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:


    June 2023
    M T W T F S S
  • Pages

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.


Claremont and Hudson ~ Oakland

Claremont & Hudson

Claremont & Hudson

Spare the Air Day ~ a good day to carpool.  But it seems everyone is in such a rush here. The cars, like horses chomping at the bit, quickly assemble as passengers hurry to board.  Drivers glance repeatedly at the intersection to ‘catch the light’ across busy Claremont to the 24 on-ramp. Lots of  ‘blue tooths’ are in place; more than the usual lack of attention between both riders and drivers and toward the undaunted  marketeers.  A short drive down College to Diesel ~ A Book Store, and Mrs. Dalloway’s.  From 7:30AM-9:30AM, 291 flyers.

Lafayette Casual Carpool

Lafayette BART - Casual Carpool

Lafayette BART - Casual Carpool

A current of pedestrians on their way to the Lafayette BART station stream through the packed parking lots as we arrive at 7:30AM. But, along Deer Hill Rd between Happy Valley Rd and Oak Hill Rd, it’s stop and go (much like the sign) for a slow trickle of cars and would-be passengers that arrive sporadically until  9:00AM. We hand out just 126 flyers to folks heading for the convenient 24 West on-ramp to The City.  One rider, Robert asks, ‘What’s in it for me?’ as I hand him a flyer. ‘A fascinating read’, I reply.  And it seems, a memory, as he relates that he met his wife in the Casual Carpool!  Another rider, Gail  asks about ‘urban legends’.  Well, there is one about a guy who bypassed  Fremont and Howard on his way to SFO, but no one seems to know the ending to that story…do you?

Eastshore Carpool ~ El Cerrito

Eastshore Carpool, El Cerrito

Eastshore Carpool, El Cerrito

‘Queing Up’ takes on a new meaning here. Some cars pull up between the carpool signs, while others lay back at the second sign. Some riders  make the long, long walk down Eastshore in front of the Del Norte Marketplace; other folks  cherry-pick the car they want to ride in.  Cars at the back of the line ‘beep-beep’ or try to attract the attention of arriving riders so they can cut out of line toward  the 80West on-ramp. The sun broke early through light morning fog and did a slow bake on the ‘marketeers’.  Thank you, Carolyn for taking flyers to share at my ol’ stomping ground! Hope all is well.  From 7:30-9:45AM we hand out 360 flyers, and then buy a leaf blower at OSH.