Please don’t try this: A Dutch man’s handy transit card fix


Is your commute just too complicated? Consider the extreme measures — or gasp maybe don’t — one Dutch public transit rider went to to make it easier to pass through a metro turnstile.

According to the Mirror, Tom van Oudenaarden, the 37-year-old owner of a body piercing studio, allowed someone to implant the chip from an Oyster transit card in his hand, enabling him to use it to get through security gates sans plastic.

“They had to cut open my skin and make a hole under it that would fit a silicon disk of 1.4 inch wide by 0.3 inch deep,” he told the paper. “In the silicon disk we then placed the chip of the public transport card. It took seven stitches, so it hurt quite a bit but it was worth it.”

Hmm, sounds real nice and all, but I’d rather skip surgery and fumble for my Clipper card. I mean, right?

Photo by London Chow

Your Weekend Transit Advisory: Construction

NEW: Sansome Street Improvement Project

As part of the Muni Forward Program, the existing southbound traffic lane designated for transit, taxis and commercial vehicles on Sansome Street has been extended north from Washington Street to Broadway Street. This extension will provide two-way service for the following Muni routes and will save customers up to three minutes for each southbound trip:

  • 10 Townsend
  • 12 Folsom/Pacific

The Sansome Street Improvement Project is in effect since last Saturday, July 16. This project is part of Muni Forward Program designed to improve customers’ travel time and reliability:

  • The left northbound lane on Sansome Street between Washington and Broadway streets will be converted to a southbound traffic lane with restricted hours designated for use by certain vehicles:
    • Between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., Daily: Only buses, taxis, commercial vehicles and emergency vehicles are allowed.
    • Outside of those hours: All vehicles are allowed.
  • Fifteen metered parking spaces on the west side of Sansome Street in the project area will be converted to commercial loading zones.

During construction and to allow for an adjustment period for the new two-way street configuration, Muni buses will begin to use the new lane on Saturday, August 13.

Read more

Cranky Next Muni signs waiting for 3G

next bus broken sign examiner
Noticed all those Next Muni signs that says, “Registering…” just when you arrive at your bus stop? We saw one of the stops in the Mission that said, “waiting for 3G…”, and the Examiner confirmed that this is indeed what was happening.

From the Examiner:

The culprit is a systems migration for AT&T’s wireless networks, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which runs Muni. AT&T is moving away from its 2G networks and toward 3G, which has impacted some signs, according to SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose.

If you thought that we were actually already in the 4G age, you’re not wrong. Next Muni’s signs depend on the network for GPS information. As AT&T moves the signs toward 3G, it has impacted about 8 percent of signs across the city. The Examiner reports that SFMTA is working on restoring services to these signs.

Meanwhile, you can always relay on this most accurate Next Bus sign in the city.

Photo via SF Examiner

Muni streetcar names of the past and present, visualized and explained


Streetcars! Maps! Histories! Oh, my!

San Francisco architect Randolph Ruiz (whose work we’ve featured before: “Am I riding a Muni bus, streetcar, or subway?“) sent over the map you see above. He calls it SF Muni in 1932—some of the missing letters.

If the visual isn’t enough for you, as awesome as it is, over on Muni’s site, Aaron Bialick’s wrote a history of Muni’s rail lines through the years, which helps to explain why there’s an E and an F, but no A–D. There were G, H, and I lines once upon a magical time. There was a J that didn’t have anything to do with Church. And there was an O that ran along Union Street.

Check out Aaron’s post for a deeper explanation of the Muni rail lines and why they aren’t around anymore.

Image by Randolph Ruiz

Muni buses will finally get air conditioning


Muni buses are getting air conditioning for the first time, for, you know, those 10 days of the year when you don’t need to wear a hoodie. The SF Examiner reports that 98 of Muni’s 880 buses will get air conditioning by September, and the rest of the fleet will have air conditioning installed by 2018.

John Haley, director of transit at the SFMTA, said that operators voiced a need to cool the air in the buses. The cost of installing air conditioning is about $5.1 million, SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose told the Examiner.

I don’t know anyone with air conditioning in their homes, so I guess we’ll see you on the bus during our Indian summer?

Photo by stefan klocek

Transit news: Pedestrian-friendly L, tech shuttle hub, new BART escalator etiquette

fast pass by richard tamayo

What’s going on in the transit world? Here’s this week’s news from some of our favorite sites:

  • New proposal unveiled for pedestrian-friendly changes to L-Taraval (Hoodline)
  • SFist extrapolates what Facebook, Google, and Apple employees think of tech shuttle hubs (SFist)
  • Will public transit apps create customers or citizens? (Slate)
  • BART Considers New Approach To Escalator Etiquette For Speedier Exit (CBS Local)

This photo of colorful Fast Passes is from @richardtamayo.

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