Today I did the 'park and ride' from the Arden/Del Paso Light Rail station to Sac City College. It was a fine ride and I love to save gas money so the extra half hour is worth it. Especially considering that parking during the early part of the semester is challenging. I don't need a challenge. Class went quickly, with just a short lecture which culminated into a magazine cutting glue-stick project.
The trip home was entirely different. The train heading to Meadowview, opposite of my direction, came and went while I stood in the punishing sun with other waiting students. Time moved slowly, and with the trains running every fifteen minutes we all knew it couldn't be long before ours would arrive. After some grumbling from a few younger kids another train making its way to Meadowview came and went. Now there was some minor outrage reverberating from various corners. The temperature seemed to have gotten cumulatively hotter and the visibility of arm pit moisture was evident on many. Nearly an eternity later our train finally did arrive, but with only three cars. This is at four o'clock in the afternoon.
Inside it was standing room only, and there must have been fifty of us at least boarding from the college. This reminded me of public transit in San Francisco, when sometimes you have no choice but to acquaint yourself with the intimate anatomy of strangers. Two stops later we came to Broadway and some people exited the car. I continued to stand with others in the aisle even though there was some available seats sugared throughout. Then we came to 16th street, the heart of downtown. Now I have seen clips of buses in countries like India or Thailand, where there is no space at all and people are hanging on to the sides. This was the closest I have ever seen to that in Sacramento transit. Today's Light Rail experience was nothing short of a phone-booth cram and jam record breaker. Thanks to the lady who looked like she was going to get sick, for not doing so. And that guy who cut the cheese, don't think we didn't notice.