Friday, August 17, 2012

Fuck you Amtrak

First off, the screening of "Ai We We, Never Sorry" is tonight at the Crest at 7:30.  I have never been that intrigued by that guy but the preview looked like it will be really good.  Plus Ai Wei Wei is super fun to say.

Second off, Amtrak, I quit you.  First there is the boondoggle, nay quagmire of moving the tracks.  This is not just being resistant to change.  It made me laugh that the city is comparing the extra 10 minute walk (yes, not 5, not 8, because it is quite far, and when a train lets out you get trapped on the up ramp because they made it narrow as fuck) to Grand Central Station!! There is a reason GCS is that fucking big! It's because there are like 100 motherfucking trains there at any given time.

OK, so simultaneous with this bullshit, they change the capitol corridor train schedule, making the train to Davis arrive 10 minutes earlier.  They do not announce this on the trains, they do not post a sign at the beginning of the quagmire, they do not have an old guy volunteer to tell you.  So there I am, walking a normal pace and I miss my motherfucking train by TWO MINUTES. 

I go up to the window and ask them to post a sign. Strongly ask.  The woman says they haven't been provided a sign. I say "make one" she says "I can't do that".  I say "have an old guy there to tell people" she says "I can't do that".  She points to a tiny piece of paper taped to her window.  Frequent riders don't really go in the station very often.

I'm sorry if this is TLDR, but you would laugh if you saw the route I have to take to the train from Blvd Park.  It involved weaving through a couple of potholed parking lots and going the wrong way through entrances, going up the hill where the jogger warning was posted, and then I find out they have now cut off my last little shortcut to get closer to the platform.

So WHY would I pay 10 dollars a day to ride ten minutes on my bike, walk ten minutes to the platform, take a 15 minute train ride (20 on the way home), and then ride 5 minutes to my work when I could DRIVE 20 minutes.  I would have to be an idiot to continue doing it.  Unfortunately I just signed up for a 3 month tiny discount program from my work.


Anonymous said...

The Capitol Corridor is managed in part by the state. This is a totally valid complaint for such a huge oversight. Call or email Caltrans Divison of Rail.

beckler said...

Thanks! I just sent an email off to the chief of the Caltrans Rail and the representative at Amtrak. I feel better.

Anonymous said...

Additional comment on the "it's no further than you'd walk at Grand Central Station (or some other station)" - those terminals are indoors. In Sac you have to walk almost all of the distance outdoors, whether it's 100 degrees out now, or, in winter, raining & hailing.

Anonymous said...

Funny - I was just talking to a friend about this. She told me that she complained to a station agent, who said that a ton of people are missing their trains because they aren't informing folks about this 10-20 minute extra walk. She also told me that a man walked his family to the train in the heat and died of a heart attack.


Anonymous said...

I just rode it on Monday and they had a couple agents/helpers in place to let people know about the change in location, extra time walking. I don't mind walking, but yeah the Grand Central Station comparison is ridiculous for many reasons, including being outdoors here. I actually worried about a couple of the elderly passengers who got off on the ride back given the walk through all the smoke and haze in the air.

beckler said...

it was more the double whammy of changing the train schedule and the walk that made me lose my mind, but I still am going to stop riding the train because the extra 20 minutes per day on the commute for the walk tips it over the edge to "not worth it"

Unknown said...

Actually, F--- Amtrak is a bit out of place. I have not met one person at Amtrak, among dozens in all levels of the company, that favored the platform move (except maybe the seven new permanent hires needed to ferry people to the platforms -- at WHO's cost?). This was forced on Amtrak by the City of Sacramento, the City Council and past Councils, past mayor Fargo, and city staff. If there is a burning bag of S--- to be left on the doorstep of the party's responsible, it needs to be delivered where it is deserved. And it does need to be delivered.