Monday, August 08, 2005

A Transit Tale - The Reporter sent one by car, one by ferry and one by mass transit to a shared destination, just to compare trips.

Article Launched: 08/07/2005 07:41:43 AM

A Transit Tale
Using and funding area mass transit is essential

Today, readers can follow the exploits of three intrepid reporters as they share their Bay Area sojourns in "Two by land, one by sea: A transit tale" in today's news section.

The Reporter sent one by car, one by ferry and one by mass transit to a shared destination, just to compare trips. The findings weren't too surprising.

Yes, the car made the best time. But it also cost the most. And as we all know, a road trip to the Bay Area can be most easily marred by outside influences: road work, traffic accidents, detours and good, old gridlock.

The flight by ferry was the cheapest option. Of course, it also took the most time to accomplish the mission, a good 40 minutes longer on our test day.

Landing right in the middle, costing only $1 more, was the combination of bus and BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit trains that wind through the Bay Area.

Our reporter found the Vallejo Transit express bus clean, quiet and efficient at 6:15 a.m. He also praised the transfer onto BART as easy and breezy. In the end, it took him 20 minutes longer than the car to arrive. In turn, he beat the ferry boat traveler by 20 minutes.

What's more, time spent on the buses, BART and the ferry can be used to read a newspaper or a novel, listen to music, catch up on work, or visit with a friend or co-worker. It is not just a transit choice, it is a lifestyle choice.

The most important element of our Bay Area Transit Tale is that we in Solano County have choices. While vehicles are the most popular mode of transportation - just ask the commuters gridlocked at the confluence of Interstates 80 and 680 - they are not the only choice.

If we are smart, we will use all of our resources to spare the air, spare our pocketbooks and spare our sanity, especially when time allows.

The ferry boat is a pleasant option for those who choose to cruise and save some cash, especially if they are not watching the clock too closely.

The express bus makes BART a real possibility for Solano County commuters.

And cars, well, there is probably no way to abandon our automobiles. But carpooling and vanpooling on occasion can make a lot of sense. And with the rising price of gas, more and more commuters are looking for ways to work from home, consolidate work weeks or even share a ride.

And all that is good.

We encourage Solano County residents to support our mass transit options, so that we might maintain them and continue to secure funding from state and federal government.

We must maintain a variety of choices, in order to maintain a healthy diversity of travel options.

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