In my former life as a relocation consultant for Bay Area bound techies and bio-scientists, I was never surprised by the multitude of commute options I was able to come up with, regardless of where Jane, Joe and Junior decided to call home. Naturally, it was often hard to compete with company provided wi-fi outfitted luxury buses (it was my job to promote those after all), however I took every opportunity to boast about the incredible public transportation system that connects every City on the Bay via eight local transit agencies and one Clipper card. After all, not every techie can live within a half block of the company bus. Plus, a ride on a bus, train or ferry can literally change your life if you’re willing to untether from your “smart” pad from time to time.
Change your life? That last sentence is still playing in your head on an infinite loop isn’t it? Allow me: I often tried to entice the “emotionally unattached” or mate seeking transferee onto MUNI or BART with the story (true, by the way) of how I met my wife on the 30 Stockton line – an infinite loop of another kind. Of course that was back in the day when you couldn’t hide your extreme desire to not talk to anyone by simply cramming your auditory canals with “ear buds” or focusing your already screen-bleary eyes on a “smart” phone (In case you’re wondering, I put “smart” in parens because I truly don’t think there is anything smart about not having to think). Anyways, where was I? (Sorry, I’ve been spending too much time on my “smart” phone). Oh yes, lucky me decided to approach a lovely girl who seemed intent on NOT talking to me but was born about five years too soon and therefore was still “smart” – no gadgets with which to pretend to be preoccupied. Long story short – Safe lunch at Joes on Broadway (dutch she insisted) led to Chinese food and The Firm a few days later. I know, very original right? After six months of “just friends” and one Thanksgiving dinner with my family later, she decided I was worth the risk associated with commitment and my life was forever changed. A true MUNI love story – honestly!
So what does all this have to do with the Bay Trail? It is quite simple really, the Bay Trail is connected to public transportation at just about any point along our shoreline and public transportation connects each and every one of us at some point along a different path, one that takes us through life. No less than ten ferry terminals dot our shoreline and a multitude of train and bus stops bring you to our shores where you can decompress from a “smart” phone obsessed 21st century urbanite to a bird scope toting, fleece vest wearing, Nikon shooting, trail geek as you make your way home each evening! Think Clark Kent suddenly going super eco through a magical ap on his “smart” phone (as oppose to phone “booth” if you were born before 1980). So grab your Clipper card and ride on my friends! And don’t be bashful about trying to get a date (or safe lunch) while you’re out there. You can always retreat at the next stop if it ends in public humiliation.