Posted by: charityliz | March 6, 2012

commuter woes

This morning my train was canceled, but of course Caltrain doesn’t alert anyone to this until after we’ve already been freezing on the platform for twenty minutes. At this moment I had a critical decision to make between two options…

A) give up on being an eco friendly commuter, ride my bike back home (4 minutes), get in my warm car and drive to work (approx. 45 minutes in traffic), with the hope that I would arrive only an hour late for work…and save some money because driving is actually cheaper than taking the train!


B) Be a faithful little eco-bike-train commuter, give Caltrain the benefit of the doubt (even though I know that any announcements for late or delayed trains are almost sure to create much longer delays than they “estimate”), and wait patiently on that platform for the next train.

I’m an idiot and chose the later.

The next train arrives (about the time I should have already been in SF), and people are already packed in there like sardines. So much so that I and my bike got left on the platform–for the first time ever. Ug.

Once again, I returned to evaluating the two options above. And once again, against my best judgment, I chose option B. Fool!

After only five additional minutes of waiting, the next train arrived (yay), and it was less crowded (double yay), and I found a seat (things are looking up). But not for long…

The train begins to move…but rather than a typical acceleration it is just eeking along…I seriously could ride my bike faster than this (and that’s factoring for my less than efficient Schwinn 3-speed). Granted, it is a local train which means it makes every stop leading into SF (which will already add 30 minutes to my ride compared to my usual bullet train)…but this thing is moving slower than molasses on a Sunday afternoon!!

And I just heard an announcement from the train conductor calling any passengers remaining on the train “brave souls”. Really?! Are you kidding me right now? I already know I followed the stupid branch on my decision tree this morning…the last thing I need is for some conductor to confirm that fact!

On the bright side (because its a discipline to find bright sides in situations such as these):
*I get to experience my commute in slow motion.
*It’s not raining…or snowing…or 90 deg. with 98% humidity.
*I get to see the new friends I’ve made on the afternoon train (which wouldn’t happen if I gave up and drove to work this morning).
*I can spend all this wasted time on the train blogging through my phone with my two thumbs.

Cheers to life in the big city! Signing off from Train 221…now approaching (ever so slowly) San Francisco.



  1. the woes of being a suburbanite….. hope the balance of your day goes well. Maybe the Lord caused the delays for a purpose….such as safety or simply to give you an opportunity to meet new people.

    Love ya Charits

    • Thanks Aunt Phil…it’s good to be reminded that even days like that happen for a reason. Loveya!

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