How courteous

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but on both of my buses this morning, the driver announced next stops, and gave connecting routes, over their bus’s PA. Not only that, but you could also make out what they were saying.

Is this a new attempt at better transit? Anyone else notice this lately?

A Muni Diaries First: A Song for the 38-Geary

San Francisco musician Shane Papatolicas shares a song about a ride on Muni, specifically along the famed 38-Geary line.

Sometimes on the 38

We haven’t had the good fortune to see him perform yet, but here’s an excerpt of a review of Papatolicas at San Fran Voice:

Shane simplifies his feelings: “Sometimes I read the paper and I get depressed. Sometimes I stand and stare at the ground”. Either way, whether waxing poetic or putting it plainly, Shane’s lyrics grasp the truth of what he’s trying to say.

If you have Muni-related audio, video, photographs, or art you’d like to share with the world, please let us know by emailing Muni diaries.

wisdom on the 49

I was on a 49-Van Ness yesterday evening, as the results for several East Coast states were coming in and Election Day was gearing up for the good stuff.

First, I listened to a man chatting with someone on the phone, who gave the most recent play-by-play results he had been watching for all day. He then demanded a free lunch if Obama reached 350 electoral votes. Results right now (9 a.m. on Thursday) show he’s at 349, with no major network yet calling North Carolina for the president-elect.

Then two boys got on with their moms. They were buddies, clearly, talking about school and their Halloween costumes, particularly which Halloween superstore had the best Batman costume.

Boy 1 was Hispanic, and said he lives wayyy down the 49, meaning he probably lives in the Excelsior, or somewhere else near City College on the south side of town. He had a few things to say about Tuesday’s election.

Boy 1: Everyone gets to vote today. Where are you from?

Boy 2: Los Angeles.

Boy 1: Oh. That’s near Mexico, right?

Boy 2: Yeah, kind of.

Boy 1: Well, I’m from Mexico, and McCain wants us to leave. He wants all the Mexicans to leave and go back to Mexico. But Obama wants us to stay.

Make of it what you will.

Documentary About London Underground Maps

We don’t talk about Muni transit maps on this site much. Perhaps we should.

But I came across this riveting documentary about the maps for the London Underground. (Thx: Kottke)

The documentary is really more about design than transit per se. But maps affect our understanding of how a system works. Therefore, in my mind, the maps are key to the efficient use of any public transit system.

Now, if only we had a world-class system here in San Francisco …

– Jeff wishes we could start San Francisco over, SIMS-style, and give it the transit-first layout it truly deserves.

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!

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