DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: THIS MORNING I MISSED MY TRAIN TO WORK BECAUSE I TOOK RIDESHARE, BUT I SELECTED THE POOL/LINE OPTION. SO,THE DRIVER HAD TO MAKE TWO ADDITIONAL STOPS BEFORE WE GOT TO THE CALTRAIN. I REALLY WANT TO USE SHARE TRIPS TO REDUCE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION, BUT I AM CONFLICTED. Rusty, Palo Alto
Dear Rusty: There is no question that you are doing a good thing- taking rideshare and pooling too. But, you can’t be late for work either! And, it’s not Amtrak, like the image. Now that you know the schedule, you could try leaving earlier. Or, if you pool a few more times, see if you can find fellow riders going to the train and initiate your own “Express Pool.” I’ll try to reach out to people at Uber and Lyft and see if they have suggestions for you beyond leaving earlier. One bright note is that you are more likely to be able to Pool or Line on the return segment, from train station to home.
DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: I’M ABOUT TO EMBARK ON MY FIRST EUROPEAN VACATION AND I’M STRUGGLING WITH THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO BRING MY iPHONE. WHILE I DO WANT TO ENJOY MY VACATION I’M NERVOUS ABOUT FOLKS NOT BEING ABLE TO REACH ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO? AZ, Sausalito
Dear AZ: I would not let a phone dictate the plans for my dream vacation! But, since it’s a long dull ride back and forth, you might want to get wifi service for the duration of the plane (or boat) trip. That way you won’t come back from your holiday and feel swamped with catch-up. I am sure that before you leave you will post an out-of-office message on all of your communications, and ask a colleague to serve as a back-up too.
If you can’t pull yourself entirely away from work or home matters, then set a time each day to catch up on texts and email. Are you worried that phone time might cut into holiday time? Here is an earlier posting about that!
DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I AM POSTING FOR MY GRANDMA, ROSAE. SHE IS 81 AND QUITE HEALTHY. SHE LIVES ALONE IN A BIG SUBURB WHERE THERE IS NOT A LOT OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. I TELL HER THAT SHE NEEDS TO GET A NEW PHONE AND USE RIDESHARE TO TRAVEL AROUND. SHE IS RESISTANT TO THE IDEA. Granddaughter, Irvine
Dear Grandaughter: I commend you for taking charge and for helping out with your family. You did not mention whether or not your Grandma Rosae still drives. If she does, she could save a lot of money, up to $7,000 a year by no longer keeping a car, paying insurance, and doing vehicle maintenance. Meanwhile she could benefit by having a safer means of transportation, one that provides door-to-door service ( e.g., no need to find a parking space), and 24/7 availability. There is considerable research that shows that older people who keep more active and mobile also stay healthier. Email me if you want the references. In the interim, take a few rideshare trips with your Grandma, make her comfortable with the apps, and show her how convenient it can be.