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Old 04-15-2012, 04:18 PM
 
11 posts, read 10,248 times
Reputation: 20

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So I'm trying to figure out what life in the Bay Area is like, and some things I'm confused about.

A) is commuting in the bay area _really_ that expensive? I was looking at East Bay places, but the prospect of ~170/month in BART fees (which doesn't cover MUNI/AC Transit/etc) is stunning to myself, who has long gotten used to 86/month all-you-can-eat transit.

B) what's the deal with oakland? some people on here seem intent on showing the world how horrible and crime-ridden it is, while others are like it's the best place on earth. it would be great if someone who has spent time in chicago could compare it to my own frame of reference, which is living in Hyde Park and Rogers Park/Edgewater. IE, I can't tell if people are saying it's violent and crime ridden because they're used to near-suburban living environments, or they've lived in "edgier" urban neighborhoods and oakland beats that.

C) seriously, commutes. can people get by on 100 or less/month on total commuting costs, or is it just a fact of life in the bay area that you'll be paying out the nose to get anywhere that's not your immediate neighborhood.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,480 posts, read 9,160,442 times
Reputation: 1475
You're right! BART is a expensive. They now use something called a Clipper Card www.clippercard.com which is good on BART and 6 other public transit agencies.

As for violence in Oakland, I'll let others comment. You'll get both sides on this but there were 110 murders in Oakland in 2011 - the last person shot to death in 2011 was a 5 year old boy.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,757 posts, read 6,814,642 times
Reputation: 4745
Quote:
Originally Posted by simulcra View Post
B) what's the deal with oakland? some people on here seem intent on showing the world how horrible and crime-ridden it is, while others are like it's the best place on earth.
Forgive them, simul, for they know not what they post. We are amidst a rash of viciously anti-Oakland trolls lately, who generally haven't even stepped foot into the place they slag daily. Ignore the trolls.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,323 posts, read 12,230,617 times
Reputation: 12844
1. Commuting is expensive. There are too many disparate transit agencies. You can save a bit by doing casual carpool in the AM. (Costs $1 to chip in for the bridge toll.) And then bus or BART home. The bus is $4, BART to Oakland is about $3.25-$4. But even though commuting is expensive, it is still cheaper to live in most of the east bay (even when factoring in your commute costs) and closer than half of SF via transit (living in the Sunset or Richmond in SF takes longer via Muni than it does from pretty much anywhere in Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, Orinda and maybe Lafayette. Oh and El Cerrito, and probably even Richmond the city.)

2. Oakland is a big city, there are all types of neighborhoods. It is kinda like saying the southside of Chicago is really sketchy, but obviously there are some really posh and safe parts. I have only spent a tiny bit of time in Chicago. Nice areas in Oakland are safe, livable, and don't have much crime (but if you live in one of the denser areas, you do need to use a bit of common sense street smarts, but again, if you can walk around in Chicago you are totally fine. And a big difference in Oakland is pretty much any person lives anywhere (a few neighborhoods excepted) so you'l look like you fit in in basically every area no matter what you look like. Except for Deep East Oakland and a few parts of West Oakland. People who generally say that all of Oakland is crime-ridden have visited the airport or stayed on the freeway. Or lived in one of the worst neighborhoods. People who have experiences multiple types of Oakland neighborhoods have a different perception.

The reason that many Oaklanders are "in love with the Town" is because it is one of the few areas in the Bay that are diverse, urban and walkable, has a variety of neighborhood types, has access to great restaurants and entertainment. And people are friendly and it is well priced. And there is great architecture and good weather. The way many of us see it is that the reputation keeps the prices down, and the crowds away. This isn't saying problems don't exist. Crime isn't the only Oakland story.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:00 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 2,380,032 times
Reputation: 553
BART is indeed very expensive. Not sure why. It doesn't seem to be well maintained, at least not better maintained than anywhere else. The trains are dirty and the stations are gross. The service frequency is OK at best. Through San Francisco it is just one line (with different branches outside the city is all), not convenient at except for daily commutes along that line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simulcra View Post
So I'm trying to figure out what life in the Bay Area is like, and some things I'm confused about.

A) is commuting in the bay area _really_ that expensive? I was looking at East Bay places, but the prospect of ~170/month in BART fees (which doesn't cover MUNI/AC Transit/etc) is stunning to myself, who has long gotten used to 86/month all-you-can-eat transit.

B) what's the deal with oakland? some people on here seem intent on showing the world how horrible and crime-ridden it is, while others are like it's the best place on earth. it would be great if someone who has spent time in chicago could compare it to my own frame of reference, which is living in Hyde Park and Rogers Park/Edgewater. IE, I can't tell if people are saying it's violent and crime ridden because they're used to near-suburban living environments, or they've lived in "edgier" urban neighborhoods and oakland beats that.

C) seriously, commutes. can people get by on 100 or less/month on total commuting costs, or is it just a fact of life in the bay area that you'll be paying out the nose to get anywhere that's not your immediate neighborhood.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:54 PM
 
67 posts, read 69,885 times
Reputation: 70
I lived in Hyde Park, West Rogers Park and Ukrainian Village in Chicago. When I first moved to the East Bay, I lived in one of the more popular Oakland neighborhoods (Grand Lake) just to get the lay of the land. The more I explored the city, the more comfortable I got with the neighborhoods further east. You won't see completely bombed out neighborhoods in Oakland like you do in Chicago--some of the highest crime areas look like somewhat run down suburbs. But if you were comfortable living in Hyde Park, you can definitely look farther afield than the usual Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, Temescal recommendations you'll get to find a cheap, liveable neighborhood.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:04 PM
 
2,072 posts, read 2,448,090 times
Reputation: 917
Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionguy View Post
BART is indeed very expensive. Not sure why. It doesn't seem to be well maintained, at least not better maintained than anywhere else. The trains are dirty and the stations are gross. The service frequency is OK at best. Through San Francisco it is just one line (with different branches outside the city is all), not convenient at except for daily commutes along that line.
Maybe it's time to do a review of BART's expenses. If they can't do a better job, maybe it should be replaced.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:26 PM
 
Location: AK, CA, FL, WA, AUS
6,778 posts, read 5,284,345 times
Reputation: 4028
1) If you live in San Francisco, you can commute for under $100/month. BART/Muni Adult "A" Fast Pass®
The $72 "A" Fast Pass®, available on the Clipper® card, is valid for a calendar month and lets you take unlimited rides on SFMTA/Muni vehicles and BART within San Francisco.

2) I personally think Oakland has an uneasy feeling in general. There are of course nice parts, but in general I feel less safe compared to SF, LA, Houston, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, NYC, Portland for example. According to statistics, in 2010, Oakland's crime index was 738.7 per 100,000 vs the national average of 319.1 per 100,000. I believe 2011 experienced more crime than 2010. Once again, there are nice parts, but I honestly don't think you save enough money to choose it over SF unless your work is in the East Bay.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:10 PM
Status: "ASOIAF - Book 5" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Ohio; originally Oakland, CA
6,005 posts, read 3,645,299 times
Reputation: 5182
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrcousert View Post
Maybe it's time to do a review of BART's expenses. If they can't do a better job, maybe it should be replaced.
I'm pro-union, but in the case of BART, the workers striking every time they don't get an exorbitant pay raise hasn't done anything to make BART more affordable for all. $30+/hr to stand in a booth and talk trash to people is definitely the best gig in the entire Bay Area.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
17,323 posts, read 12,230,617 times
Reputation: 12844
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
2) I personally think Oakland has an uneasy feeling in general. There are of course nice parts, but in general I feel less safe compared to SF, LA, Houston, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, NYC, Portland for example. According to statistics, in 2010, Oakland's crime index was 738.7 per 100,000 vs the national average of 319.1 per 100,000. I believe 2011 experienced more crime than 2010. Once again, there are nice parts, but I honestly don't think you save enough money to choose it over SF unless your work is in the East Bay.

I totally disagree. Downtown Oakland feels way safer than downtown SF and SOMA and the Tenderloin. And of course the Mission.

Strolling around any of the oft mentioned "nice" neighborhoods of Oakland feels like walking in the Castro, or Noe Valley or Hayes Valley or lower Pac Heights.

I can't compare the sketchy SF neighborhoods to the equivalent Oakland ones, but I'd imagine they are pretty similar.

When comparing like to like, SF and Oakland are fairly comparable, but the nicer neighborhoods in Oakland are generally cleaner and further from the sketchy ones than the SF comparables.

But there are lots of reasons to live in the Oakland over SF. Especially if you appreciate a mixed crowd at every bar and restaurant. Not so common in SF.
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