Time: 33 minutes Berkeley-to-El-Cerrito; 35 minutes return (on schedule)
Official Line Description:
- El Cerrito del Norte BART to Downtown Berkeley via Arlington Ave. and Shattuck Ave.
- Berkeley: Allston St. & Shattuck Ave.
- El Cerrito: El Cerrito Del Norte BART
Activities / destinations / stops:
- Ohlone Greenway
This was a solo adventure today – but worth doing again if anyone wants to join me. The bus took me on a beautiful route, north from downtown, through the Northbrae Tunnel, then it looped around and went up and over and around the Marin Circle – literally going over the tunnel we just went through! We then travelled along the side of the East Bay Hills, with amazing views over the bay to the City, the Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tam, and much more. (For what it’s worth, the views were even better on the way back since I was riding in a bus with big open windows across the back.) Finally, the bus dropped back down to San Pablo Avenue and deposited me at El Cerrito Del Norte BART station.
Finding the bus on both ends was easy – although there was a small moment of confusion on the Berkeley end: the 7 & the 67 arrived simultaneously, then switched numbers as passengers debarked and embarked. Luckily, the bus drivers are friendly and double checked that we were all on the right busses (I wasn’t). It also suddenly made sense why the Google Maps bus info seemed to be mixing up the 7 & 67. No such trickery at the El Cerrito end.
Both busses were the VanHool 2-door busses with cloth seat covers. And both were hot & stuffy – not sure if the AC was broken, it doesn’t have AC, or if the driver preferred not to use it. It was vehicle #5024 on the way there, and #5013 on the way back.
Besides the up and over maneuvers I described above, the 7 bus passes the top of Solono Avenue, Indian Rock Park, the Arlington Shops, Blake Gardens, the Kensington Library, Arlington Park (which was hosting a wedding!), the Berkeley Country Club (which isn’t in Berkeley?), and several small schools, parks, and all the shopping on San Pablo. Looking at a map, I noticed the bus goes very close to the Hillside Natural Area and Motorcycle Hill, both of which look like they are worth a visit!
Along San Pablo, I passed a golden horse, (which I tried to photograph, but couldn’t get it, so you’ll have to settle for a street view photo), and lots of shopping. And the Ohlone Greenway is well-marked and well-used in this area.
In El Cerrito I grabbed some lunch at the nearby Safeway, took a walk along the Greenway, found a geocache explored the demonstration forest (which I only noticed because it was described in the geocache, and have found references to here and here), and even found a geocache, before heading back to the BART station to grab the next bus. The return trip was smooth – the views were even better, and the bus deposited me back in Berkeley just in time to grab the 88 home.