BART with Mike

My neighbor Mike is in his 60s, retired, & doesn’t have a whole lot to occupy his time.

My neighbor Mike, leaning forward with sunglasses

He is super deadpan, “shoots straight” and is a fountain of wisdom about issues of homeownership and local history.

I recently persuaded him to take the bus with me–something he had not done for decades–and we took it to his favorite restaurant, Harry’s Hofbrau:

Mike and Max, in front of Harry's Hofbrau

It was such a successful trip we brought along 2 more neighbors for a subsequent trip:

Mike, Max & 2 more neighbors waiting at a Samtrans bus stop Mike, Max & 2 more neighbors dining at Harry's Hofbrau

This past week I brought Mike with me on a trip to San Francisco on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

He loves to bike.

He bikes 15 miles every day to help occupy his retirement and stay healthy, so naturally we biked to our nearest BART station at Millbrae.

Here are some photos from the outing:

Mike with his bicycle inspecting the new BART cars as they arrive at Millbrae station Mike & Max biking on Market Street in San Francisco, wearing helmets Mike eating clam chowder and garlic fries Max eating clam chowder and garlic fries Mike watching the ferry arrive in San Francisco An out of service BART escalator, collecting trash Two bikes on the Embarcadero BART platform

Generally, Mike was fascinated at how fast BART traveled.

He noted critically how the train stations’s locations are inconvenient and how train departures are infrequent.

Specifically, we rode by Daly City BART and noted that he was planning to go to a movie with his wife to the theater and that it was next to the station.

He could drive their car 10 minutes or bike 20 minutes to Millbrae BART, walk to the platform and wait for the train, ride the train for 14 minutes and walk 1 block from the movie theater.

Or they could drive to the theater directly in 22 minutes, park within a block or two where the fee to park is less than the fee for both him and his wife to pay for a BART ticket(!).

This math would perhaps look different if Mike was not retired and was needing to commute into downtown San Francisco or the east bay, but he is simply not that demographic.

I don’t expect that Mike will use BART again, but it was very illuminating to hear his raw experience and thought process about using BART from the peninsula.

· bicycles, biking, transit, commuting, economics