40 minute delay
A co-worker stopped by my desk just before I left work to let me know that she'd heard about Caltrain delays. "Caltrain is running 10 to 40 minutes late in both directions," she said.
No sweat, I thought. I've endured 10 to 40 minute delays many times. I'll just go to the station and find out how late the trains are running. I called Sara to let her know that the trains were running late.
When I got to the station, the flashing sign read,
"BOTH SOUTHBOUND AND NORTHBOUND TRAINS ARE DELAYED DUE TO A MAJOR CT FAILURE. EXTREMELY LONG DELAYS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS."
Later, I heard on the radio that there was a big crash on Meadow St. in Palo Alto.
Here's the story from the San Jose Mercury News: "Woman dead after Caltrain slams into car on tracks in Palo Alto."
I called Sara, and she offered to drive down to San Mateo to come get me. No, I'll just ride back to work and beg one of my co-workers who lives in San Francisco for a lift home.
Then I saw one of my friends from Caltrain leaving the platform and riding away, going north. "Riding home?" I asked her.
"BART!" She replied.
Now that's a good idea, I thought. Another cyclist was riding north, so I followed him and confirmed that he was going to BART too. I rode down El Camino, which was a little scary, because there's no shoulder in Burlingame. I suspect that El Camino is the route for n00bs riding from San Mateo to Millbrae BART; I'll have to look up a better way for next time.
I just happened to have a BART ticket in my pocket, and there was a train waiting for me when I got there. We arrived at the 24th St. station at 6:35, and I was home by 6:50, only 40 minutes late.
The sign should have read, "Expect major delays, unless you have a bike!"
Technorati tags: Caltrain BART delay bicycling commute