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.
Can we have our marquees back? Please?
This is something that’s been on my chest for four years. Four years! I used to ride the 44 line religiously each day at the start and end of my very, very long commute to Mountain View. I even dedicated a personal journal to the 44 just to vent my frustration in a positive way. So I figured I’d share my woes with you guys on Muni Diaries.
For those of you who still ride the 44, I hope the line has improved its on-time performance. It really couldn’t have gotten much worse. The 20-minute interval between buses as displayed on the Muni schedule is a bunch of packed-in crap. Just writing all this now takes me back to the days when I’d wait and wait and wait for the bus, sharing my angst with fellow Muni goers. I guess you could say that the 44’s habitual inconsistencies brought the community together. But I’d rather engage with fellow San Franciscans at an antique show at the Cow Palace than stand around talking about how long we’d all been waiting for the bus. And I hate antiques.
I actually like the fact that NextMuni exists. It gives me something to look at in a bus shelter rather than stare at the people in it, stare at the Muni map I’ve damn-near memorized, stare off into space, or stare at my cell phone photos or text messages to keep me entertained. It also helps prevent stepping out and looking for the bus (“Is it there now…now?…NOW??”), though I still do that if it’s one minute away and I don’t see one headed my way.
Though I hear some fairly positive reviews of it (and read a handful of fairly positive reviews of it on Yelp), I kind of hate NextMuni, an apparent adjunct of NextBus. I really want to know who is responsible for it, so I know who to complain to about their irritatingly inaccurate system.
My own experience* aside, here’s a great analysis from the good folks at SFist of Muni’s utterly botched handling of yesterday’s street race in the city.
* So we didn’t make it quite to the ocean. More like Clayton and Fell, where we dropped off at a friend’s place to use the alternative bathroom (the Panhandle-turned-toilet was overrun with revelers).
After some much-needed rest and snacking, we headed over to Clayton and Fulton, where, we were promised by Next Bus, we’d be able to get an outbound 5-Fulton in five minutes. When we arrived at the stop, sure enough, we looked east and saw a bus at what we guessed was Masonic and Fulton. After a long day of drinking and walking, it was like seeing an oasis in the desert.
I spent much of last Monday working at home. So, the first people I came into contact with all day were fellow 49 riders, headed north on Van Ness from the Mission, around 6 p.m. Needless to say (it was my own fault, goddamn me) I don’t recommend this to be your first, face-to-face interaction with the outside world.
Tale 1: There’s a woman on the bus with her tiny kid on her lap, and her baby paraphernalia, including a stroller, leaning on the seat next to her. I hate Seat Jabbas; you know – the people who take up enormous amounts of horizontal space, thanks to their bag, their computer, their food, etc. etc. etc. Yet, I can draw the distinction between unknowing/uncaring asshole, and a woman who clearly did not prefer Muni for whatever errand she was doing. We all love to hate cars, but this woman could probably use one.
In comes a crusty, probably not crazy but definitely pushy, woman who demands the mom take her stuff off the seat. Her reasoning? “You didn’t pay for all those seats.”