To Golden Gate Transit and Sonoma County Transit:
I have relied on your buses ever since they began operation. I have much to say about how they are scheduled, and it is, without question, done in such a way as to not to serve the majority of your riders. In all the years I have been a passenger on your system I have heard nothing but complaints from my fellow passengers which increase year after year. Except with rare exception, I never hear people talk about how wonderful a service you provide. Most of these complaints are leveled at the total lack of any seeming intelligence behind how the buses are scheduled. It is makes everyone suspicious as to how and why the bus company administrators and the county, state and federal agencies have created such a futile mess out of what is obviously a fairly easy fix with a little thought and a modicum of cooperation between the various agencies. Many of your riders theorize that these various agencies are paid by the oil companies to purposely sabotage the public transit systems so as to discourage ridership. Don't laugh; it's a well known fact that in the 1940's the oil companies bought out and completely dismantled Los Angeles's public transit system, which at the time was considered the best transit system in the world. I could go into great length about all the many dysfunctional problems of the bus routes and schedules, and I eventually will, but I am going to focus on one inexplicable peculiarity: Why is it that more often than not the buses that are routed on the furthest points of the east to west corridor are not scheduled to meet those on the north to south corridor? Here are some examples: I need to get from Sebastopol to Oakland on Saturday by 1:00 pm. The earliest Sonoma County Bus #20 leaves Sebastopol at 10:16 and arrives at Santa Rosa Transit Mall at 10:28. At this point I need to connect with Golden Gate Transit bus # 80, but it has left at 10:23, five minutes before SCT # 20 bus has arrived, so I have to wait an hour for next GGT # 80 which arrives at the Santa Rosa Transit Mall at 11:23, and gets me to San Rafael at 12:40. Then I have to wait for the #42 which leaves from San Rafael at 1:00 to Richmond and then take the next Bart to Oakland and I will be an hour and a half maybe two hours late for my appointment. I know that it's probably a very rare case that one would travel from Sebastopol to Oakland on a Bus and have to be there by 1:00 (maybe that is because the service is so horrific) but the point is to demonstrate how awful the service is and how ridiculous it is that the major east/west bound buses do not connect with the north/south bound buses, hardly ever. It takes upwards of four hours plus to get from Sebastopol to West Marin. If I want to get from West Sonoma to SRJC in time for a class that begins at 12:00 noon, the bus that arrives the closest to that time is 10:49, so I have to leave quite early and wait over an hour, unless I catch the next bus that arrives at 12:16. These bus schedules should be designed to get students on campus with their schedules in mind, and there are a siginificant number of students who have no choice but to take the bus to school. This lack of connectivity between bus lines is true even in the case of those operated by the same bus companies. For example, just look at the schedules of the GG Trans 80, 70 and 101 buses which should always connect with the 20, 23 and 40 & 42 lines. They used to connect but at one point, some out of touch administrator decided that it was working and therefore needed to be fixed. The same goes for many of the SCT lines. WHY? Who ever thought that was a good idea? I am not only complaining about my own experiences but am reflecting the point of view of almost every one of your riders and BUS DRIVERS. It is an indisputable fact that he admin does NOT listen to the bus drivers who continually tell them of the rider’s complaints. I doubt that any of the admin relies on their own bus service to commute, but if they did, I assure that the bus lines they use would operate in a timely and functional manner. Of course the GGT express buses operated to get commuters from North Bay cities to the financial district by between 7 am and 9 am are functional if one wants to leave between 4 am and 6 am, but that does not serve the vast majority of your riders.
At some other time I'll offer my solution to the stupid and time the consuming route between Santa Rosa and San Rafael, if your purpose is to run a bus service, you will take it into consideration.
I’ll also go on about the wifi service, the overdue need of clipper card on SCT, wasting money stupid new SR Transit Mall instead of fixing the service, I could go on.
Don’t even ask me about the “Stupid Train”. What a huge boondoggle that is now and will be when it begins to operate.
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