Perils and delights of public transport

Tempted to use a headline like “transports of delight” but resisted the urge. The public transport system here is big and complex. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a subway, though it sometimes goes overground. It is fast. My 12-stop journey to San Francisco from Albany takes about 25 minutes. Price depends on distance. Buses cost $1.75 regardless of distance. They remain at the mercy of traffic, so are fine for short distances. Different companies run different bus lines. MUNI, the San Francisco transport company, offers a 50 cent discount for the bus after a BART journey. You need to collect a “transfer” ticket at the BART station before boarding the bus. Ferries are a fine way to see the second most beautiful harbour in the world, after Sydney! (Ahh, patriotism.) Trolleys are slow and at $5 a ride seem mostly aimed at tourists. The main problem is the lack of integration. Cards are available for multiple journeys on each system, but you need a separate card for each one. SF needs to investigate something like Hong Kong’s Octopus system. But because of the range of companies here, the process would involve a lot of negotiation.

Categories: Not home, Uncategorized

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