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.
To be fair, and I don’t think Muni Diaries has mentioned this yet, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency sucks so hard partly because San Francisco is planned horribly. Some of this bad planning is due to geography (hills, mainly), but some of it is due to a lack of foresight when planning for future growth. If you’re given an off-kilter grid system, sometimes this is the best you can do. More importantly for today, however, is that if the city is going to rely on trolley buses and streetcars to ease the environmental burden, the city should also think about how many people got into gas-guzzling cabs on Market today because of the system’s unreliability.