How SamTrans Commutes to Work

By Will Reisman, @WillReisman

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.

Last month, 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. This month, we focus on the commuting habits of our employees from the operating bases in South San Francisco and San Carlos. Here are some of their responses:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.41.03 AMKarambir Cheema, North Base Bus Transportation Superintendent. Lives in Tracy.

I drive to work every day through the Altamont Pass, taking Highway 580 to Highway 880, then on to Highway 92, which takes me on the San Mateo Bridge, then on to Highway 101 to North Base.

Elaine Tuimavave, Radio Controller, Bus Transportation. Lives in Oakley.

I have lived in Oakley for three years now. I call this city the “Farm County” between Antioch and Brentwood. For two years when I was an Operator I used Bart to commute. It worked out great with my work schedule and I was able to relax on the train.  Now that I am the PM shift Radio Controller. I now drive my personal vehicle to and from work. It absolutely SUCKS! I use Highway 4, 242, 680 and another one I can’t remember, but I love my home and the “Farm County” town I live in. On the bright side of my commute, I occasionally carpool with my sister who lives in Antioch.  We get to play our music really loud and dance as if no one is looking.

Kevin Brown, North Base Bus Operator. Lives in Stockton.

I drive carpool every day with my wife and watch the road! We travel on eight different freeways to get to and from work. On good days, it will take us an hour and half to get to work, but when there’s heavy traffic, almost two hours.

Lavani Wright, North Base Bus Operator. Lives in Vallejo.

I drive to work every day, taking Highway 80, driving over two bridges—the—Carquinez Bridge and Bay Bridge. I’m very grateful for the radio in my car that keeps me relaxed on my commute.

Allen Elmore, South Base Bus Operator. Lives in Newark.

I live in Newark and cross the Dumbarton Bridge to Highway 101. It takes me about 25 minutes in the morning and depending on the traffic conditions in the afternoon, anywhere between 45 minutes up to 1.5 hrs. During my commute, I’ll listen to KCBS for traffic information and then I’ll listen to sports talk radio (KNBR) or listen to Golden State Warriors Basketball (huge fan) or San Francisco Giants Baseball.

Bernard Chan, North Base Bus Operator. Lives in Antioch.

I drive to work every day, take Highway 4 to 242 to 680 to 24 to 80 to Bay Bridge to 101 to work. I listen to music while commuting to work. I tried to carpool, but it’s not for me. I’d rather ride alone.

Earl Newton North Base Maintenance Supervisor. Lives in Richmond.

I commute in my truck from Richmond to North Base. I take Highway 880 to the Bay Bridge, driving 28 miles, or about 40 minutes, while listening to the radio.

Danny Geminal, North Base Bus Operator. Lives in Fairfield.

I drive to work every day. I take Interstate 80 for an hour to get to work and about an hour and a half in the evening, depending on the traffic, driving home. I always listen to the news while driving to work and on my way home at night.

Shalvin Singh, North Base Bus Transportation Supervisor. Lives in Hayward.

I drive to work by way of Highway 92, going over the San Mateo Bridge, then Highway 101 to North Base. I listen to the radio when I commute.

Viven Ayala, South Base Bus Operator. Lives in Newark.

I drive to work by way of Highway 84 west through the Dumbarton Bridge. It takes me approximately 20 minutes to get to work. I concentrate on my driving while listening to my favorite songs.

Rene Tuazon, North Base Bus Operator. Lives in Bay Point.

I commute by car and I take Highway 4 to Highway 242 to Highway 680 to Highway 24 to Highway 80 then Highway 101 to North Base. It takes over an hour to get to and from work because I work the night shift, but the ride depends on traffic. Trying to be safe at all times, listening to soft jazz or light Rock music helps me relax and enjoy my commute to and from work.

Said El-Khatib, Assistant Superintendent of Bus Transportation. Lives in Hayward Hills.

My commute is strange. It could take from 45 minutes to two hours. From North Base to the San Mateo Bridge is 30 minutes at 4:00 p.m., and to cross the bridge is another 30 minutes. From downtown Hayward to Hayward Hills is another 30 minutes. To pass the time and to stay awake I always have a bag of candy and sunflower seeds in the car.

Cheryl Ross, South base Bus Operator. Lives in Hayward.

I drive to work every day. I take Highway 880, then on to Highway 92 , drive over San Mateo Bridge, then on to Highway 101 to South Base while listening to the radio to making ride easier.

Byron Garcia-Luna, South Base Bus Operator. Lives in Martinez.

It takes one hour with no traffic to get to work. I take Highway 680 to Highway 24, then Highway 13 to Highway 580 and finish at Highway 92 through Highway 101. I have to accommodate my schedule to make my commute easier. I love to listen to music while I driving from and back from home.

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