While we dutifully serve the residents of the Peninsula, Transit District employees live all over the Bay Area region and beyond, and some journeys to work require quite a bit of travel. We asked employees at our Central headquarters in San Carlos and Caltrain Modernization offices in San Mateo what steps they take to make it to work each day, and here are just some of the responses:
Sarah Nabong, Customer Service Representative. Lives in Redwood City:
“After work, I take a quick stroll down to the El Camino. Depending on time, I have two options: 1) Catch the ECR, which comes every 15 minutes or 2) Board Caltrain in the southbound director to Menlo Park (unfortunately we don’t make stops in Atherton on the weekdays), then transfer to the ECR heading northbound. Once I disembark from SamTrans, I have a two block walk until I reach home sweet home. The majority of the time I typically take SamTrans since it’s a straight shot (no transferring) and traffic isn’t too bad around my off time. My ride is comfortable and pleasant not to mention inexpensive.”
Lynn Lockwood, Rail Contract Cost Administrator. Lives in San Francisco:
“I board a SF Muni L Taraval at 32nd Avenue and Taraval at approximately 6:19 a.m. and travel to the Embarcadero Station, where I transfer to the next available inbound N Judah to continue onto the Caltrain Station at 4th and King streets, arriving at approximately 7 a.m. to catch Caltrain 216 at 7:19 a.m. and detrain in San Carlos at 7:58 a.m. On the return, I catch Caltrain 267 at the San Carlos Station at 5:06 p.m., arriving at San Francisco 4th and King at 5:43 p.m. I then transfer to the next available SF Muni K/T Ingleside at 4th and King outbound to the West Portal Station where I transfer to the next available L Taraval arriving at 32nd Avenue and Taraval Street at approximately 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.”
Seamus Murphy, Chief Communications Officer. Lives in San Francisco:
“Bike to Caltrain. Leave my bike at 4th and Townsend.”
Gene Kim, Senior Accountant. Lives in San Jose:
“I live in North San Jose, right next to Cisco/PayPal. I currently hop on VTA at Cisco Champion Station which takes me to Mountain View. I then transfer to Caltrain. With walking and transfers, I get here in about an hour. I of course, do the same for the reverse commute.”
Bill Kecskes, Data Administrator. Lives in Redwood City:
“I’ve got a killer commute. I live in Redwood City. I walk one block to El Camino Real and catch the ECR to Daly City. Sometimes it’s cold, sometimes it’s rainy and sometimes it’s cold and rainy at the same time. I exit at the San Carlos station and walk one block to work. The roughest part of the commute is when I get lost in the book I’m reading and miss my stop. Then the walk is a little longer, sometimes colder and wetter as well. In the evening, I traverse the same route home, only it’s the ECR to Palo Alto, but the perils are the same, especially when it’s a good book.”
Jill Gibson, Principal Planner, Caltrain Modernization. Lives in San Jose.
“I live in San Jose and bike to either Diridon or College Park in the morning, take my bike on board, get off at Hillsdale and bike to the San Mateo office. In the evening I bike from the San Mateo office to Hillsdale, take the train to Diridon, then bike home. I have about an hour commute time door to door. I enjoy observing our bike customers’ ingenuity accessing our stations, loading bikes and deboarding with all the various items needed for their work day.
Sid Levy, Procurement Specialist. Lives in Pinole:
“I live in Pinole with my wife and three beagles, which is approximately 48 miles away. My day starts very early to avoid the traffic crush. I typically leave my home at 5:30 a.m. Leaving this early, I still encounter slow spots. The first backup takes place as I jump on Interstate 80 (Eastshore freeway). Here I get a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way home. It’s cool to see the sun set over the bridge and the fog settle in over Mount Tamalpais. The second backup is at the Bay Bridge toll plaza, where I can spend up to 30 – 45 minutes waiting in line (only one mile) The best part of my commute is when I come down from Candlestick point on southbound Highway 101. As I hit the straight away I have a glorious view of the sun coming up on my left over the East Bay hills. As I approach 101 and the San Mateo Bridge, the traffic develops into gridlock. As I pass this obstacle, I roll into SamTrans central office anywhere from 7:15 – 7:30 am. The commute home is hard as most of Silicon Valley is trying to make it across the San Mateo Bridge. I leave at 5 pm and can expect to roll into my driveway after 7 pm. I am lucky to have Sirius Radio in the car and Spotify on my phone. I never feel alone as I make lots of phone calls to family members and friends. Taking public transportation is very difficult as I also attend school two times a week at night and sometimes I make it to Masters swim team practice in the morning from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m.”
Patrick Kitto, Project Manager. Lives in San Francisco:
“I ride my bike from the city at least once a week. Then take the train back north.”
Jeremy Lipps, Social Media Officer. Lives in San Jose:
“I ride my bike to SJ, train in. Plus I do all the tweets.”
Ian Hull, Signal Engineer. Lives in San Francisco:
“I typically take Caltrain to get here from San Francisco 4th and King streets. I live in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco, so I use Scoot (rented electric scooters reserved by a smart phone app) to get from home to Caltrain. Not the most interesting story you’ll get, but I’m probably one of the only ones here at the district using that kind of app to solve the “Last Mile” problem to connect with Caltrain.”
Chris Childress, Employee Relations Officer. Lives in San Jose.
Monday – Friday;
1) Hop in the car and race to Highway 85 before 6:15 a.m.
2) Check traffic reports for some reason….there’s always traffic
3) Try not to get angry that the car next to me has clearly disregarded the metering light
4) Check sports scores over radio
5) Check work email – (just kidding..kinda)
6) Try not to get angry that the person who blew by me clearly doesn’t qualify to operate in the car pool lane
7) Rejoice at the sight of three CHP pulling over car pool violators
8) Complain to self about the Cowboys secondary
9) Starbucks or Petes this morning?
10) Laugh at the plight of the 49ers…ahh life is good!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
1) Hop in the car and race to Diridon
2) Try and beat the guy in the Subaru with the Calvin and Hobbs sticker attached to his window to the intersection of Branham and Almaden
3) Park at Diridon….Wonder if I brought enough cash to pay for parking. Consider purchasing parking pass but never do
4) Watch and laugh as people run each other over to catch the 6:45 a.m. train
5) Run people over to catch the 6:50 a.m. train
6) Grab my favorite seat…question myself as to why I don’t commute by train every day
7) Listen to sports talk radio pundits lament on the fate of Colin Kaepernick
8) Get off the train and at 7:24 a.m. and run to the light, which will turn green for pedestrians at 7:25 a.m. Trust me…it just does.
9) Yep its Starbucks today
10) Laugh at the plight of the 49ers… ahh life is good!
Stayed tuned for next month, when we’ll highlight the commutes of workers from our North Base and South Base operating facilities.