By Dan Lieberman
The recent storms are pretty sizeable in their own right, but as Californians in the midst of a drought, they seem nearly biblical. As we try to wrap our heads around the fact that water is falling from the sky again, here are a few basic safety tips to make sure the weather doesn’t further complicate your commute on Caltrain or SamTrans.
Go Early: Everyone on the road is slowing down (or at least they should be), so your normal commute schedule is likely going to be more complicated than usual. Give yourself more time than usual so you don’t find yourself forced to rush.
Walk Carefully: We all know that sense of dread when we see our train pulling into the station in the distance, but this is not the best time to show off your 400 meter dash. Please practice patience and walk slowly when you’re on a Caltrain platform or approaching a SamTrans bus stop. Being late in a storm is understandable, but a slip or fall hazard is not the way you want to start your day, especially near a fast-moving, multi-ton vehicle.
Nail the Dismount: Wet stairs are a problem, particularly when a mob of people want to rush onboard the train or bus in order to get out of the rain. Always let riders dismount the train before you get on and while dismounting, hold onto the railings and move safely but quickly. Bus riders should take the rear exit so people can get in from the rain as soon as possible.
Umbrella Etiquette: If you’re going to shake off your umbrella, do it where people don’t walk. It’s already slippery out and we don’t want anyone to get hurt because of excess water on the train or bus floors. Additionally, please do not place wet umbrellas on seats because no one wants to sit in a puddle of water.
Be Aware of Reroutes: Rockslides are not unheard of on the Peninsula, particularly on the coastside, and it’s not too crazy to expect some fallen trees to block off roads. Keep an eye on our social media accounts to see if there’s been a change to your specific route.
This winter storm is expected to last until this Thursday and likely won’t be the last, so let this be your guide to getting through it safely.