Latest on Muni Diaries

Transit News: Less gross Powell Station, Muni contract, BRT, BART station sleeping, N-Judah improvements

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Photo by torbakhopper

  • BART Launches Plan to Make Powell Street Station Less Gross (Curbed SF)
  • Muni operators ratify contract (SFGate)
  • Muni opposition hinders bus rapid transit (SFGate)
  • Congress Could Delay Bay Area Transportation Planning By Holding Up Federal Funds (CBS San Francisco)
  • BART To Step Up Enforcement Of Sleeping, Lying In Stations (SF Appeal)
  • N-Judah Improvements Begin Next Week (Hoodline)

Canadian city to singing bus riders: Pipe down or pay a fine!

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Photo by AJ Batac

In a major blow to aspiring pop stars, the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, is considering new law that would make it illegal to sing or otherwise perform music aboard its city buses. According to the Toronto Sun, anyone who sings, busks, or plays musical instruments aboard transit vehicles could face a fine of $100 plus court costs under the proposed bylaw.

Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz told the paper the law is intended to prevent disturbances, noting that it “is important for people to enjoy their trip on public transit.”

Must be nice when your biggest transit problem is impromptu concerts.

Though bleary-eyed commuters here in SF might have taken solace in this law during a kid-powered recorder performance on the bus (true story), you will take our FLUTE CANE CONCERTS or our Pantera covers from our cold dead hands.

Read more about the Winnipeg bus proposal.

Before Larry Baer was the corporate head of the Giants …

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Photo by Clem Albers/San Francisco Chronicle Nice shirts!

We’ve heard countless tales of folks attempting to ride all Muni routes in a single day. Some are successful; others, not so much.

As our buddy Peter Hartlaub reports over on his blog, The Big Event, San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer was once a wee lad. In August 1980, some 30 years before his baseball team won its first championship in San Francisco, Baer and a friend rode all 71 Muni lines in a single day. Take it away, Peter:

Some facts about Larry Baer’s Muni stunt, according to the Aug. 30, 1980, Chronicle article:

1. It took Baer and Coblentz eight hours just to plan a route to ride every Muni bus, rail and cable car line in one day. Muni gave the pair a free all-day pass.

2. The T-shirts cost $9 each, their total investment in the project.

3. Baer and Coblentz woke up at 4:45 a.m., and finished at 6 p.m., celebrating with a drink at the Bus Stop in the Marina. (Which is still a strong Giants bar almost 35 years later.)

T-shirts!!!! Iron-ons! The ’80s!!!!1!

Peter goes on to “ambush” Baer publicly, asking him, among other things, “Why haven’t you done a Muni Diaries Live yet?” Indeed, sir, why?

Read the rest of Peter’s rad post here. And if you work with Larry or with the Giants in general, please to inquire on our and Peter’s behalf. kthxbai

Things Muni would never do: beer tram

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Photo by The Japan Times

Who cares about the many bars near Muni Metro stops when you’re enjoying a beer from inside the Muni Metro vehicle?

That dream is a reality for residents of Nagasaki, Japan.

Once a year for the last 20 years, a private company has run a tram along city tracks, offering its passengers drinks both alcoholic and non.

With counter seats facing the windows, passengers are allowed to drink all they want from a range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and even enjoy a meal. The car will run the Nagasaki city tracks once a day until Sept. 20.

Since the streetcar fleet offering a “refreshing beer” debuted more than 20 years ago, the service has grown in popularity, prompting the firm to extend the run by 20 days.

A beer would surely help during those insufferable Metro tunnel delays. But I guess we just can’t have nice things?

h/t Jeremy Whiteman (to the Muni Diaries Facebook page)

New Muni LRVs up for approval Tuesday

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SFMTA’s Board of Directors meets tomorrow, and one of the items on the agenda is the awarding of a contract to build Muni’s so-called fleet of the future—a new line of sleek LRVs that would roll out beginning in late 2016.

Muni rider Jeff (no relation, heh) informed us of the following exciting news:

Siemens beat out CAF for the contract. Siemens has a factory in Sacramento. Initial order is for 24 cars immediately, and will total 175 to replace the entire current Breda fleet. Two subsequent options of 40 and 45 are listed as well for future fleet expansion.

I’m kind of disappointed that Muni didn’t opt for longer car lengths. I don’t know whether longer car lengths would save money operationally, but they do sure swallow up more people.

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They kinda remind me of something out of Tron. And I like how the different lines have different-colored vehicle, though I wonder if that’s simply a prototype feature.

See the presentation on these new light-rail beauties here (PDF). Features include a “dramatic reduction in maintenance,” longer life, and much cheaper than its closest competitor. Oh, and the vehicles would be made in Sacramento. Keep it local, y’all.

You can find the full meeting agenda here.

What do you think of these new light-rail vehicles?