31AX

Clearly, the “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” adage is not Muni Diaries’ style. Usually. But today, we have something nice to say.

The 31AX (express service running between the Outer Richmond and Financial District) earned itself some kudos today. By the time it showed up at my stop on Balboa at 28th Avenue (at 8 a.m.), it was packed. But the beautiful part is that at Park Presidio, it stops picking people up. It zooms along, down Geary, then down Bush, to get this busload of people to their jobs downtown. Even in spite of the full bus, it was still punctual, pleasantly quiet and got me to downtown in a record 30 minutes. I had more than enough time to stop and grab coffee during my walk up Sansome to the Wharves, and I felt fantastic because of it.

Getting to work on time, reliably, is one of the biggest beefs I have with the system these days. But I might be less inclined to strangle people and pen angry letters to Muni HQ if the limited service runs continue performing as well as they did today.

Is an increase in express lines the answer? Think and discuss.

-Tara

confirmed by a cab driver…

…that San Francisco is one of the worst cities in the country to do pretty much any transiting. Put it this way: no matter how you decide to get from Point A to Point B, whether by bus, streetcar, cab or regular car, it will take infinitely longer to do so than it would in most other major metropolitan areas.

Why was I in a cab at 9 a.m. on a Friday, you ask?

As Jeff posted earlier, the F line stopped on Market and dumped all its passengers near New Montgomery. This was due to an apparent power outage somewhere on the line. From what I could gather, given the clusterfuck around every trolley bus and streetcar, everyone on the line had to stop. This created a mass spillover into Market Street and surroundings, as people clamored for cabs and shoved their way into the already-full buses clunking past. I picked up a cab on Second near Market, and the fare jumped to almost $5 before hitting Market. For perspective, it cost roughly another $5 to get from Market to the very north end of town.

Aside from the F, the only Muni lines that I know go by my job are the 10-Townsend and the 39-Coit. Seeing as how neither of those was near me (not as far as I could tell), I had absolutely no idea how I could get to work without taking a cab. I tried looking at a system map on a bus shelter on Third Street…but couldn’t see through the ink-black graffiti covering almost everything.

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Is the F the Least-Reliable Line in Town?

Lately, it sure seems so.

Tara reports that trains let passengers out on Market near New Montgomery this morning around 9 because of a supposed power outage along the Embarcadero.

To top things off, as things go, passengers headed toward the northeast corner are pretty much screwed. No apparent extra buses sent in to help, extra passengers, cabs difficult to get.

It’s not a big city. We have a public transportation system. Why is it so hard to get around San Francisco?

The Occasional Random Niceness of … People

(Reposted, with permission, from Tony Long’s North Beach Examiner)

Legendary Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to run what he called “Sight ’ems” — interesting little oddities he (or one of his legmen) spotted wandering around the old town. Back in Caen’s day this wouldn’t have rated a mention, it being a more civilized burg, but in 2008 I found the scene jarring:

Three tourists, all women, riding a northbound 9x-Bayshore Express, and clearly lost. They didn’t speak any English (I think that was Portuguese I was hearing, but maybe it was … well, who cares?) and the bus driver spoke nothing but English. As they chattered away at the driver, laughing and waving a map under her nose while she crossed Market and headed up Kearny, I expected to hear some very colorful English indeed.

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