When you’re enjoying free bus rides on AC Transit with your Class Pass you might notice that a lot of locals have a card that they tap against a reader when they board — that’s what makes all those beeping sounds. That card their using is called the Clipper Card, and it has a lot more uses than just AC Transit. Clipper Cards are read more »

Sometimes trying to keep organized at Berkeley makes us feel the way we do when we’re holding our Tully’s and sense a sneeze coming on – helpless! Hopefully these useful apps for the iPhone – all of which are free – will help put a lid on that life of yours. (To download, open iTunes and click on the iTunes Store tab, then search by app name.)

NextBus – Tells you the next arriving buses according to your location using GPS technology and includes all AC Transit buses, but also the Lawrence Lab and other loop buses too.

ASUC – An assortment of great campus-related tools for students from the ASUC. We especially love the real-time monitors that display how full places like RSF and the campus libraries are.

UCBearWALK – Request a Bearwalk escort from your phone, or track North/South Night Safety Shuttles in real time.

UC Berkeley Mobile – Created by the university itself, this app features helpful, general course information and library tools for current students. It’s also especially handy for incoming students (or even visiting family) with features like interactive maps, tour information and upcoming events.

Now that you’re stocked up on Berkeley-grade productivity tools read more »


Welcome back!

Ready for a new year of protests, exams, parties, adventures, what have you? Of course not, you’ll just be studying all day and night, right? Right.

2011 might have been a hectic year for you (especially you, freshmen), but 2012 gives us the excuse to turn a new leaf and begin the spring semester with a fresh mind. read more »

5867512923_05b371ddbcContrary to popular belief, Berkeley students do not live in the main stacks, never seeing the sun and only coming out to retrieve the FSM coffee they need to survive in their vampiric lifestyle (Well, not all Berkeley students – some live in Soda Hall). We actually do like to get out and go places. However, sometimes it’s difficult.

Yes, there’s public transit if you don’t have a car, but BART, Muni, Caltrain, Amtrak, AC Transit — they are only so reliable and often take twice as long as driving would. And Zipcar can sure get pricey. If you are cursed blessed enough to have a car in Berkeley, let’s face it: Gas is expensive, and often it would be cheaper to take public transit (Plus, do you really want to give up that parking spot?).

So what’s a Berkeleyan on the go to do? The answer read more »

Are you as sick of seeing all those lame ads on the side of buses as we are? Our new favorite is “The perfect trip … The perfect trap” slogan for “The Tourist.” Like, really? Though we probably will see it if for nothing but to satisfy the superficial drive of our existence … Johnny Depp AND Angelina Jolie, ’nuff said.

But now we are digressing, back to lame bus ads. In March, something worth some real thought will finally be placed on the side of an AC Transit bus: artwork by students from Berkeley High’s Arts and Humanities Academy. The bus, specifically, will be the Freedom Bus, a collaboration between AC Transit and Alameda County Office of Education. It marks the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to get up during the infamous bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama.

Kids from Alameda and Contra Costa school districts are competing to have their art chosen for the Freedom Bus. The art competition helps educate children about civil rights movements.

Until then, I guess we’ll just have to put up with Johnny and Angelina.

Image Source: Metro Cincinnati under Creative Commons
Berkeley High student artists to take the Freedom Bus [Berkeleyside]

actransitA mini AC Transit bus with golf-cart-esque seating and (we presume) golf-cart-esque wiring was sitting out on Lower Sproul yesterday (just asking to be driven around campus, if only our hot-wiring skills were up to the task).

The bus was a ploy by the ASUC to catch the attention of passersby and direct them to the AC Transit Forum in the senate chambers, which took place from noon to 1:30 to discuss what implications the AC Transit cuts may have on upcoming Class Pass negotiations. The speakers were mostly AC Transit employees, including planners and marketing representatives, as well as UC Berkeley Parking & Transportation Director Seamus Wilmot.

Assuming Class Pass benefits are reduced in the near future, we propose that a mini fleet of mini AC Transit golf-cart-buses be made available for students’ transportation needs. Through rigorous scientific conjecture, we have deduced that the saved gas expense from running these highly fuel efficient vehicles will help them pay for themselves within a year’s time. There, problem solved.

Image source: Sophie Lee
Earlier: Obnoxious Bandwagon in the Making


Those of you not already put off of AC Transit by its massive service cuts and general unreliability will be saddened to learn that the harried transit agency is facing yet another hurdle—mass employee absences.

It seems that after their new contract took effect a week ago, hundreds of AC Transit workers have been mysteriously absent from work. Among the conditions of the new contract are salary freezes and a $10 co-pay for health insurance.

The agency is warning riders of delays caused by these absences.

But read more »


Oh yeah, there’s an app for that. As a master’s final project for the Berkeley School of Information, student Ljuba Miljkovic made a transportation app called “Transporter” (nothing to do with Jason Statham) that is now available on iTunes.

The app tells you the real-time departures of buses and trains, but it also goes one step further: informing you what time you will arrive at your destination once you’re in transit. It also allows you to bookmark your favorite/most used lines and stops. It works for SF MUNI, AC Transit, and BART. (Especially useful with the new bus schedule, eh?)

The man himself described the problem with transportation: “We discovered that riding public transit often produces a generalized sense of anxiety,” Miljkovic observed, “rooted perhaps in one’s loss of control.” Yeah, that or the crazy guy at the front of the bus loudly voicing his opinion that television will destroy America.

Either way, the app is FREE and you can download it here. Say thank you to Miljkovic.

Image source: marvin L under Creative Commons
Student project “Transporter” debuts on ITunes Store [UC Berkeley School of Information]

Option 2: Say goodbye ... to THESE! Egad. So our sister (brother?) blog, Notes from the Field, reports that just months after a round of changes and service cuts, AC Transit is still in need of the green–and we don’t mean weed. (Though the company’s board of directors may want to indulge after they meet to “gauge public response” to the cuts they just proposed.)

In order to get closer to closing their projected budget gap, they’re considering three service reduction plans. And from the looks of things, they will all suck for somebody. Actually, they’d all suck for everybody: read more »

AC Transit, you know, that trusty bus system you ride for “free” all around town (ahem there’s no such thing as a free lunch, are we right?), has released a detailed list of the service changes we alluded to back in December.

So, if you regularly depend on lines 9, 15, 19, 51, 52L or 79, hate to be the ones to break it to you but they’ve been axed. The 7 and the 88  routes have been severely altered, and the coveted transbay F line will be making 2 less trips a day.

If you’re like us, we’re mostly hot and bothered read more »

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