CalTrain trouble

Last night I got to the train station only to hear that “All Northbound and Southbound trains [were] stopped.”  That’s it.  No other explanation.  My co-worker checked online and found that in Palo Alto, a train had hit a car.  Yikes.

It’s not the first time someone’s been hit.  At my stop in San Mateo, a person was hit and killed a few months ago.  Awful, yes.  But at the same time, I was cold-heartedly glad that it was early enough in the day that it didn’t affect the rush hour commute.

Yesterday was a different story.  My co-worker and I waited.  Waited and waited and waited.  The announcements offered no information except, “All Northbound and Southbound trains are stopped.”  No shit lady!

I started to get worried.  How the hell was I going to get home?

Forty minutes passed.  Finally, my co-worker had the brainstorm to ride his bike to Millbrae and take the BART from there.  Lucky!  Then I noticed that the sign read that SamTrans was accepting CalTrain tickets, and remembered that I walked past a SamTrans bus stop every day.

Thankfully there was indeed a sign at the bus stop that said, “Downtown San Francisco.”  Thank God!  But there was just one girl and a homeless guy there.  Would a bus really stop there?  I waited.  Waited and waited.  I started to think I should grab a cab to Millbrae and take the BART.  One passed, I hesitated, and someone else snagged it.  Damn!

I wandered away from the bus stop, looking for a cab.  Then I saw it, the SamTrans, and hightailed it back to the stop. Now it was suddenly teeming with people.

Unlike the MUNI buses and MRSA-laden BART trains, the SamTrans was surprisingly clean.  The seats were comfy and hardly anyone was on it.  I thought, Why don’t I take this instead, especially if it stops closer to my apartment?

I soon found out why: it stops every-fucking-where.  It stops at the airport and all three terminals.  It stops in every shitty podunk town between the airport and the city.  At times I thought, Where the fuck am I?

At the same time though, it was sort of an adventure (albeit from tragic circumstances).  If you had told me two years ago that I’d be traveling through San Francisco and its outskirts like a native, I’d have highly doubted you.  I didn’t even bother checking to see where the bus stopped.  “Downtown SF” was enough.  I knew that wherever it dropped us, I could figure out how to get home.

After an HOUR (the train takes half that) we were finally in the city.  I got off on 5th and Mission, and walked the rest of the way home.

Got in at about eight, about an hour later than usual, which is actually not so bad, considering.  The article said that trains didn’t even start running again till that time.  I’m really glad I didn’t wait around.

On the news later that night, MB and I heard that in the car, the husband was able to get out but not his wife.  Apparently she was driving, they got stuck on the tracks, and she couldn’t get out in time.  I can’t imagine how the husband must feel.

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