Ashley McDonald

An SF State Student Attempting to Blog

The Commute From Hell

I have decided that although I have mostly enjoyed the convenience of BART travel, I officially despise commuting to SF State when there is any sort of wrench thrown in the already hectic East Bay to San Francisco commute routes.

The Bay Bridge (click here for AP video) had been closed down for Caltrans repair, and according to, ridership had increased 85%. What does this mean for East Bay Commuters like myself? It means leaving the house 2 hours before I actually have to be somewhere. Why? Not because of space on the trains (BART has added and extended trains to accommodate the increase in riders) but because of the parking situation.

Wednesday of last week was the worst  day to commute. It was the first day of increased ridership and thinking that I would be in the clear for a parking spot if I left my house. Even with moderate to heavy traffic it takes me about 10 minutes to get to the BART garage (see image below) and another 5 minutes at the most to find a parking garage. Wednesday was not a usual day.


Map from the approximate location of my house to Pleasant Hill BART station. (Map from Yahoo! Maps)

I left a little early expecting the commute to be rough. I got to BART around 7:45 am, about 30 minutes earlier than normal, and drove up all 8 stories of the parking garage despite the “Lot Full” sign. I was stopped by a BART Police officer and advised to go to Concord BART. He assured me that there would be parking “on the mesa” for sure. The time was then 8:20 am.

(A little back-story before I continue: I go to Pleasant Hill BART station not because it is closer to my house but because it is the biggest parking garage there is in a 15 minute radius to my house. Concord BART, although about 5 minutes away from my house, is much smaller and fills up sooner. I have made the mistake of trying to park there before school too many times to trust anyone that says there is parking there after 7:00 am. Hence my disbelief)

After the advice from the officer, I decided to drive over there. I knew that either way I was going to be late for my class so I might as well check it out for the next day. I was not surprised that there was absolutely zero parking available. The time was then 9:00. I laughed to myself and drove home.

Thursday was better. I left my house at 6:45 am. Got on BART at 7:00am. Arrived at Daly City BART at 8:05 am. Got to campus at 8:20 am.

This may seem like a great day unfortunately I learned that the labs in the Journalism Department don’t open until 9:00 am. “Drat,” I thought to myself. I got a coffee, went to my Third Cinema classroom and took a nap before class.

Luckily the Bay Bridge is now open, as of this morning and I only hope that my Wednesday commute this week will be smooth and easy, just like normal.


November 2, 2009 - Posted by | Random Musings

1 Comment »

  1. I do not envy your commute time. I’ve always been spoiled, and I’m making my longest commute to work now, which is about 25-30 minutes door to door, and I’m driving. I realize I might one day live in a larger city, and I’m not looking forward to the commute. Glad the bridge is open again for you though!

    Comment by Allyson Beutke DeVito | November 11, 2009 | Reply

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