breaks down more often. It bears the use of 600,000 more people per day than BART, even though the systems are of similar vintage, number of stations, and miles of track.

Why the extra riders? Land use.