By Matt Wilson, @wilsonstcomms

INTERNET OF THINGS EXPO: I remember earlier this decade, a friend of mine saying that “the Internet of things” was going to be the hot new tech-gadget buzz word and term for the foreseeable future. How right she was, because it seems like every five minutes there’s a new gadget or in-home device that requires an online connection and is eerily reminiscent of something from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (By the way, we were supposed to be dazzled by this futuristic stuff…..from the year 2364!)

Well, the future is here and more than 12,000 attendees are expected to attend Internet of Things World 2018 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The business-focused expo and conference kicks off today and runs through Thursday, May 17.

The agenda will cover just about “everything from manufacturing to smart cities, connected cars, the smart home, healthcare, energy and agriculture, supply chain and logistics plus much more.”

You can get to the convention center all four days by catching Caltrain riding to the Mountain View Transit Center. From there, connect with VTA light rail trains or buses, located at Evelyn Avenue and Castro Street. Light rail trains will drop you off by the center at the Great America Station.

LITTLE MERMAID MUSICAL: The student-run Grab Bag Theater has taken its next production under the sea with two more performances of The Little Mermaid this week.

The family-friendly musical rendition of the Disney classic will have plenty of mermaids, talking sea creatures, and high energy, according to the production company. (Just thinking about it already has guaranteed me a week with at least one song swimming in my head).

Tickets are a bargain at $10 and are sold at the door. Shows are on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, start at 7 p.m. and end around 9 p.m. All shows are in the Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., which can be reached via SamTrans line 274. Theater-goers eager and willing to use their legs (hey, it’s what Ariel wished she could ditch her fish tail for all along, right?) can  walk 1.3 miles from the Redwood City Transit Center, which connects to Caltrain and multiple SamTrans lines.

GET US MOVING TOWN HALL: Phase 2 of public outreach is underway for Get Us Moving San Mateo County and the next town hall meeting is set for Thursday, May 17. All residents are invited to come to the Lane Room at the Burlingame Library, 480 Primrose Road, to share ideas for how they’d allocate transportation funding. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

The town hall is part of several opportunities for the public to share their thoughts about strategies to address local transportation needs. Get Us Moving is a collaborative effort between the San Mateo County Transit District, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, partner agencies and organizations. More town halls are scheduled this month.

Residents can also chime in this month and take the new Budget Challenge where the public gets to create their own budget and spend $2.4 billion in potential transportation funding based on their own priorities. Visit to take the fun and quick Budget Challenge through May 31.

You can get into a transportation state of mind by taking Caltrain to the Burlingame Station and taking a less-than-10-minute walk to the library. SamTrans 292 makes stops throughout the day nearby on California Drive.

ELIGIBLE DISCOUNT BUS TICKETS: Beginning Tuesday, SamTrans will sell paper tickets just for riders in the Eligible Discount fare category. These tickets, sold at a discount in packages of ten for $10, can be used by customers who are 65 or older, or possess a Medicare card or current Disabled Person Placard Identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Paper tickets eliminate the need for exact change and do not have an expiration date. Each of these bright green tickets is good for one-ride and must be placed into the farebox upon boarding. Tickets can be used on all regular SamTrans bus routes and carry a local-ride value. They cannot be used to purchase day passes.

Anyone can purchase paper tickets, but the bus operator may ask for proof-of-eligibility when using one. These new tickets for Eligible Discount riders were approved for use and sale by the SamTrans Board of Directors in November 2015.

Paper tickets are available at SamTrans headquarters in San Carlos, 1250 San Carlos Ave. and at most Safeway stores in San Mateo County. They can also be purchased by mail or fax using the SamTrans ticket order form.


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