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Getting there is half the fun; coming back is the other half

Original post made by Martin Engel, Menlo Park: Park Forest, on Apr 16, 2008

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Heads up, Caltrain. Check out these photos. Here is some pro-bono advice that a consultant would charge you a great deal for. Public-private partnerships (P3) are all the rage. If Japan and IKEA can do it, so can you. Wait, there's more. Turn all the last cars on your trains into food-and-drink concessions. (Begin by running one train as a proof-of-concept trial.) Think outside the box. Get coffee concessions at all the train stations. Change the names of your stations from Train stations to Transit stations. Start changing your corporate culture to customer service, instead of empire building. Make your highest priority shuttle connections, both from private corporate and public transit operators, to all your newly renamed transit stations. Stop being railroad fuddy-duddies and start being a part of an attractive, convenient, urban mass transit system.

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Posted by Bleeding eyes
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 16, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Thanks for the link -- those photos convinced me of what a bad idea partnering with a commercial firm would be. I wouldn't set foot on a train that was visually screaming at me.

Public/private partnerships to deliver public services often sound like good things, until they're put into practice. Yes, Caltrain should "think outside the box," but turning its trains into a giant ad on wheels, giving passengers no choice but to be assaulted by wall-to-wall ads and other visual horrors, is not the way to go.


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