Having rejoined the working world, I am now lucky enough to be working for a company that it makes total sense to take the VTA Lightrail in to the office. I live about 1.1 miles from the Cottle station, a 20 minute walk from home. Then 50 minutes to get to Tasman station, and a 5 minute walk to the office.
Since driving the 18 miles takes between 40 minutes and an hour, and the train gives me a low stress travel versus the stress of stop and go traffic.
Over the last 7 weeks, I have learnt the following.
- The trains have wifi. Cool, and it is free. But it appears to be a single cellular connection. Ok to surf Facebook, but it is too inconsistent for logging into VPN. That’s OK, I prefer the solitude and reading my Kindle to working.
- The first five and a half weeks, not once was there a fare enforcement officer. I was beginning to think that it would be low risk to not swipe the Clipper Card and pay the fine if caught. Then in the last week and a half, there have been 5 verifications.
- Apparently, if you want to score some pot, near the Santa Clara stop is the place to do it. It seems like every day I see some dealing going on on the sidewalk or in that parking lot.
- It is (in general) worth timing my commute to catch the limited express. The express saves 6 stops, and about 10 minutes.
- $2.00 a trip is a pretty good deal. I figure that if I would drive, 34-35 miles round trip, at 21mpg and $3 a gallon (Stewie needs premium), that is about the same cost to drive and ride the train.
- Some smugness, to know that I am doing even a little bit to reduce my carbon footprint. Of course, I wipe that out by driving a sports car for fun.
Yep, it is a pretty good deal.
An aside: Taking the train is convincing me that one day I need to bum around downtown San José and take pictures. St. James park, the post office, SJSU, victorian homes, and others are begging to be captured.