Shared from SM Daily Journal: “It’s like every second counts”


To spread the good news even further, my interview with columnist Austin Walsh has been published in a featured article this week in the San Mateo Daily Journal all about my commute, and others like me in the Silicon Valley. I had an interview recently that lasted just over a half hour and we touched on so many key points. This printed interview focuses greatly on just a few, and I’m sure a whole novella could be written with the content I provided.


Mainly — it goes back to my need to continue traveling without driving — when one can see other parts of the world, they learn about what they might be missing out on. Late last autumn (November), I went to Japan and had the awesome experience of riding their Shinkansen High Speed Rail. It has existed since the 1960s, and I traveled with two others on it from Tokyo to Kyoto, about the equivalent distance from SF to LA here in California, in about 2 hours. Super fast, on time, on the dot, always. It’s standout record, as I would learn, would be in the year 1997, when it averaged being just 18 seconds late! Typically 54 seconds late — never even one minute off.


In comparison, Caltrain and BART have many issues, not to be documented here, but there absolutely is room for improvement. I cannot believe that a more permanent funding solution could not be available in the Silicon Valley. The Shinkansen manages to fund itself entirely on its own, no question. It’s a true high speed rail — not a so-called “baby bullet” — and there others as well internationally, if you consider the Chunnel, the TGV, Voyager, the A-Train, Pendolino and more.

Coordination and timing come hugely into play, especially in the Silicon Valley, when trying to match move your steps between two agencies at the same station that specifically don’t — and so far, won’t — associate. When my work hours are not the same day by day, it can be hectic just trying to plot out how to get to work, before figuring out the agenda itself. Delays — seemingly non-existent during my visit to Japan — happen so often here at home, they can drive oneself bonkers certain days: “You have to do this ‘Game of Thrones’ racing up the escalator to get there.”

I won’t even touch on the topic of epilepsy today, but will leave that for another blog/movie — oh wait… Here it is, maybe deserves a sequel?

To read the full article, visit this Daily Journal link.
To learn more about high speed rail, visit this Wikipedia page, or for Shinkansen, this page.