Q My wife and I took BART into San Francisco from Livermore because it allowed us to avoid the morning commute. On the return trip through the Transbay Tube, the car would repeatedly jerk to one side, then to the other, completing each jerk cycle in less than a second.
The jerking made it hard for me to read my book and her the newspaper. But we were lucky in that we had seats. Many riders had to stand and brace themselves to these motions.
If I were to drive down I-580, jerking within my lane like this, my wife would suggest I give up my driver's license.
A BART officials don't dispute that you had a rough ride and say the two main reasons are aging cars and tracks.
The trains are more than 30 years old on average, the oldest in the nation, and shock absorption systems don't work nearly as well anymore. New cars should be in use by 2018 to provide a smoother, quieter ride.
The other problem is the vibration on the tracks. There's more friction because of small pits in the wheels and/or tracks, leading to more vibration, especially at higher speeds. Crews grind the rails nightly but newer equipment is needed.
Also, catwalks are at a specific height for the majority of the tube, but slope down to cross passage doors every 300 feet. A train at 70 mph is going about 100 feet per minute, so they hit the cross passages every three seconds and changes in lateral pressure when trains pass the crosswalks cause the buffeting.
Q When we were on BART going to SFO. I signed up for texting updates. Big mistake, I now find. How do I get them to stop? I'm an infrequent rider on BART and don't need constant updates. I've tried replying STOP many times and even snail-mailed a letter to BART. Still get many texts daily. Can you advise me?
A Go to www.bart/gov/alerts and follow the instructions to unsubscribe. It is a very quick process. You can also use BART's text-on-demand system, which will give you info only when you ask for it. Text "BART" and a command like "delay" to 878787 and they'll text you back.
Q I was on my way home from the Oakland airport and the metering lights were on. I thought if you were in a carpool lane on the ramp that you didn't have to stop. However it just felt weird not to stop. So I asked co-workers and got a mixed response. And could not really find an answer online anywhere. So, now I will stop!
A As you must, if the light is red.
Q Well it is almost June 17, almost a year from when they closed Warren Avenue to construct the grade separation. When they started it was to be one year until completion. Are they going to make it?
A Not quite. Warren is expected to reopen next month.
Q College Avenue in Oakland runs under the Rockridge BART Station. This short section of street is in horrific condition. Driving on it feels like you are kicking up loose gravel. When is Oakland going to repave it?
A Soon, hopefully. City crews are waiting to hear from utility companies on their plans, then paving will commence.