The family that BARTs together, reads together

Friday was a big travel day, and a day when we definitely challenged ourselves to change our normal habits.

Kim's parents are visiting and we planned to celebrate her dad's 77th birthday at her aunt's house ... in San Mateo. Normally that's a 60-ish mile roundtrip drive from Berkeley. We occasionally take BART as far as we can, but usually not when there's all four of us and never before when Kim's mom is along for the ride too. But that's what we did today! 

With lots of family time on BART, we read several chapters of our current favorite kids' book. Since I (Jeff) traveled separately on the way down, I had a chance to call my mom and do some reading myself. After a wonderful dinner of salmon (purchased by Kim's aunt Marj on a 3-bus trip to several grocery stores to find the right salmon), corn-on-the-cob, and Uncle Dick's scrumptious key lime pie, Marj drove us the 3.6 miles back to Millbrae BART for the ride home.

Moo Moo (aka Kim's mom) rode home with us and was impressed by how many people were on BART that late at night (we got off at about 11pm). An inveterate people-watcher, she enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversation of the woman next to her plotting business deal.

But the topper of the evening came when we switched trains at 12th Street. We ran into Lucas, Sheila, 5 year-old Josiah, 6-month-old Magnolia, and Sheila's mom. With umpteen bags and car seats, they were coming back from Oakland airport. While I'm at it, let's point out that this family of four, with two kids under 6 and a grandmother along, had no problem with AirBART. So why is BART thinking of spending half a billion dollars for a transit boondoggle when there's much cheaper options?

Anyway, there we were, two families with four small kids, four working parents, and two grandmothers. Because we were all on public transit, we got a chance meeting in our public square. This is one of the things I love about public transit: it creates social capital and knits our communities together more strongly.

We weren't entirely car-free: the Metcalf-Tobins took a cab home from BART with their umpteen suitcases, and we drove home, having happily paid for parking at BART to ensure we could easily take Moo-Moo to her hotel at 11pm.

As a result, on Friday the four of us Seashore Hobsons logged 279.2 car-free miles and only 18.3 car miles!


Wow...this is quite a feat!

Wow...this is quite a feat! It's great your teaching your kids about public transport now, so that it will pretty much be a way of life when they are older. I am really impressed by your dedication and patience, and its amazing how many car free miles you logged! My little sister is 3...and it takes alot of energy to get her anywhere, by any means of transportation, and i know how tempting it is to be lazy and avoid tired, grumpy little kids and take the easy way out. so its so cool that you guys didnt do that! and sounds like you had a great time.