muni_driver.jpg



Further cuts to Muni service seem to be more and more of an inevitability. Is it just the power of the suggestion of a suckier Muni, or does it seem like Muni’s already sucking more in preparation for even grander sucking that’s just a precursor to more sucking…you see where we’re going with this.

Of course, Muni’s not telling — a call made to MTA spokesperson Judson True has yet to receive a response. But if he did call us back, I’d be asking him if he has any real-time metrics to determine how close to on-time Muni’s been for the last week. (Judson, if you’re reading this, I am also going to ask you about video on the bus where the guy was stabbed yesterday. Let’s chat!)

Without venturing into Muni Diaries territory (where you can read rider accounts of woe and wonder until your eyes fall out of your head), here’s an apocryphal example of Muni seeming to be more Faily that it already was, as a tipster asks:

(Was) there a major Muni fail (Tuesday night) along Market? I was…passed by a full-to-the-brim 38 (there are over 60 peeps at the Montgomery and Market Westbound stop as of 6:20pm), and the wait for a 21 has been (estimated) at 18 min (and) 42 min.

Again, this is during rush hour.

Have your buses and trains seemed to be running less reliably than usual (no fair if the bus is late because somebody’s getting stabbed)? Are we just looking for Fail because we want to click that big red button, or do things seem to be getting crappier?

Update: Commenter Liz B. wisely asks “what can we do?” Thank you, Liz! You’re totally right — if you have an issue with Muni’s service, then get off the fucking internet, right? There are two “Town Hall” meetings on the cuts, one Saturday, Feb. 6, 10:00 am – 12 noon; and one Tuesday, Feb. 9, 6:00-8:00 pm. Both meetings will be held at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 2nd Floor Atrium, San Francisco. You can also email comments to sfmtabudget@sfmta.com.

The next SF MTA board meeting, where they’re expected to vote on these cuts (and fare increases and other changes) is scheduled for Tuesday February 16 at 2 p.m. They meet in City Hall, Room 400.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Liz B.

    what can we do Eve? Do you know of any upcoming protests or sit-ins at a future meeting? Riders have voice in this matter!

  • Liz B.

    what can we do Eve? Do you know of any upcoming protests or sit-ins at a future meeting? Riders have voice in this matter!

  • Eve Batey

    Thank you for asking! I’ve updated the piece with that info. Get organizing!

  • Eve Batey

    Thank you for asking! I’ve updated the piece with that info. Get organizing!

  • Akit

    Now that I think about it Eve, it does feel like the cuts have already happened. In the past week, I overheard a driver on the radio stating he was running five minutes late, my usual #18 bus arriving five minutes earlier than scheduled, and just yesterday I was reading nextbus for the 38L and notice the next 38-Geary Fort Miley bus was approaching in 15 and 16 minutes.

  • Akit

    Now that I think about it Eve, it does feel like the cuts have already happened. In the past week, I overheard a driver on the radio stating he was running five minutes late, my usual #18 bus arriving five minutes earlier than scheduled, and just yesterday I was reading nextbus for the 38L and notice the next 38-Geary Fort Miley bus was approaching in 15 and 16 minutes.

  • Scott

    Service has been horrendous this week on every line I have taken (and I hear nothing different from my work colleagues.) One could play a round of golf between some of the bus times on the 23 during rush hour. The 43 has been all over the map, with the usual helping of one bus being packed to the gills closely followed by another that is empty — both of which refuse to recognize the other’s existence. In general the 43’s frequency during commute hours, for a very busy line, has been far too long. Likewise, it took my friend 45 minutes on the N to get from Caltrain earlier this week — during rush hour. Four stops. And let’s not even talk about the operators’ attitudes, which seemingly have reached new peaks of disdain for their customers as the word gets out about the transit union’s role in all this mess. The whole system needs a thorough overhaul top to bottom — no more studies. Everyone knows what the problems are.

  • Scott

    Service has been horrendous this week on every line I have taken (and I hear nothing different from my work colleagues.) One could play a round of golf between some of the bus times on the 23 during rush hour. The 43 has been all over the map, with the usual helping of one bus being packed to the gills closely followed by another that is empty — both of which refuse to recognize the other’s existence. In general the 43’s frequency during commute hours, for a very busy line, has been far too long. Likewise, it took my friend 45 minutes on the N to get from Caltrain earlier this week — during rush hour. Four stops. And let’s not even talk about the operators’ attitudes, which seemingly have reached new peaks of disdain for their customers as the word gets out about the transit union’s role in all this mess. The whole system needs a thorough overhaul top to bottom — no more studies. Everyone knows what the problems are.

  • sunshipballoons

    Who is the tipster talking about the 21? Did he mean this week? I take the 21 regularly during rush hour, and I did so this week today and yesterday. I check nextbus starting when I get up around 8 a.m.

    No 18 or 42 minute waits during the 8 o’clock hour on Tue or Wed. Perhaps during the 7 o’clock hour? Perhaps on Monday? Or, perhaps, a disgruntled Muni rider who is all-too-happy to make things up so that he can complain?

    I find myself defending Muni a lot, which is ridiculous because I generally find Muni to be pretty unsatisfying. But I get the that some of the “complaints” are really just people being angry at Muni, and don’t necessarily reflect real problems. (Again, not that there aren’t real problems, just that we lose focus from them when people emphasize not real problems.) On the whole, the 21 has been massively improved since the TEP went into effect. But it still takes 20 minutes to get from Market and 10th to Market and Drumm.

  • sunshipballoons

    Who is the tipster talking about the 21? Did he mean this week? I take the 21 regularly during rush hour, and I did so this week today and yesterday. I check nextbus starting when I get up around 8 a.m.

    No 18 or 42 minute waits during the 8 o’clock hour on Tue or Wed. Perhaps during the 7 o’clock hour? Perhaps on Monday? Or, perhaps, a disgruntled Muni rider who is all-too-happy to make things up so that he can complain?

    I find myself defending Muni a lot, which is ridiculous because I generally find Muni to be pretty unsatisfying. But I get the that some of the “complaints” are really just people being angry at Muni, and don’t necessarily reflect real problems. (Again, not that there aren’t real problems, just that we lose focus from them when people emphasize not real problems.) On the whole, the 21 has been massively improved since the TEP went into effect. But it still takes 20 minutes to get from Market and 10th to Market and Drumm.

  • Eve Batey

    Per the piece, this was not in the morning commute, it was Tuesday night.

    And please rest assured, we don’t run random tips from just anyone (who do you think we are, Willie Brown?), this comes from someone we trust!

  • Eve Batey

    Per the piece, this was not in the morning commute, it was Tuesday night.

    And please rest assured, we don’t run random tips from just anyone (who do you think we are, Willie Brown?), this comes from someone we trust!

  • sunshipballoons

    Okay, I can admit when I’m wrong and I clearly could have read more carefully. (Also clearly, I’m not one of the reliable tipsters.)

    I would point out that the NextMuni times for the 21 running outbound are notoriously inaccurate. Pretty good chance that it wasn’t really an 18/42 wait. To be fair, a 38 rider shouldn’t be expected to know that.

  • sunshipballoons

    Okay, I can admit when I’m wrong and I clearly could have read more carefully. (Also clearly, I’m not one of the reliable tipsters.)

    I would point out that the NextMuni times for the 21 running outbound are notoriously inaccurate. Pretty good chance that it wasn’t really an 18/42 wait. To be fair, a 38 rider shouldn’t be expected to know that.

  • Becca Klarin

    I feel like it’s time to out myself (thanks for the kind words, Eve!) The rider mentioned in the piece was me. I’m a regular 5-Fulton/21-Hayes rider (6 years and counting), a casual 38 rider, and a faithful NextBus/NextMuni user. I don’t have a car; I take the bus, metro, or BART all day, every day (minus when I walk). Last night, I waited over 25 minutes for a 5 or 21 and finally took a 5 (the third one that came by; the first two were too full to get on). Those waits were indeed crazy last night, as have they been “off” over the past few weeks in general (although not seemingly as bad as last night). But NextMuni seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting bus arrivals. I wish it would also tell us which buses, upon entering their fourth stops, would be too full to pick up the passengers that were, quite surprisingly, waiting fairly patiently.

    Don’t get me even started on the morning commute. In my head, it’s entitled, “Will the 21-Hayes bus go out of service/break down turning the Shrader/Hayes corner? More news at 11!”

  • Becca Klarin

    I feel like it’s time to out myself (thanks for the kind words, Eve!) The rider mentioned in the piece was me. I’m a regular 5-Fulton/21-Hayes rider (6 years and counting), a casual 38 rider, and a faithful NextBus/NextMuni user. I don’t have a car; I take the bus, metro, or BART all day, every day (minus when I walk). Last night, I waited over 25 minutes for a 5 or 21 and finally took a 5 (the third one that came by; the first two were too full to get on). Those waits were indeed crazy last night, as have they been “off” over the past few weeks in general (although not seemingly as bad as last night). But NextMuni seemed to be pretty accurate in predicting bus arrivals. I wish it would also tell us which buses, upon entering their fourth stops, would be too full to pick up the passengers that were, quite surprisingly, waiting fairly patiently.

    Don’t get me even started on the morning commute. In my head, it’s entitled, “Will the 21-Hayes bus go out of service/break down turning the Shrader/Hayes corner? More news at 11!”

  • kl2real

    Muni has been worse than usual recently. (What exactly do we call worse than the worst ever?) I am having a hard time comprehending how overcrowded and late-running EVERY line will be after a 15% service reduction. I’ve also noticed trains pulling into stations before the previous train departs. I thought that was taboo after last summer’s West Portal smash-up. WTF?

    On a side note, I’m loving the new Muni Diary iPhone app, except that it doesn’t seem to do anything with the entry. I log every ride, which is basically all I can do while you ride since these pricks haven’t figured out how to provide 3G or WiFi service in the subway. Shouldn’t this link sync up to some Muni watchdog organization so patterns can be studied and corrected? Also, it would be nice to be able to add a photo to bust some of the bad behavior of Muni operators.

    When it comes to failure, Muni totally overachieves!

  • kl2real

    Muni has been worse than usual recently. (What exactly do we call worse than the worst ever?) I am having a hard time comprehending how overcrowded and late-running EVERY line will be after a 15% service reduction. I’ve also noticed trains pulling into stations before the previous train departs. I thought that was taboo after last summer’s West Portal smash-up. WTF?

    On a side note, I’m loving the new Muni Diary iPhone app, except that it doesn’t seem to do anything with the entry. I log every ride, which is basically all I can do while you ride since these pricks haven’t figured out how to provide 3G or WiFi service in the subway. Shouldn’t this link sync up to some Muni watchdog organization so patterns can be studied and corrected? Also, it would be nice to be able to add a photo to bust some of the bad behavior of Muni operators.

    When it comes to failure, Muni totally overachieves!

  • antfaber

    The mayor is on Twitter. Tweet him.

  • antfaber

    The mayor is on Twitter. Tweet him.

  • John Murphy

    I will give advice to any and all deciding to start shopping for a bike…

  • John Murphy

    I will give advice to any and all deciding to start shopping for a bike…

  • kl2real

    The mayor doesn’t ride Muni, so he doesn’t care. Today he had his (really our) SUV give him a ride from one corner to another…at the SAME intersection outside City Hall. Besides it’s too easy for the Mayor to block tweets from people he doesn’t like, which probably includes most of us on this site. He would be well-suited to the Lt. Governor position, though, since he wouldn’t really have to do much of anything. Still, I bet he’ll commute by car daily from SF to Sacramento.

  • kl2real

    The mayor doesn’t ride Muni, so he doesn’t care. Today he had his (really our) SUV give him a ride from one corner to another…at the SAME intersection outside City Hall. Besides it’s too easy for the Mayor to block tweets from people he doesn’t like, which probably includes most of us on this site. He would be well-suited to the Lt. Governor position, though, since he wouldn’t really have to do much of anything. Still, I bet he’ll commute by car daily from SF to Sacramento.