One of the real problems with the
south bay is that it's hard to get from here to places like
Berkeley without a car. The big reason is that there is no
convenient connecting to BART. Expanding BART to the south bay has
been in the works for years. The first piece of that to be ready
is the extension to Warm Springs. That means the ride from the
light rail station at Great Mall is only nine miles, much easier
than the trek to Fremont that had been prohibitive.
Virginia and I decided to attend the
opening ceremony. The rainy weather didn't stop us. The nine mile
ride was a great way to start the day.
When we got there the speakers were
already being processed across the stage one after another. I
remember lots of kudos to the people who did the work to expand
BART. It had taken a lot, everything from Congresscritters and
voters getting funding to leaders and workers making it happen. We
clapped many times on que.
My favorite comment came from
Rebecca Kaplin who said "Expanding BART opens the door to a
greener future." The talking was over when the MC invited the
dignitaries present to come forward and lead us into the station,
where we can look at the new station and BART trains. Real service
would begin the next morning.
Soon enough we followed.
The big news for me was that the new
cars have these newfangled bike racks that are MUCH BETTER than
the ones in the old BART cars. The seats are a bit more
comfortable to. Wish I'd taken more pictures of the interior. It
feels a bit more spacious than the old cars did.
There were BART employees scattered through the train sharing
talking points. Click the picture to see the slides that guy
They even have a pay phone on the
platform. Virginia reported hearing a dial tone. We didn't push
our luck by trying to call anyone.
After the opening we spent the day
being tourists in the East Bay, first visiting an old friend of
Virginia's who is waiting to die in El Cerrito and then my
grandparents in a hilltop graveyard nearby. Then we rode the
Ohlone Greenway to Berkeley. Had a great meal at Spengers before
heading home. That was a long ride. We got off BART in Union City
and rode our bikes across the Dumbarton Bridge. Now you can take
BART to Warm Springs and then ride to the light rail station, but
it wasn't quite true yet then.