CalTrain commuter newbie

CalTrainFor the past five years, I have worked with the cows in south San Jose, but starting Monday, I’ll be commuting to San Francisco for my new job!

My plan is to take the CalTrain baby bullet from San Jose. Any advice for a newbie CalTrain commuter? And has anyone heard what the story is on WiFi on the trains? Last I heard, they had successfully tested it, but I can’t find any more info about it.

photo by Roland Tanglao

9 Comments so far

  1. Darwin (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

    Always try to beat the crossing gates. They’re just advisory anyway.

    Stick it to the Man!

  2. TinMan (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

    There is no WiFi on Caltrain.

    You will probably want something to minimize the din of Catholic high school drama that happens on commuter-hour trains up and down the Peninsula. Either an MP3 player with $30 earbuds or a pair of Etymotics Musician’s Earplugs.

    You’re on the “traditional” commute so you don’t really have to worry about the “Ethel Merman cars” (a couple of the Friday afternoon SF-SF trains) that featured very loud, very raunchy gay guys making very lewd and mostly amusing comments about anything in the universe in general.

    Uh, anyhow, have fun with your new job.

  3. daniel (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

    well if u take it everyday, expect some kind of delay at some points, people just love to commit suicide

    wifi is a go, now dunno when

  4. Mark (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    My advice is to bring earplugs, and wear them on the platforms and trains.

    And don’t put your feet on the seats.

  5. Chester (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

    Like others say, noise-cancelling or isolating head/earphones help a lot. If you don’t feel like/can’t work during the commute, maybe use the time to watch TV by loading up your laptop with video. Or pre-load up your daily blog/web reading in your Mozilla tabs. Or books on tape. Or language instruction stuff. That type of thing.

    Or go low-tech and read the paper and do the crossword. Or super-low-tech and just nap.

  6. Lauren (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

    Thanks for the link, Daniel. Sounds like wireless is still a ways off, which is too bad, but at least they are working on it.

    I have my new iPod and I’ll have a laptop, so now it sounds like I might need to upgrade my headphones!

    Thanks, everyone!

  7. Jason D- (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 12:41 am

    Bring very large books. Or move to the city with the cool kids ;-)

  8. rabbit (unregistered) on November 19th, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

    I just moved to SF and am working in Santa Clara. I’ve already done a week of the commute, buses+caltrain, 2.5hours one way. The bullets don’t match up with my schedule unfortunately. I pass the time watching TV episodes on my PSP. If you can, jump upstairs and grab one of the seats facing another seat if you’re in for a long haul. It’s more removed from all the commotion downstairs. I’d also recommend the mp3 player route. I’ve been considering an 80gb ipod to help pass the time. Of course once wifi is up and going, I’ll be reading blogs..err I mean working.

  9. daniel (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 9:04 pm


    Q: When do you expect to have WiFi service on Caltrain?
    A: Caltrain expects to have its WiFi broadband wireless Internet service available to Caltrain passengers by the end of 2007. This time is needed to complete the engineering requirements, go through the competitive bidding process required to procure a vendor, to install the service, to test the newly installed equipment and to roll it out to the public.

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