SFO BART Workers ...

Old Jul 12, 17, 6:43 pm
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SFO BART Workers ...

Just came in on an international flight today, and saw what I always see at the BART station.

Confused people by the ticket machines trying to figure out how to buy a ticket - the BART machines are pretty unusual in that you buy a ticket for an amount that you choose, not to a specific destination. The machines are generally not intuitive. And, many people have come off long international flights and are not exactly at the top of their game.

Then, not too far away, the booth with the BART agents. I took a photo today - three of them in the booth together, talking to each other in a circle, ignoring everything.

Those poor confused people by the machines could sure use some help - but the three BART employees were too busy talking to each other to help anyone out.

Last edited by BigFlyer; Jul 12, 17 at 7:36 pm
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:21 pm
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Please refrain from snarky comments

Even if it's about BART. You can give an opinion in the post without being rude and judgements.

Thanks.

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Old Jul 12, 17, 10:35 pm
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The OP's story isn't uncommon, and can be seen daily at many stations. BART is one of few systems in my experience that doesn't have agents to assist with fare purchasing. It is one of the most user-unfriendly systems for the uninitiated or if anything goes wrong with your ticket and/or Clipper Card. There are some exceptions to this, but just like "the flight attendant is here for your safety," the BART Station Agent is there primarily for everything else but assisting you with your ticket purchase.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 10:39 pm
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Yep, those BART "workers" sitting in their booths seem to be interested in anything but work.

Last edited by Doc Savage; Jul 12, 17 at 10:47 pm
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Old Jul 13, 17, 8:49 am
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I live in San Francisco and rarely use Bart except to go to Oakland for dinner with a friend. I prefer to avoid it. But it's cheap for solo travelers. I think that a taxi ride out of SFO into San Francisco is comparable if you're a party of 3.

In fairness, not everyone who works at an airport customer service job (anywhere) is fully thinking about global passengers or passengers at all times.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 9:22 am
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Cool

Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
I live in San Francisco and rarely use Bart except to go to Oakland for dinner with a friend. I prefer to avoid it. But it's cheap for solo travelers. I think that a taxi ride out of SFO into San Francisco is comparable if you're a party of 3.

In fairness, not everyone who works at an airport customer service job (anywhere) is fully thinking about global passengers or passengers at all times.
Use Uber if you've got three pax.

I've had less than adequate interactions with the booth drones at BART. Several years ago, tried to ask the drone which platform I should use for a certain train at Millbrae. He replied, "Well, which one does it look like you should use?", rolling his eyes at me. Things went downhill from there. Another time, tried to ask where to pay for parking, again got attitude. Really annoying given how much they're paid.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 1:57 pm
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Well, I was complaining about the specific lack of help for people at the machines, but since you brought up interactions with people in the booths....

A few years ago I rode BART to the airport, and then took the escalator up to Airtrain. As I had virtually no luggage, I was the first one up the escalator - where there was a BART employee telling people Airtrain was not working. I then went down, as throngs of people were heading up to the non-working Airtrain.

When I got to the booth at the International Terminal end of the platform, in a very friendly voice I asked one of the booth inhabitants why they didn't have someone at the bottom of the escalator telling people Airtrain wasn't working. The response - "we have nothing to do with Airtrain." I continued in a friendly voice saying something along the lines of it is all BART customers who are going up the escalator, so it might be nice to tell them, the booth inhabitant simply repeated "we have nothing to do with Airtrain."



Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Use Uber if you've got three pax.

I've had less than adequate interactions with the booth drones at BART. Several years ago, tried to ask the drone which platform I should use for a certain train at Millbrae. He replied, "Well, which one does it look like you should use?", rolling his eyes at me. Things went downhill from there. Another time, tried to ask where to pay for parking, again got attitude. Really annoying given how much they're paid.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 6:03 am
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So how does one figure out the right amount to put in the machines?
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Old Jul 18, 17, 9:49 am
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There is a decal on the machine with a list of destinations and the price for each destination.

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
So how does one figure out the right amount to put in the machines?
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Old Jul 18, 17, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
There is a decal on the machine with a list of destinations and the price for each destination.
thanks
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Old Jul 18, 17, 5:24 pm
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Bart to get around San Francisco

Using BART to get around town, it's not the same system as SF Muni. Muni goes to more places than BART BART basically runs from the airport to downtown to the Mission district.

If you're using it to get to the airport or back, be aware it's an eight dollar and change per person.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 8:32 pm
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One time when I was at the SFO BART station, somehow the reader refused to read my clipper card (which has more than sufficient fund). I approached the booth and nicely asked for help. One guy came out and helped me.

They usually won't come out of the booth and proactively assisting those who might need help. Contrast to my experience at the Howard Beach station (where AirTrain meets New York subway A train), workers there were extremely helpful.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 8:51 pm
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Never been to the Howard Beach station, but at the Jamaica station they have employees stationed by the machines to help people figure out how to work the machines - which is complicated because you have to buy a Metro Card to get out, and may or may not need a LIRR ticket.


Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
One time when I was at the SFO BART station, somehow the reader refused to read my clipper card (which has more than sufficient fund). I approached the booth and nicely asked for help. One guy came out and helped me.

They usually won't come out of the booth and proactively assisting those who might need help. Contrast to my experience at the Howard Beach station (where AirTrain meets New York subway A train), workers there were extremely helpful.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
One time when I was at the SFO BART station, somehow the reader refused to read my clipper card (which has more than sufficient fund). I approached the booth and nicely asked for help. One guy came out and helped me.
I once had an extremely helpful BART agent, who came out of the booth to assist. It was in the early days of Clipper, when MUNI was screwing up and caused me to be locked out of a BART entry.

I also once had a nice non-interaction with BART PD, who was kind enough to leave a business card on my steering wheel with his contact info and a note that my car had been broken into. I wouldn't have known but for his note (and the glass all over the pavement and the missing window).
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Old Jul 19, 17, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
Using BART to get around town, it's not the same system as SF Muni. Muni goes to more places than BART BART basically runs from the airport to downtown to the Mission district.

If you're using it to get to the airport or back, be aware it's an eight dollar and change per person.
I take it that is the one way fare

I have to pick up my son at SFO mid-trip and I'll be leaving from a hotel near Fisherman's wharf?

So I will be going alone to SFO and coming back with my son

Is BART still the best way to do this RT or is Uber a better option

While I'm asking, going back to SFO there will be 2A 2K going back, same questions

Price wise?
time wise?

thanks
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