There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Second Saturday on the train

So the wife and I took the train downtown this time. Last month, we rode the bus from home. But taking the bus means leaving midtown for home by 8 p.m. to catch the last bus home. By driving to the Watt and I-80 park-and-ride lot (about four miles from our house) and taking the train, we were able to stay much later. In fact, the last train leaves downtown after midnight.

I love the art on the side of the Convention Center at 13th and K streets. The late afternoon sun provided some dramatic lighting.

The Convention Center was hosting the 7th Annual All American Tattoo Festival. And, of course, that means a lot of bikes. I loved this bike.

The Second Saturday Free Shuttle was a neat idea. The shuttles ran in a circle around J and L Streets between 29th and 16th streets. Suggestion: RT should offer "free" rides in its "Downtown" service area.

Now you can't have an art walk without art that walks.

And, of course, Second Saturday isn't complete without live music. Here's a band playing next to the News and Review building on 20th Street.

Imagine that -- Hare Krishna without the saffron robes and shaved heads.

And right next to the Hare Krishna band were several Obama supporters registering voters. I found the juxtaposition amusing.

On the way to the train home, we walked past the Memorial Auditorium. This photo nicely captures the recent renovation work.

The wife and I had amazing good fortune with the train. We drove to the Longview Road exit on Interstate 80 without knowing when the next train would arrive. We parked our car and walked to the station and sat down. I got out my schedule and discovered the train would arrive in two minutes. The same thing happened on the way home. We walked to the Cathedral Square stop and sat down. Again, the next train was due in just two minutes.

When the wife and I were in midtown, we ran into a friend of the kid. He and his date had driven down. He said it took 45 minutes to find a parking spot. Even with the extra walk to get to and from the train, light rail certainly beats trying to park in midtown during the Second Saturday Art Walk.


Mattie said...

For anyone planning to attend Second Saturday via Regional Transit, I think the rule for traveling on RT on Saturday afternoons is "disregard the schedule." My plan was to catch the 87 at 4:47, get to CSUS at 4:59 and jump on the waiting 30, which leaves at 5:00. The 87 was thirteen minutes late. It picked up a few minutes and got to CSUS eleven minutes late. I'd missed my intended connection but luckily the next 30 was already sitting there so I only had to wait nine more minutes before heading to midtown.

The trip home was equally confusing. The 30 arrived at my stop five minutes early, which meant I had a longer wait at the desolate CSUS campus. The 82 arrived right on time - amazing!

Oh, and nobody on those buses (besides me) appeared to be making the trip for Second Saturday. Why should they, when the buses are so rarely on schedule? It's incredibly frustrating. RT is running a full-page ad on the back page of the Sacramento News & Review this week, with the headline "Thinking of giving up your weekend fun? ...It's time to try transit." The fine print explains that you can save money for your weekends if you take transit a couple times during the week. Obviously, taking transit ON the weekends isn't feasible - or fun.

John said...

Oh, I have to see that ad. I can understand advertising savings on daily commute, but on the weekend? That's just too funny.

RT should make Sunday service free. It is so inadequate and worthless that charging for it is like committing fraud.

However, I did see others going downtown on the train for the Second Saturday festivities. At the Marconi station a group of adult men, all white with prison tattoos, boarded. At the next stop, they greeted four more friends. It turns out the "friends" had been kicked off the earlier train and had to wait for the next one. This one guy kept asking where they were going and the other guy said, "We'll just follow the crowd." I figured this was a field trip from a halfway house somewhere near the light rail station.

OK, I'm guessing about the "prison tattoos," but this gang was a real odd bunch to be riding together on light rail.