Monday, November 9, 2009

Transitfail photos

Sarah @ Streetsblog wants your transit fail photos for her next slide show. Send her your pictures of crummy transit service and infrastructure.

Here are my contributions:

Motorist illegally drives on light rail tracks, blocking the train, then drives across the boarding platform. San Jose, California.

Motorist drives on train tracks and across bus platform

Plowed snow completely blocks bus shelter access. Longmont, Colorado.

Snowbank blocks bus access

Jam packed trolley. San Francisco, California.

F Trolley


  1. I don't mean to nit-pick but:

    The first set of pics (of a driver running thru light rail tracks and platform) is one I've seen happen multiple times in downtown San Jose. It is more a case of "driver-fail" than "transit-fail"

    "Jam-packed Trolley" is not an example of Transit-fail but of Transit success. People are riding because the darn thing works. Look at all cities where transit *works* - Tokyo, Mumbai etc. and "jam-packed" trains are the norm. An empty bus/LRT would be a better example of "transit-fail".

  2. @rankum: I knew somebody was going to make those comments on both of those points, though I'm a little surprised they both came from one person!

    I more or less agree, actually, and debated with myself for about half a second if these are really 'fail' photos or not, but went ahead and did it anyway. Thanks for the conversation, though.

  3. You are welcome. That plowed snow photo totally takes the cake - although again, a case can be made that it's not really "transit fail".

    I wish I had a pic for the time we waited in Scotts Valley for 2.5 hrs under a non-sheltered bus stop for the Hwy 17 Exp. In general however, the Hwy 17 bus is one of the few things that work well in the Bay Area transit scene IMO...

  4. I'd actually go with "transit fail" with those Downtown SJ photos...the difference between the lightrail tracks and the regular street is not that stark and it's very common for drivers to mistake the first for the second.

    If it happens a lot, and it does, then it's bad planning/design/etc.

  5. One of the requirements for getting a driving license is learning to look at street signs. I pass by the region where the light rail tracks and street run next to each other, and the place is teeming with signs. There are signs warning about the road and tracks running next to each other and how to align your car; there are giant lights (larger than a traffic stop light) that blink anytime an LRT is in the vicinity; the LRT blares its horn loud as it makes a turn or goes through an intersection. It is impossible to miss, unless you are driving with your eyes closed, or talking the cell phone - which was exactly the case in the two incidents that I saw. Colossal driver-fail, if you ask me.

  6. Here's the coolest car I've seen trapped on the LRT ROW.

    There are lots of signs indeed turning onto 1st from San Fernando
    - Freight Loading Zone 7 AM - 6 PM (except Sunday & Holidays)

    - Reserved for Taxi Cabs (6 PM - 7 AM) to here

    - Right Lane Must Turn Right

    - Begin Right Turn Lane -> Yield To Bikes

    - No Turn On Red

    - One Way

    Personally I can see why somebody could miss the LRT only lane if you're not familiar with the area.