Let’s start with a logic puzzle of sorts.

Q: Where are you if you see four J-Church metro trains, all headed downtown?

A: Gee, probably on Church? Maybe in Glen Park. One thing’s for sure, you can’t possibly be at Carl and Cole, smack-dab in N-Judah territory.

Oh, wait.

I was going out to Cole Valley yesterday, meaning the N-Judah would, theoretically, be the best way there. I didn’t run into huge problems on the way there, but coming back was another story altogether.

Planning your life around a Muni schedule is kind of like betting big on a game of Russian Roulette.  However, at least the damned lines are where they’re supposed to be when they’re, you know, 15 minutes late. Not so much this time, as three Js came whirring down Carl Street around 8:30 p.m. All of them stopped and let people on and off. And all of them came approximately when NextMuni said the N would show up at this stop, which is exclusively served by … the N.

After a couple seemingly stupid questions for the driver that included “Are you really a J?” and “Are you supposed to be an N?” a friend and I finally hopped on the third J to show up at our stop. We hopped off at Church and Duboce, since my friend needed to eventually get on an N.

We were standing in the mid-street island on Church at Duboce as another J came headed our way, east on Duboce, also in a place it shouldn’t be. The driver of this one said, by way of explanation for all the erroneous Js, that “we’re all headed home!” A frustrated pregnant lady observed that we were all trying to do the same thing. And I still don’t know what the driver meant by that.

An N finally showed up. People cheered. Many laughed through the anger. Things like “fucking finally!” were said. Regular folk, not just the drivers, were also now on their way home.

Then my friend texted to say the N was trapped at Van Ness.

– Tara

Tara Ramroop would pay to see an N vs. J turf war.


  • There’s been a lot of weirdness on the N lately. Between the stuck doors, the “Ocean Beach to Balboa Park” specials, and so on, one might as well bring a Magic 8 ball and use that instead of NextMuni.

  • tara

    Yeah, the N-Judah is 0 for 2 in a matter of weeks with me. Something tells me three times won’t be a charm.

  • having lines vary it up this way is almost cool: the ability for people to get from one part of town to another, previously harder-to-reach area sounds good. only problem is how these changes are unscheduled, and, like many things Muni, leave us asking what the fuck.

  • omg…greg, a magic 8-ball! I love those! Is there a way to make one that would be an amusing Muni trinket?! You could make a fortune!

    I still have to say that I’d rather take the N than any given bus in the city, though.

  • tara

    I can see the Magic 8 Ball now. Will my N be on time! *shake*…ask again later.

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