Tag Archives: San Bruno Caltrain Station

Titanic Tidbits & Musings

1. National Geographic has decided to look back at the 1990s in an upcoming documentary called The ‘90s:The Last Great Decade? As is usual they send out press releases and even previews to media. Sadly TNC seems to never get those media packets. At any rate James Cameron’s Titanic is tied with Forrest Gump as best movie of the decade. Sadly for Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston was the female icon with Christina Applegate coming in second. And a show about nothing about four self-centered people barely beat out the X-Files. While Aniston was the babe, sadly the rest of her Friends were pushed aside by the show about nothing. Then again what was Friends about anyway?
Source:Titanic,’ ‘Seinfeld’ Top Best Of ’90s Poll(25 June 2014, Popwatch)

2.The Titanic Hotel at Liverpool’s Stanley Dock (not to be confused with the other Titanic hotel in the former White Star headquarters) is nearing completion reports Liverpool Echo. The first guests are slated to be International Festival For Business delegates. Prices for staying at the new hotel will be between £129-£200 a night (about $203-$339).
Source: Sign That Liverpool’s New Titanic Hotel Is Getting Ready To Open For Business(23 June 2014,Liverpool Echo)

3. In order to raise money for St John’s Hospice a group of fundraisers decided to have a Sink The Titanic food challenge. The challenge will be to eat a mammoth 3 foot, six inch burrito in 30 minutes at Lancaster’s Go Burrito. Calling Adam Richman from Man Vs Food! It is a daft idea, as one person notes in the article, but it certainly gets a notice and awareness of St. John’s Hospice. Have the antacid standing by. Eating that much burrito is bound to have after effects. You can click here to contribute.

4. MasterChef:Mutiny On The Beach Update
Joe Bastianich had the following to say about this recent episode. On Team Red he writes:
Sadly, the same cannot be said for the red team. Leslie was a disappointing leader, but at least he owned up to his incompetence. The rest of his team didn’t help much either, and for that alone they all deserved to lose. Their collective dislike of Leslie helped make a bad situation worse, so at the end of the day, it was everybody’s fault. Who knows how many people flew to California to experience this auspicious event? I have a restaurant and B&B in northeast Italy called Orsone. If my team there ever mishandled a wedding—one of the most important events in a couple’s life—I’d die of embarrassment. The end result on the plate was pleasing to the wedding party, but if we judges hadn’t been there, that would not have happened.

I did not delve into the other team members actions in my write-up. And Joe is right on this. They all wanted to throw Leslie under the bus for the failure not looking at their parts in it as well. Had they been left to their own devices and no one checked them at all, the result would have been very bad indeed. But perhaps they ought to let it happen if nothing else to teach them a lesson in being responsible. In fact, I suggest MasterChef do that at least once or perhaps twice a season. Let them take full and total responsibility for the cooking without any of the Culinary Trio telling them to correct things.

As for the Ahran and Leslie dustup:

Last night’s episode suffered no shortage of drama. Leslie continues to allow himself to be sucked into Ahran’s ridiculousness. As a seasoned adult, he should have recognized that with her he is not dealing with a peer. She is ruining this for herself, but it would be a real shame if Leslie lets her take him with her on the way down. Most of the kids from MasterChef Junior exhibit more poise and emotional maturity—look at last year’s winner, 13-year-old Alexander Weiss.

Ahran is still in high school, at least when the show was filming (she may have graduated by now) and pretty young to compete on the show. She already has shown how anger colors her thinking in a previous episode when she wanted to take Courtney down. And she all but accused the judges of favoritism when it comes to Courtney. That she dislikes Leslie is obvious. While he mispronounced her name at team selection, it was not intentional but she took as such. And in her rant against him said that was the reason she did not like him. At that point Leslie ought to have cut it off and walked away. Instead he decided to take her on at told her to get some cojones (paraphrasing again). The other gals did not like that. Ahran has her own problems and Leslie ought not to be sucked into them. He made it worse when he decided to put up three for the pressure test. To the judges, he showed he could be just as immature. Something they are going to be watching down the line. You know Ahran is in trouble when Joe believes 13-year-old Junior Masterchef winner Alexander Weiss is more mature.

5. Caltrain San Bruno Station
Okay for folks in and around San Bruno, CA, this is for you. The new Caltrain station at San Mateo & San Bruno Avenues was opened for use in April. Construction is still going on the underside (putting in steel plates etc). And use of San Mateo Ave at Huntington is still limited forcing drivers to divert San Bruno Ave and turning left to San Mateo Ave. The good news is that the elevated platform is spacious. The shelters are big allowing a lot more people to stand in them during inclimate weather. When it is windy the shelters come in handy. The downside is that there is no crossover to the other tracks, you have to access them from the street. It sucks but they could not build a wide platform that would allow an island configuration (where people can access trains in either direction from the center) for arrivals and departures. Parking is still an issue because Granite Construction still has it office and other things in that area. And both SamTrans 140,141 have Caltrain stops. The eastbound 140,141 stop near Chuy’s while the westbound stop is at Euclid. Unfortunately for eastbound bus riders who get off, there is no crosswalk at Euclid to cross over to the station. You have to walk up to San Bruno Ave for the crosswalk. San Bruno ought to put a crosswalk at Euclid.

Overall the new station is a vast improvement than the old one at Sylvan. There was no direct bus service to it. Of course being elevated means no more risks of cars stalling on the tracks in the downtown area. It has an easy access area for people with wheelchairs (ramps that lead up to the station on both sides of the station). The elevator is not done but once done, people who have problem walking up stairs can use it. Another plus it is a lot closer to Tanforan and San Bruno Bart. Instead of a 30-40 minute walk from Sylvan, it is 10 minutes or less by foot.

6. SamTrans Makes No Changes To 140/141
The recent schedule changes for SamTrans came into effect on 15 June. Neither of these routes had any schedule changes except that with schools out, runs that made trips to schools now run without going to those schools. Unfortunately some transit apps like Roadify seem to think SamTrans has shut down for the summer!

Riding The Rails With Caltrain

Correction (13 Sept 2012):
I noted yesterday that the increased passenger levels meant no fare hikes. I forgot about the proposed “Changes To Condified Tariff” that will soon be decided upon by Caltrain. According to press release, Caltrain plans no fare increases for Clipper users but on cash passengers. They will pay 25 cents more per zone. If you use Clipper from San Francisco to San Jose, the one way fare is $8.75 or $17.50 roundtrip. Cash users will pay $9.75 or $19.50 roundtrip. They plan to eliminate 8-Ride Tickets and increase Go Pass Cost.

Mark’s view:
Eliminating the 8-Ride ticket is a good idea. It simply has been a major headache for most users. The old system simply required a machine stamp before boarding the train. The reason for this ticket was for those people who travel infrequently during a month but not enough to buy a full monthly pass. What Caltrain ought to do is offer something that BART does, the High Value Ticket that offers a discount. And consider free parking on weekends like many BART stations do as well.

*San Bruno (temporary station)-The droning gas fired lights has been replaced by the steady glow of parking lamps. This is good news for the residents of the area. Now the parking lot is clearly illuminated. And the out of service info screen on the northbound side has been fixed. Sadly one of the Clipper readers on that side is still out of order (at least two months now).

*The Clipper machines at Fourth & King are fully operational. You can add cash or passes to your Clipper card at these machines. No really, you can! There was a long line the other day at Walgreens across from the station. While getting my favorite trail mix bars, one guy in line (the line went down that aisle) said there were Clipper machines at the station but not operating. I pointed out that there were now online and could add passes to a Clipper card. He and a friend left while others, to my surprise, stayed right there and one person saying “I don’t think you can do that….” Well folks, you can.


*You see funny things when sitting around  Fourth & King station while waiting to board a train. If you frequent it enough you recognize the street people who constantly check the garbage for aluminum cans or anything else they might need. Some drift through asking passengers for spare change. Others just sit a while during the day. There are notable ones that mutter to themselves and saying things that only they can understand. Then again perhaps some of the ordinary people do things that seem odd. Take one gal I saw recently. Her carbonated water was too agitated when she opened it. Now most people would find some sensible way of dealing with it. Hers was to spill it out on the floor just behind one of the benches. Made for a nice puddle that the janitorial staff had to clean up later.

*Some months ago there was a directive issued that during non-commute hours and weekend trains that tickets be checked prior to boarding in San Francisco/San Jose. A lot of conductors did not like this and voiced their displeasure. Now it looks like either the rule has eased up or some conductors are just not doing it. Perhaps the change in management (Amtrak lost its long standing contract with Caltrain) has made the conductors less afraid to defy. However do not think they are not checking aboard the trains. One diligent conductor on southbound 284 checks nearly every time usually when the train pulls over in Bayshore to wait for the express to pass. And the policy of ticketing without exceptions appears to be in full force.

*Northbound train 159 is rarely on time and nearly always 3-4 minutes off but sometimes longer. It is a late afternoon train (it departs San Jose at 3:05 P.M.) and is supposed to arrive in San Francisco at 4:38 P.M. It is rare to see it pull in early (it does happen). One time it was ten minutes late into San Bruno and of course no explanation.

*News reports indicate passenger levels have risen on Caltrain. There are two possible factors (excluding weekends which draw different numbers from the weekday). One is that South of Market (SOMA or to us old timers south of the slot) has a lot more people working in the area than before. Second is that people are switching their mode of transportation to Caltrain from BART. BART is more expensive from San Bruno and Millbrae to San Francisco than Caltrain. The drawback is that from Fourth & King you have to take SF MUNI to downtown.  The good news is that Caltrain is not planning any fare hikes just now. The bad news is that they still have major financial problems. Perhaps all that money for the high speed rail to nowhere could be shunted over to Caltrain.

*There is a new Subway outlet near the San Francisco station. Head east on Townsend and just past the Golden Arches.

*Signs of doom when aboard a Caltrain: The train scheduled to leave later departs before your train.