Friday, April 11, 2014

A somewhat tepid defense of Muni


I know it's E-Z 'n fun to rag on Muni.  We all do it all the time. I do it all the time.  It's like shooting fish in a barrel, if the fish were Somewhere You Needed to Be on Time and the barrel was a Ghost Bus or a Slow Down & Pull Away or a Sorry This Bus Is Being Taken Out of Service Please Get Off the Bus There Will Be Another Bus Coming Soon.

And still.  I have to begrudgingly admit that the bus I take to work gets me from a corner near my house to a corner near my work in 18 minutes and does it almost without fail 5 times a week.  Same thing on the way home, except it's faster now that the 5L express line exists.  That's pretty great!  Plus I can ride the 33 from my neighborhood and be in the Mission in around a half hour AND on the way get treated to some pretty killer views going over Twin Peaks.

In fact, in my personal experience, Muni works pretty well maybe 80% of the time.  The other 20% is where we all live, of course.  No one wants to hear "I had a pleasant and quiet bus ride and arrived at my destination safely and without incident."  You aren't going to get on Porchlight with that story.  Drunk lunatic raving about the End Times and drinking out of a paper bag, now that's a Muni story.

I like the old trains on the F Market line.

Photo via SFGate
I like the "Information Gladly Given But Safety Requires Avoiding Unnecessary Conversation" signs.

I used to like the paper FastPasses; R.I.P. paper FastPasses.

I like the democratizing effect.  There's a cross-section of SF on Muni.

That's about it, I guess.

8 comments:

Tamagosan said...

When I was in middle school and taking the 24 for 45 mins each way to school, I thought that the bus driver must be the best job on the planet. I may have told people that I wanted to be a MUNI driver when I grew up. The first boy I ever went out with I met on MUNI. Middle school! But I do like the drivers. I do like the views, the unwashed masses and their stories, the routines, the quirks and yes, the paper Fast Passes. I can knock it and allllllllllll its faults, but I still defend it, maybe even more than tepidly...

TheCityTheBridge said...

OMG, I am almost neighbors with a local celebrity!

But yeah, 80/20 split is pretty much it (and we are super lucky because the 5/5L are way better than a lot of other commutes these days).

Rachel said...

I like when the F Market destination signs sometimes say 'nowhere in particular'.
And when the New Orleans streetcar used to (maybe still does?) list the destination as 'Desire'.
But the dislikes often override the likes.

TK said...

Tam - Nice, thanks for that

TheCity - Which local celebrity?!?!

Rachel - The streetcar said "Desire" because Desire is literally the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans! Crazy, right?

Also, everybody - You should be reading Rachel's wonderful blog if you're not already.

Rachel said...

Thanks, TK!

Stoney said...

5L is the best thing ever.

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