what’s wrong here?

511 TripPlanner says it will take me about 57 minutes to get from where I work (Fisherman’s Wharf) to San Bruno, using a combination of walking, Muni and BART. The San Bruno BART station is 12.2 miles from the center of San Francisco.

It routinely takes me an hour to get anywhere within San Francisco via Muni, and I almost never cross the entire length or width of the 7 mi. by 7 mi. city on any given day. The exception is, of course, if I’m traveling to and from near-consecutive neighborhoods, such as the Mission to Glen Park.

In every other case, the One-Hour Phenomenon has proven true from Fisherman’s Wharf to Hayes Valley, from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Mission, from the Richmond to the Mission, from Cole Valley to the Mission.

We all knew BART was faster and more reliable (except that one day last week), but this was a rather dismal realization on an already dismal (weather-wise and economically) week.

Will the Central Subway ease our troubles?

Tara Ramroop canceled her extraneous credit cards and is watching her finances even more stringently (i.e., anally) than she already did. Now, more than ever, she and others may rely on the cost-effective Muni for transportation. Don’t let us down!

The dog and pony show rolls on

(Reposted, with permission, from North Beach Examiner)

The Metropolitan Transporation Authority — or Muni, as most of us still prefer calling it — has been trying to get rid of the 39-Coit since the 1950s. Unless eight supervisors vote against the transit system’s current Transit Effectiveness Plan at their Sept. 16 meeting, Muni will get half its wish.

Elimination of the Union Street hill leg of the 39 route is one of the provisions of the plan. Several other lines around town are facing truncation or elimination as well, which Muni maintains is necessary to provide the “greatest good for the greatest number.”

This is a pretty hilly town (in case you haven’t noticed), and a densely populated one (which, if the city planners get their way, will only be worse in coming years). The only way to provide reliable transit service with this kind of topography and population is by saturating the place with bus lines. Eliminating lines, or in the case of the 39, drastically cutting service, flies in the face of the city’s so-called “transit first” policy.

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Memoir of Racist Dude on #45

Tuesday morning in North Beach. I have a bad vibe that the 45-Stockton is gonna be sardine city. A big crowd is already waiting at Columbus and Stockton for the morning commute down Stockton, over Market, along Fourth and to Brannan and beyond.

It was sardine city alright. Some joker standing near me, carrying a Barack Obama doll, is starting to lose it as local Asians along the Chinatown route squeeze into the matriculated bus and loudly speak in dialects unrecognizable to me. The racist white dude on 45 utters for all to hear: “That’s why I support birth control and nuclear war.” I was thinking: What a racist jackass. I kept my mouth shut, so as not to create a nuclear incident on a packed bus. However, I wanted to ask the guy, “If everybody practiced birth control, who would you kill with nuclear arms?”

– David

Confession: I’m a rude newspaper reader on Muni

Yesterday while on the J train, I thought I’d use my time wisely by reading my Sunday New York Times (yes, yes, I am two days late but it’s only the Style section).  As soon as I took out the paper from my backpack I realized that the Style section isn’t a very stylish and practical read while on Muni. With riders sitting on both side of me and two more people standing right at my knee, I could hardly even turn the page! The guy who sat next to me was reading a compact little novel and gave me a dirty look when I accidentally brushed the side of his face with my unwieldy newsprint.

Thankfully, the lovely ladies at Muni Manners pointed out the correct etiquette for reading the newspaper while in transit. They suggest “folding for minimum impact” by preparing the paper pre-boarding. Brilliant!


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