Friday, March 13, 2015

The 5L doesn't really work

Christ, what could be more pedestrian than complaining about Muni? But HERE WE ARE. You want hyperlocal coverage?  YOU GOT IT.

The 5L Fulton line seems like a good idea.  Make limited stops as compared to the poky old regular 5 line and you'll just fly through the city on gossamer wings, right?  The only problem is it doesn't fucking work.  At least at rush hour, in my experience.  What actually happens is that it is either the same speed as the regular 5 or slightly slower.  This to me is as inexplicable as quantum mechanics but here's two days of anecdotal experience.  These are not atypical experiences BTW.

WEDNESDAY there was a regular 5 with a 5L right behind it.  I thought I'd be all smart and get on the 5L because there is no way, given our current laws of physics, that a bus making every stop could beat a bus making like every 5th stop.

We never caught up to that damn bus.  Frustratingly, I could see it in front of us the whole goddam time.

THURSDAY the 5L was in front and the 5 was behind it.  Imagine my shock and horror as the supposedly slower 5 PASSED US and jetted off to the coast for a drink 'n tan.  I shook my fist in impotent rage, as I do at least once a day.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.  As with many things, the causes are numerous.  First, it appears that many more people are riding the 5L, making each stop exponentially longer as all the #sheeple slowly get on and off with their backpacks and whatnot and then stand on the bottom step so the doors don't close and oh god it's just agonizing to watch.  Meanwhile there are fewer people on the regular 5 so it just pulls over for a sec and then is on its merry way.  FACTUAL SUPPORT FOR THIS BELIEF courtesy of Streetsblog (from whence the above pic was sourced also): "New 5L-Fulton Limited Muni Line Has Brought 2,000 More Daily Riders," and they are all SLOW AS FUCK.

Also, our driver on Thursday was one of those Turtle People who fears disrupting the spacetime continuum if they push it to more than 5 mph and also lets every car in the fucking universe go at every stop sign until there aren't any more cars left in the City & County.

Maybe it's better at off-peak times, but at rush hour anyway, the 5L is like Muni itself: a good idea, really poorly executed.  I'm going back to the regular old 5 (which has the newer better nicer buses anyway).

Sorry this was so boring.  Have a nice weekend.


Rachel said...

I feel your pain, TK. The 5L is mind boggling.
Plus, shouldn't the limited lines be electric buses so they can go AROUND the regular buses?

I only take the 5L if I have time and if it looks less crowded.

Have a good weekend!

TK said...

I AM VALIDATED. Thank you, Rachel.

GG said...

You're making the wrong assumptions. The "L" in 5L stands for "Languid." It's the option for people who aren't in a hurry and prefer a slower, more relaxing ride.

By the way, and this is a little-known fact, Muni actually draws up to 50% of its electricity each day by converting fists shaking in impotent rage into a sustainable power source -- so you keep right at it, TK!

Greg said...

it's not working for a few reasons. one is that with so many people using it, you really need some loaders to move things along so that one doddling idiot doesn't hold up the line.

the other is that it needs to be given priority over the 5 and autos without that it's going to get snarled in traffic no matter what little letters they put on it.

Stoney said...

Here's how the 5L works: there are seats on the 5 when it gets to Fulton. WIN!

Civic Center said...

I'm with Stoney. I love the 5L because taking it from the Civic Center to Ocean Beach cuts down about 15 to 20 minutes on what the old endless journey took. And by the time it gets to Civic Center to take me to work in the Financial District, it's a tossup which bus is more fucked up, the 5L or the simple 5's, so I jump on whichever bus has the least evil, crowded vibe at Van Ness. They're usually stacked together anyway at that point, and I usually jump off if there are crazy wheelchair people acting out their many public dramas, and catch another bus on Market.

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