The lumbering up a set of stairs and across the concourse and down another set of stairs to transfer between BART and Caltrain is no longer necessary, thanks to a new modification.
One of the reasons that many aspects of Bay Area transit stations seem so counterintuitive and wildly outdated is that they were designed decades ago, by people who are long dead, and had no idea how the modern commuter would be using them today. Case in point — the intermodal Millbrae station that currently serves BART, Caltrain, and Samtrans riders, which was originally just a Caltrain station, and turned into a BART-Caltrain combo in 2003 when BART completed the SFO extension.
Peninsula commuters know well the insane logic problems of transferring between BART and Caltrain, which involves walking up a set of stairs, across the overwalk concourse, then down another set of stairs, where often none of the escalators are going the direction you need so you have to hoof it the whole way, the whole time staring at that stupid fence and saying to yourself “Why don’t they tear that fence down so I can just walk directly?” During this process, you miss your connection and have to wait another 20 minutes.
But that all changed yesterday. The Examiner reports that BART has improved the Caltrain connection at Millbrae, “all but eliminating the concourse trek between the two rail providers that has long plagued regular commuters.” The stupid fence is still there, but the new configuration involves less walking.
“Starting Monday, March 22nd, BART trains will arrive and depart at Millbrae Station from Platform 3, the one closest to Caltrain at the station,” BART said in a release. “This significant improvement will allow riders at Millbrae to cross the same platform to transfer instead of the previous walk up and through the concourse. BART and Caltrain transfer times and wayfinding at the station will also receive improvements.”
And about those missed connections, thanks to completely not-coordinated train timing? The same release says that “BART and Caltrain planners are collaborating with each other detailed scheduling plans to build the best possible connections for the two systems,” though no timeline is given on that.
Image: Pi.1415926535 via Wikimedia Commons