I was on the 47 Van Ness yesterday following the fire at the Castro station that put KLM etc out of service for a period of time. When a group of riders got on at the Van Ness and Geary stop, I saw that a few of them were perhaps elderly and definitely looking kind of tired. So I got up and gave up my seat because I was getting off at the next stop anyway.
“Ugh! Do I look THAT old?”
I heard a voice behind me as I tried to make my way to the back of the bus.
You just can’t win!
That’s what I’ve been wondering the past couple of weeks. Txtmuni, a wonderful little service that you can use with your cell phone to check when the next bus is coming to your stop, suddenly stopped working a couple of weeks ago. Instead of useful displays of how many minutes I’d have to wait for the next death-trap-on-wheels, it would say “no times avail.”
So I dug up a contact for the guy who runs txtmuni, and finally heard from him today. It turns out that Muni changed all the “stop codes” on the Web site — all the data txtmuni was using to get ITS information. And the guy who runs the site just moved away for grad school and won’t have time to fix things on his end for a while. I get that.
However, he says there’s an alternative; NextBus has its own SMS system, with a slightly different syntax than txtmuni’s, but the same basic functionality. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m definitely going to. I’ve come to rely on the ability to use my cell phone to find out how long I have to wait.
So, for those of you who wonder, like I did, what happened to txtmuni, that’s the story. For those of you who didn’t know about these handy services, now you do.
— Beth W.
Beth W. is still wondering why txtmuni never had time information for the 38 line, but it’s a moot point now.
The Chronicle reports that service is back following yesterday afternoon’s fire at the Castro Station.
Update: According to a trusted source, the problem is mechanical. Still unsure of where, or what nature. And also, the fire? Can anyone confirm?
Original post: This just in by way of text from roving Muni Diaries field reporter Eugenia Chien:
Fire at Castro Station. K, L, M lines are delayed or not running. They are advising people to take a shuttle on Van Ness. Civic Center Station a mess!
Now the F is nowhere to be found
Stay tuned for more ….
I use the bus because driving and parking sucks in a city. I complain about using the bus because it’s not as good as it should be in these parts, given the aforementioned facts about driving and parking. Sometimes, I have more complex interactions and thoughts about the bus, where I want to strangle everyone on it, but still come away glad I wasn’t too lazy to stand eye-to-eye with my fellow SF residents.
I had one of those mixed experiences on a 38-Geary recently, and am simultaneously glad, horrified and stupefied about the whole thing.
Funny, because I understand making the most of the workforce you have. And it’s understandable that Muni isn’t at full hiring capacity (who in their right minds would want that abuse, really?).
What I don’t get is why, if so many of its drivers are working overtime, there are so many half- and missing routes. Is it really that bad?
Beth Winegarner reports for The Examiner.