wtf, f?

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.

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Rebuilt 1914 Streetcar Headed for F Line

SFGate reports that Muni is taking one of the service’s oldest streetcars to put it back to service on the F line!

From SFGate story:

“These cars touched people’s lives,” said Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency. “It’s more than steel wheels and steel frames and wooden seats. These cars took people home to their loved ones, they took them to the doctor, took them to school.”

Thx SFGate.

F the F

Some of this post is F-centric, and some of it is just rants and raves about what should be basic common sense on public transit. It’s going to be pretty clear which is which.

Muni Diaries often complains about the F. I guess Muni Diaries complains about a good handful of things, but there are special problems inherent in the F that require extra-special complaints.

I don’t know how much it cost by its unveiling in 2000 to expand the F-Market line to the wharves, but I’m sure it was expensive. It appears to have been part of a continuing effort to revamp the rails and give tourists something cute to ride on. Nonetheless, I think the city underestimates how many people, regular SF residents, use it to get to work. We use it because there is NOTHING QUICKER. It’s so freakin’ cute. It emphazies local history and I love that to bits. But it is so inefficient and slow, it makes me and the other commuters want to rip our hair out as we all fight to get on the tiny, infrequent cars.

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A streetcar named …

It’s very popular (and, admittedly, very easy) to bag on Muni’s faults — there are so many of them. However, I am often a huge fan of the trolley/streetcar lines, especially the underground tunnels and the restored fleet of streetcars that run along the F-Market line.

Even though they are technically only used on that line, I’ve seen them toodling down the J-Church line. Since they’re always empty, I assumed they always dumped the passengers off at some point and then just went down to Balboa Park to turn around.

Yesterday, after paying a visit to the San Francisco Railway Museum, where they encourage you to go out and see the streetcars and view them as “museums in motion,” we hopped on an F train and intended to ride it to Church St. and transfer to the J. We sat in the comfy leather seats and I read the information placard on the train that explained it was the 1055, a restored car from Philadelphia, originally painted green/cream/red.

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NextMuni: 10 minutes…1 minute…28 minutes…

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.

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Dear SF Police…

Thanks for doing more foot patrols. I am highly offended, though, that I’ve seen more police in Fisherman’s Wharf (for those gun-toting tourists?) than in some of the shittier, crime-ridden areas of town. Ross Mirkarimi is probably having a brain aneurysm as we speak.

It really wasn’t a huge deal until I saw three SF police chopping it up with some friendly old ladies from Where the Fuck Ever, then getting upset because my FastPass wasn’t visible when I came in through the back door, this one time on the F line. Those non-visible FastPasses are the real reason SF is anchored on the crime map these days, thanks for doing your part.

I get how police can’t be everywhere at once and how crime is sometimes very random. But there is a proven halo effect around police stations (and cops), so I’d appreciate seeing you more near those wackos in the Mission than near the fanny packs in Pier 39.

Your friend (taxpaying citizen),

Tara

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