Spare The Air Day Flop

Railway TracksIt’s been over 100 degrees here the past couple of days and in an effort to reduce the amount of smog in the air, they had a Spare The Air day today. This meant that a lot of the public transportation systems in the San Francisco Bay Area were free today…which meant of course that my planned use of public transportation was foiled.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful that an unusually large number of people used public transportation today, but it threw a real wrench into my plans. My dad and I were planning to visit my sister and to take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to get there. The problem was that after we made the 15 minute drive the the nearest BART station, there wasn’t a parking space to be found. Since there was nowhere to park, we had to drive to meet my sister.

Which brings us too a huge catch 22 for the BART system. I’ve been reading in the news that BART is losing a huge amount of money because there aren’t enough people that use the system, but on busy days, there is a limit on the number of people that can use the system due to limited parking…

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3 Responses to Spare The Air Day Flop

  1. FooBar says:

    Ah yes – the perpetual battle with the BART parking lots. When I was commuting to Oakland, I had to get to the BART station (Colma was the closest to me at the time) at around 6:30AM or so to make sure I got a parking space. People would already be circling the lot by 8am. On top of that, many of the BART stations now reserve choice parking spots until 10am for those who pay for a monthly parking permit.

    I’m lucky enough now to be within walking distance of the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station for my morning commute. The back-to-back SpareTheAir days were a pleasant surprise for me when I got back from vacation. The 90+ degree wheather that spawned them was not. :/

  2. Scott says:

    Washington DC is the same, too few spaces, and now they have reserved parking as well. Thankfully I don’t have to work in town any more. What a pain.

  3. John M says:

    I live near Boston, and we have similar problems here. I think another catch 22 is that the reason that governments don’t invest in public transportation is because not enough people uses it. Yet the only way to get more people to use public transportation is to invest to improve access. ( Parking Garages, more routes, more frequent hours. longer hours etc..)

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