I had another harrowing experience waiting for my F car this morning on Market at Van Ness. Two alleged trolley-bus Fs (their signs said they were, in fact F buses, and included “Market/Wharves” and everything) came by after a long while…and both drivers said they were stopping at Eighth Street. If you didn’t know, Eighth Street is about 3-4 blocks from where I was standing. And the F train is a charming little streetcar that is mostly for tourists, and therefore hideously unreliable. It is, unfortunately, among the fastest ways to get from the Embarcadero BART station to the northeast end of town, second only to walking, if you have time. It might (might) tie the 10-Townsend or the 9x, though both are crazy crowded in the mornings.
I hadn’t seen an F train for 15 minutes at least, and Jeff, my partner in life and Muni Diaries, said NextMuni was estimating it wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes. I thought I had to take a cab to work for the third time in a month – a ride that costs at least $10 more than the $0 it normally does. My golden solution was a 47-Van Ness, which hit its scheduled stop on Van Ness at Market right after I got there. The driver was helpful when people asked questions, and it put me a block from my office. Thank you, 47. I always liked you better than that dirty sister of yours, the 49.
Meanwhile, people gathered at the F stop across the way in greater numbers, looking expectantly up Market for a car that probably still hasn’t gotten there.
I wasn’t that late (got in around 9:25 instead of 9:10), and I don’t mind the ride. It’s just unfair (and highly lame) when you have to play guessing games with your commute. If this keeps up, I might just break up with the F train altogether – this time, I mean it.
…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.
The Examiner takes a close look at the proposed cuts on a couple of linnes with paltry ridership.
A little teaser from the story:
These cuts are two of many proposals being studied by Muni as part of its Transit Effectiveness Project, which, if implemented, would result in the most comprehensive bus rerouting done in my memory. And I’ve been here a long time. There isn’t a single line passing through or near North Beach (save the cable cars) that wouldn’t be affected in some way.
Take it away, Mr. Long.
I’m wary of all Muni drivers, and you should be, too. Walking across Geary (yikes) the other day, I preferred to stand in the unguarded median than race an oncoming 38. While drivers of regular vehicles will usually stop for a pedestrian in an unlighted crosswalk (you know, it being the law and everything), Muni is clearly above this standard.
I’m not just bagging on our favorite local transit agency because of a continuing killing streak the buses seem to have been on the last few years. It’s highly cool to hate Muni, of course, but I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon.
I walk a lot. Alone, usually. I obey more traffic signals than most of my fellow pedestrians who, braver than I, will dart in front of a California Street cable car because it takes too long to wait for our light. So, I get really pissed off when Muni buses (to name names, the 10-Townsend when it’s on North Point and the 33-Stanyan when it’s on 18th Street) take the red light like it ain’t no thang. I follow the rules. Are you going to?