Tara Ramroop has laughed, cried, and commiserated with this amazing community from the start. She's been writing for as long as she can remember and riding Muni for more than a decade.

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!

morning hazards

In one of the more unpleasant wake-up calls I’ve had in a while, I took a pointy high heel (with weight behind it) to the second toe this morning on the F.

There was probably a missed run or an accident up the line this morning, because I had to cram into an already moderately full F. The 30-deep crowd on the island at Market and Main Street all crammed in both sets of doors, which led to the accidental jab to my sandaled foot.

The F has consistently pissed me off, but this is the first time it actually bit back.

Tara Ramroop may never wear open-toed shoes on the F again. Got any Neosporin?

burn, baby, burn

Could this be the solution to all our problems?

Of course, not. But honestly, think about what would happen (and how busy our fire department would be) if people did this every time Muni was late during commute hour.

On a more serious note, think about how many Muni-dependent workers might have this same story:

“Many passengers said the delays, caused by a broken down train, had cost them a day’s work.”

Disclaimer: Muni Diaries is, in no way, suggesting this as a solution to our craptastically unreliable transit system.

tales of the 49, part 2

The two main buses running down Van Ness have a certain je ne sais quoi. Actually, scratch that, I do know what it is: they can’t run properly (i.e., on time) because that street is a horrible place to attempt a move from Point A to Point B.

6:19 p.m.: Time I step on a 49-Van Ness, heading toward the Mission.

7:11 p.m.: Time I step off the same bus and start walking to Jeff’s house.

Summary: I was on the same bus for 52 minutes, mostly on Van Ness, as it crawled along at an infuriating snail’s pace, to go a total of 3.3 miles. To put it in perspective, the 2.2-mile, straight-line leg from North Point and Van Ness to Mission and Van Ness took 40 minutes; 511 Trip Planner says that same leg should take about 24 minutes.

Crappy service on Van Ness is one Muni meltdown that usually isn’t the agency’s fault. Yesterday was especially not its fault, thanks to a brush fire on Yerba Buena Island that snarled traffic on the Bay Bridge and on the Van Ness approach to the freeway. Still, I think we can all agree that it really sucks to be on a bus for an hour.

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the good, the bad and the even worse

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.

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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.

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