Commuter Nation at Embarcadero tomorrow morning

Just got this press-releasey bit from Commuter Nation, announcing a thingymabob they’re doing tomorrow morning at Embarcadero. This could benefit you if you commute on a regular basis and are lucky enough to have a jobby-job:

San Franciscans can cut commuting costs by 40% with Commuter Nation

What: Commuter Nation campaign to educate commuters in the greater San Francisco metropolitan area about commuter benefits. Street teams will hand out educational and engaging tools that commuters can share with their employer. Additionally, commuters will be directed to visit, a high-impact online experience allowing commuters to entertainingly spread the word to their employers, coworkers, friends, and family through a personalized tour of Commuter Nation (think “Elf Yourself!”).

Who: Commuter Nation is an initiative to bring awareness and encourage commuting employees to learn about and participate in commuter benefits through their employer. Commuter Nation is an initiative by Commuter Check the leading provider of commuter benefits solutions designed to accommodate employers of all sizes and their employees’ commuting preferences.

When: Wednesday, September 9th Commuter Nation Street Teams in Embarcadero Station from 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. & 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Street Teams will be in Embarcadero Station, San Francisco.

Why: Amidst recession panic and the recent Muni & BART fare increases, your readers are most certainly unhappy about paying more money each month to commute. Yet, most are unaware that they could decrease the burden of commuting costs and mitigate the impact of the fare hike by participating in commuter benefits through their employer. Commuter Nation gives them the tools they need to understand and effectively communicate the relevance and timeliness of providing commuter benefits in the workplace.

Cameras, plugs and actually correct engineering choices

Photo by Devin

Several months back, BART replaced all the cameras in Embarcadero station. I have no idea why — there were tons of cameras in that station already. “Replaced” isn’t the right word, of course, because they didn’t remove the old ones, just installed dozens more, often pointing at the same things. At a guess, the new ones don’t work yet and they won’t remove the old ones until that’s corrected. Or, knowing BART’s ability to do technological upgrades, the new ones will never work properly, so they’ll all stay up, gathering dust and grime and preventing no crime or disorder at all. At a wild guess, the only reasons Embarcadero is so richly endowed with cameras are (a) it’s full of tourists getting their pockets picked, and (b) part of the station is underneath the Federal Reserve Bank, engendering a sort of mutually reinforcing bureaucratic paranoia.

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Where does the jurisdiction end for fare inspectors?

Catch Me If You Can
Photo by Flickr user Troy Holden

Muni rider Andrea sent this tidbit to our inbox just now:

This morning about 8am at Embarcadero Station I saw a Fare Checking Officer check someone’s proof of payment OUTSIDE the POP area.

The man did exit EMB station, and as there was only one Fare Checker checking fares, she didn’t see everyone’s pass. I doubt she saw my pass as it was pretty crowded. I did what most of us did which was take out the pass and hold it out for the Fare Checker to see. Whether she saw me or not is anyone’s guess. The man walked over to Peet’s to get coffee. As he was waiting for his morning latte, the Fare Checker left the POP area and asked the man for his POP. He produced his fast pass without incident.

My question is this, did this man need to show his payment status? He was outside the POP area. If he didn’t have his fastpass on him would his ticket for a violation been valid? Did the Fare Checker have the authority to check someone’s fare outside of the proof of payment area?

So, yeah, what’s the protocol here, eh? Should inspectors have the right to chase people down outside the POP area? Doesn’t that in turn prevent their checking for POP inside the ordained POP section? Our heads are spinning a little over here. Help us out in comments, please.

Nice people and good coffee …

muni_petes1The following is by Suzanne

Has anyone noticed how the baristas at the Embarcadero Peet’s Coffee are incredibly friendly and nice? I remembered them being peppy. The other morning I walked up to the counter bracing myself, ready to cringe at “happy happy happy” service, but instead I was charmed. This is no Burger World. The workers at Peet’s seemed genuinely nice. Their smiles were real! They made real eye contact. They joked and teased each other. It was mesmerizing. In a silly way, it melted the grumpster in me.

Cynics might say, “Wonder what they put in their coffee.” Sure, the coffee is good. But it was seeing people having a good time at work, being nice and silly to each other and customers alike that put a smile on my face. And then, when the caffeine kicked in … even the dullest doldrums in the T were looking pretty good.

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