I was leaving the downtown area heading toward my apartment in the Lower Haight. This was some time ago so I don’t really remember where I was coming from, most likely I was on my way home from practicing with my old band. I was already in a bitchy mood, most likely for the amount of time I waited for a bus, but I also remember a general feeling of angst that comes over me from time to time that is usually a cumulative anger and/or depression, further compounded by waiting for a long time for Muni on a less than pleasant night. Finally, I remember, a 6-Parnassus picks me up – and perks me up. Of all lines I could get, this one would get me closest to home – one block away – and fast. Another plus – it wasn’t crowded. I get on and proceed toward the back of the bus; I certainly wouldn’t want to take a seat away from the elderly or a wheel-chair user. We proceed to the next stop, and just before I start to feel happy, I notice the loud, most likely high on crack woman board the bus. “Stay up front, stay up front,” I remember thinking, but no, to the back of the bus she comes, and she’s fired up, dancing, screaming and making a scene. This is no new situation to anyone who takes Muni, and I generally know how to deal with it – don’t make eye contact and ignore the behavior. Sometimes, if I were in a better mood, I might even have been entertained by the high woman, but not this night, I was in no mood for laughter. As she finally sits down I notice the smell, a very, very strong smell – of shit! No, ladies and gentlemen, this was no wafting fart that I couldn’t just hold my breath a bit and let pass, this was the straight up intense smell of a freshly pinched loaf, most likely nestled tightly between the crackhead’s ass and her blackened Levi’s. The smell consumed the back of the bus, you didn’t just smell it, you felt it. I was in a fog of poo, and as the smell hits, I look around – there were others in the back – and not many people seem to be noticing the smell I’m noticing. The crackhead’s sitting down but won’t shut up, and I wonder if she’s screaming to distract people from the smell. As we go another stop, I have to go to the front of the bus, old people be damned. There’s not much refuge there, but the smell is definitely less intense. Finally, others seem to smell it and an exodus toward the front begins, the crackhead’s screams intensify and I can take no more. Three blocks from my house I have to bail. As the 6 drives away, I see the people’s reaction on the back of the bus, heads in shirts, newspapers up against their faces, the looks of horror and disgust, the stampede toward the front of the bus. Never had the streets of San Francisco smelled so good. – Rob
Category: WTF: Weirdness on Muni
…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.
Lately, it sure seems so.
Tara reports that trains let passengers out on Market near New Montgomery this morning around 9 because of a supposed power outage along the Embarcadero.
To top things off, as things go, passengers headed toward the northeast corner are pretty much screwed. No apparent extra buses sent in to help, extra passengers, cabs difficult to get.
It’s not a big city. We have a public transportation system. Why is it so hard to get around San Francisco?
Okay, that headline is harsh, but Muni’s been letting us down handsomely lately.
And now, it turns out, the beleagured agency is set to receive $7 million from the Homeland Security Department.
Never minding the cognitive dissonance of a right-wing-run government agency doling out money to a public transit agency, I just want this money tagged and tracked. Want to know how much is spent on what, and how, and let’s look at the results.
Count me skeptical toward this doing anything to fix the multitude of problems facing SFMTA.
In the event this complaint falls through the cracks (not that that would ever happen on Muni), I’m posting this letter I wrote to Muni HQ today:
I’d like to call Muni’s attention to a problem I don’t see too often, but do notice regularly. I’d also appreciate a timely explanation of why the incident I’m about to describe has to happen.
I ride the F-Market/Wharves almost every day to get to work near Pier 39. While I can forgive a crowded streetcar around peak commuter times, I don’t understand why, sometimes, passengers on an already moving, already crowded F streetcar are dumped on Market and told to take the next F streetcar that comes along.