Friday, August 1, 2014


Since it's Friday, no one wants to read my thinkpiece about how the Trade Deadline is a metaphor for America, so let's keep it simple today and do some unfocused scattershot ranting about Muni.  That'll get us pageviews!

1. I sent out this #hottake a couple of days ago:

Let me expand on this thought. Amazing as it may seem to an outside observer, yes, there are places on some lines - maybe every line, fuck if I know - where the bus stops at one end of the block, picks up disgruntled and/or self-medicated San Franciscans, then drives a hundred feet to the other end of the block AND STOPS AGAIN.  This is pure lunacy.

Here's an example, on Turk Street between Hyde and Larkin.  The 31 stops at both ends of Turk on that block.  Why?  NOBODY KNOWS.

Not really.  I'm sure somebody knows.  There's probably some kind of algorithm that determines how far you can go without having a bus stop and putting the stop on the next block would be 14" farther than the algorithm allows.

This is stupid.  No wonder Muni is so fucking slow.  There are too many goddam stops.

2. Every fucking day, the breezy, infuriating SFMTA Twitter sends out something like this:

I can't say for sure what this shit is about, but I have a good guess: some drivers didn't show up for work.  If this happened in a normal setting, the organizational entity would account for this and bring in replacements.  With Muni, what happens is that bus run just gets skipped.  Bay Citizen explains:
Muni and AC Transit rely on an “extra board,” a group of on-call bus drivers who fill in if a driver is late or absent. Muni schedules about 1,200 drivers each weekday and has about 100 on call. AC Transit schedules about 525 drivers during the week and has 150 on call.
In the past, when all of the on-call drivers were working, Muni would pay overtime to drivers who were off to come in and cover any remaining shifts. But faced with a $29 million budget shortfall and out-of-control overtime spending, Muni decided last month to skip bus runs instead.

Got that?  Instead of replacing the drivers and keeping all the scheduled runs going, Muni just says fuck it and that's why your bus looks like this:

3. They still can't figure out how to keep the system running smoothly on days when there's a Giants game at AT&T.  OF COURSE more people will be riding Muni those days.  This has been going on for FOURTEEN YEARS.  In 14 years, one single human being can progress from mewling in a crib to flying a Cessna 172 over Toronto.  That's just one person!  Muni has a team of people, presumably, and in 14 years they haven't figured out how to move a slightly larger than normal number of people around a ballpark.

4. If I can audibly hear music from your headphones, you are going to have permanent hearing loss and in 30 years some poor minimum wage employee is going to be yelling at you "THAT. COMBO. MEAL. DOES. NOT. COME. WITH. A. DRINK."  Give that person a break and turn it down some.

Whew.  That's better.  I've relieved the pressure and now the voices will be quiet for a while.  Have a nice weekend.


toddx said...

Namaste. Oh, and Muni sucks.

Rachel said...

Argh, TK, yes, you are right about everything.
I think the multiple stops on the same block thing is insane and it is definitely time to discontinue a lot of stops. I would even vote to discontinue my stop in the interest of faster service.

OH and it took me an extra 25 minutes to get to work today, because it is a Friday. Usually the same nonsense on Mondays, too.

Have a good weekend!

Civic Center said...

I'm sure the two Muni crashes today were your fault for putting out all this negative energy. Or it could have been my curse on the SFMTA when trying to use Commuter Check for the first time to get a Fast Pass loaded on a Clipper Card at the Montgomery underground station. where there are people employed to actually be helping out, but who are of course completely useless. What a freaking mess.

Greg said...

Stop consolidations makes sense, but the moment you try to do anything, an array of self appointed Guardians of the Stops scream and yell at public forums and SFMTA meetings and people relent and keep the stupid stops.

I was part of a panel discussion on Muni a few years ago and the moment someone said those two words, people started yelling "NO!" "NEVER" and an array of foul language. There's a classic example on the N line - there's a stop at 12th Avenue, then a stop at Funston (less than a block away.) It makes no sense. Yet somehow the screamers win over any Actually Studies and Facts, hence why you have a super slow system.

TK said...

Michael - DON'T SAY THAT. Now I feel terrible. It's totally my fault.

Greg - Isn't that just SF government in general in a nutshell?

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