Weekly Roundup: Out of Darkness, Additional BART service & PARK(ing)

By Will Reisman, @WillReisman

Advocates Gather in San Jose to Raise Awareness About Suicide: On Saturday, downtown San Jose will host an Out of the Darkness walk—an event aimed at raising awareness about suicide. The fourth annual South Bay Out of the Darkness walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the Arena Green West section outside of the SAP Arena. The SAP Arena is located right next door to the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station, and Caltrain’s weekend schedule offers hourly to the station. Out of the Darkness walks are held all over the country to help raise funds for organizations aimed at treating mental health issues that lead to suicide. Caltrain employees—who are confronted with suicides on the agency’s train tracks—have participated in Out of the Darkness walks in the past, most recently raising $12,000 in 2012. Fundraising efforts like those are just some of the ways that Caltrain attempts to fight back against suicide.

BART Amping up Service to Deal With Ridership Surge: Much like Caltrain, BART is experiencing continual ridership growth that is putting a strain on the regional rail system. To help deal with its growing passenger levels—now topping off at more than 430,000 trips per weekday—BART is adjusting it schedule and adding service to help meet demand. The new service improvements include rush hour trains added to the Pittsburg/Bay Point-to-SFO line, service extensions to 9 p.m. on the Richmond-to-Millbrae line, and train cars added during peak commute times to all other Transbay routes. The changes, which went into effect today, also include the elimination of all three-car trains and more rapid, “show-up-and-go” service to Oakland. More information about the service and scheduling changes can be found here.

Enjoy PARK(ing) this Week: First celebrated in San Francisco in 2005, and now a global event, PARK(ing) Day takes place this Friday in cities throughout the Bay Area. An initiative pioneered by Rebar, a San Francisco design studio, PARK(ing) Day offers residents the chance to reimagine traditional-meter parking spaces as public pieces of art. Participants pay for time allotted by the meter, and instead of parking their vehicle, they occupy the space under different terms. Past examples have included the installment of pieces of sod, a bench and a tree planter to create a mini-park inside the confines of a parking space. San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland will be among the cities participating in PARK(ing) day this year.

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