One trick I’ve learned, to improve my rider experience, is to wear headphones, even if I’m not listening to anything. This gives the impression that I’m too distracted to engage in conversations. This keeps the weirdos at bay. If I forget my earphones, then I pretend to talk on my cell phone, even if I don’t have a cell phone. Weirdos stay away.
You might wonder why I love riding the bus so much. Well, the big reason is that as much as I love driving, I don’t like parking. I also feel that the time spent driving could be time spent sleeping or day dreaming out a window, which you just can’t do in a car, safely.
Well, I’ve completely drifted away from why I started this post to begin with, and that is that bus riders in Marin have something to look forward to, besides ample opportunity to sleep.
First, you can buy a monthly pass for unlimited rides. This was in today’s Marin Independent Journal. I believe it’s $80 or something like that — not cheap — but then you’d never have to deal with parking, and that’s got to play a factor.
My thought is, if more people started riding the bus, Golden Gate Transit would have to expand its service to meet our needs. Not having to deal with exact fair has got to be an incentive.
The next really neat thing that I just want everyone to know about is now there’s a bus to the city that leaves every fifteen minutes. Buses leaving at :15 and :45 don’t even stop in Marin City.
What’s wrong with Marin City, you might be wondering. They have a Best Buy!
Apparently, this transfer point is also a hotbed for robberies. I confess that I’ve never had that cozy feeling there that I do at Richmond BART, a very nice BART station that even has its own Amtrak station, that [white] people won’t frequent because they’ve heard that it’s dangerous for reasons they just don’t want to say, but let’s just say it, it’ s because there are black people there. Say it! And there are Latinos. And they’re just hanging around that BART station just so they can mess up your lives.
Well, it’s your loss, because the station itself is modern and clean, one of the cleanest on the line. Unlike the Del Norte BART station, you can wait for your GGT bus indoors out of the wind and rain. Just make sure you keep your earphones on.
This is because this BART station is where all the evangelicals hang out, and if you’re not careful, they might try to recruit you. You’ve got to watch out for those evangelicals. They might pray for your soul or try to give you literature.
But the fear of transferring in Marin City is justified, and I’ve never felt comfortable there. First of all, the Starbucks is on the other end of the shopping center — totally inconvenient — and then the hub itself is such a poor excuse as a transfer hub.
The bus has to go far off Highway 101 before stopping on the outside of a nearly empty shopping center, and then it’s got to drive around and through the actual shopping center. That it’s a transfer hub at all has got to be that it was an afterthought. They needed a transfer point in southern Marin somewhere. Oh, how about in a shopping center in Marin City, the most economically impoverished town in all of Marin? Let’s not even invest in what it would take to make it a decent transfer hub. Let’s just put it here, out of the way. There is barely any shelter there. At night, the lighting is poor if non-existent. They put up some signs for bus stops and called it a transfer hub.
It is the weakest point in the Golden Gate Transit bus system. It is no surprise to me that thugs hang out there hoping to rob people. It is isolated from the rest of humanity, unlike other transfer hubs, which are right in the middle of it. They might as well drop you off in a dark alley.
Now they’re talking about moving it away from Marin City, which wouldn’t be a bad idea if it meant moving it closer to the buses’ routes of travel, but I will bet you anything that if they did that, they might actually invest in something useable, something they could have done all this time.
It never seemed like the intent was to service the people of Marin City. They put it there because they didn’t want to put it anywhere else. That’s my guess.
I still love riding the bus, though. It gives me a reason to be so opinionated.