Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Future of Transit in Silicon Valley

I was alerted to this piece in The Atlantic Cities.   The author is generally down on the transit infrastructure in Silicon Valley, and claims that both the light-rail and commuter rail are slow.  I won't try to defend VTA's light-rail here, but I do disagree that the commuter rail (called Caltrain, which connects San Jose and San Francisco) is slow.  The bullet service gets you from SF to SJ in one hour, and from SF to Palo Alto in 40 minutes.  That is often faster than driving.

The author also links to an interesting map of "Google Bus" routes.  By "Google Bus" I refer to buses run by any Silicon Valley campus that are used to bring workers who reside in San Francisco to work.  Apple, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo also run "Google Buses". 

The author concludes by writing, "When it comes to public transit, the leaders of the tech industry are way behind."

One might agree here, and say the tech industry is behind with respect to public transit because it doesn't locate its campuses near Caltrain stations.  But they have figured out a solution that seems to work for now.  It will be interesting to see if the hostility towards Google Buses that I mentioned in my post on San Francisco from earlier today grows or subsides in 2014.