Let’s say you’re going to work, and like a lot of folks, you have to transfer from Muni Metro to Bart.
What do you have to do? Well first you have to get to one of the shared stations, i.e. Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery, or Embarcadero. (I’m not counting Balboa Park, that’s another story for another time.)
Next you have to actually do some walking. Here’s a highly-skilled MS Paint diagram of what you currently need to do on foot:
- Go from the Muni platform level to the ticketing level
- Head through the exit and into the Bart faregates
- Go back down to the Bart platform level
Does it have to be this complicated? Of COURSE NOT!
Anyone who’s ever transferred has probably thought of this, but there’s a pretty simple solution here: stairs between the Muni and Bart platform levels.
See? We eliminate two flights of stairs and save up to 5 minutes or so.
So what’s the rub, why didn’t they build the station like this in the first place?
It seems there simply isn’t enough room to have all the extra faregates and ticket machines we’d need on the station platforms. Or at least, it USED to be that way.
But now that we have Clipper, couldn’t we make do with less? All you’d have to do is exit Muni and tag on to Bart. Or in the other direction, tag off Bart and on to Muni.
Muni trains already have Clipper machines inside the train, and it’s a proof-of-payment system, so gates aren’t really needed. Bart could just have a couple faregates at the platform level. It wouldn’t have to take up too much space.
So there you go, commuters; now just convince the powers that be to build this.