The CASUAL COMMUTER Riding With You On Your Way To Work

    by Vicky Semones

    Share a fascinating ride with The CASUAL COMMUTER and catch entertaining glimpses of San Francisco Bay Area commuters being themselves.

    Available through XLIBRIS PUBLICATIONS (click book cover)

    Also available at:


    October 2009
    M T W T F S S
  • Pages

Emeryville Marina ~ Powell Street


Emeryville Marina Bus Stop

Emeryville Marina Bus Stop

A cold, cold, Bay breeze sweeps our  “sandwich boards” over  our heads on this gray morning. But we are soothed by the warmth of several riders. First there is  Peter, a  British-American who lives on a boat.  He ikes my description of Casual Commuters in line and, as an extrovert,  doesn’t  understand why riders don’t talk en route to S.F., even when they ride together alot.  Then there is Phoebe, a new rider who looks to us for reassurance because she needs to get to an appointment by 9AM, and usually takes the longer route of the “Emeryville Go-Around” to a bus to Bart to the City. And as Cindie’s lips turn blue with the cold and seeks shelter in the bus stop,  an   Hispanic woman  shakes my hand, then gives me a thumbs up as she boards the  “Go-Around”.  Thank you all.  From 7:30-9AM; #92 Flyers.


Grand Ave and Perkins, Oakland


Grand Ave & Perkins

Grand Ave & Perkins

The Valero gas station shows its community spirit by allowing carpoolers to cut through their corner location from Grand  Avenue and pick up passengers who wait to board at the  drive-way on Perkins.  Two Zip Cars await drivers.    A sign asks car-poolers  to be courteous to patrons and to support the station  for their efforts by buying their gas there.  From 7:15A – 8:50A, #212 flyers.  

Lakeshore and Grand, Oakland

 Lakeshore & Grand, Oakland

Under the overpass at Lake Port between Lakeshore & Grand Ave.,   we stand for nearly two and a half hours in the cool, dank  shadows,  keeping pace with the swift flow of cars and  passengers.  It’ s like observing an overactive   slinky, as the separate lines of cars and awaiting passengers expand  and compress with the quick flow of this busy spot near the Walden Pond Bookstore.  From 7:15A – 9:40A, #502 flyers!  We earned a satisfying breakfast at the Lakeshore Cafe.

Webster and Santa Clara, Alameda

Webster & Santa Clara, Alameda

Webster & Santa Clara, Alameda

The early-Autumn sky offers a clouded, soft-blue backdrop  for a flight of silhouetted birds as we stand on the cold, shaded sidewalk in front of  Tillie’s – closed for want of repairs – and across from the Trans Pacific National Bank. 

Carpool riders line up facing cars approaching along Santa Clara, and sometimes intermingle with furtive bus riders, who mill about the corner, hedging their spot in lines for the next bus to arrive at the intersection from either street.

How thoughtful of Alameda to provide raised platforms with low steps and bright handrails for  passengers to board the high-riding buses.

Seeking hot coffee and a deep  breakfast after our 7:15Am – 9:00AM stint in the chill morning air, we are directed back  to Jim’s Coffee Shop at the other end of Alameda.  We handed out 175 flyers.