munipiece2.jpgTrain Crash was Driver’s Fault

You will no doubt be shocked to hear that the spectacular West Portal crash in 2009 was, in fact, the fault of the driver and of Muni.

That’s according to the NTSB, which ruled that the driver is at fault for using the manual, rather than automatic, mode; and his bosses are at fault for not monitoring him to make sure he was doing his job properly.

The crash sent 46 to the hospital, 27 of which had serious injuries; and between the repairs and the lawsuits Muni’s looking at many millions of dollars in costs. Plenty of blame to go around, then!

Here’s the video of the incident, in case you’d like to re-live it. We find the most interesting aspect is watching how bystanders react to the impending collision. Some look away, some stare in horror, some scurry away.

Want Some Clean Air? Sure You Do

You stink! No, really. The air around San Francisco is clogged with smells and soot and particulates, and now it’s time we did something about it.

The SFMTA just released a rough draft of a six-pronged plan to drastically reduce air pollution by 2050. The six prongs are:

– Travel Choice and Information
– Demand Pricing
– Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
– Transit Improvements
– Complete Streets
– Electric Vehicles

Which prong is your favorite prong? If you could add a prong, what prong would your prong? Prong prong prong.

These are of course all very lovely goals but when it comes to “transit improvements,” we’ll believe it when we see it. Which is to say, probably never. LOL! Just kidding, Muni. You’ve got plenty of upgrades in the hopper. Now let’s figure out how you’re going to pay for them.

As Streetsblog points out, projects like “complete streets” sound nice but will require some political momentum in order to overcome opposition from the NOTHING MUST EVER CHANGE EVER crowd.

But with nearly 90 percent of the city’s transportation-emissions coming from private cars, clearly we’ve got to do something. Or choke on smog. Whatever.

Muni Union Compares Strike to Stabbing

We’re not sure exactly how to parse this curious metaphor, but the Secretary-Treasurer of Muni’s Union seems to be saying that people hate Muni drivers so much that striking wouldn’t make public opinion sink even lower.

His comparison: “If I’m shot dead and someone stabs me, it doesn’t make that much of a difference.” So … Muni drivers who text and yell at families and drive with the doors open are like murders, and strikers are like post-mortem stabbers? Ah yes, very apt, well put, a very compelling argument you make there sir.

At any rate, the point that he was trying to make was that Muni drivers don’t trust management, because management has been doing mean stuff that basically amounts to cutting their allowance. Yup, times are tough for everyone all right.

Wheelchair Lift Minutia, Muni crime

If you want to take a peek behind the scenes at what happens when a Muni wheelchair lift malfunctions, look no further than this saga. The most interesting part: Central Control tells a driver not to use the “priority” channel when radioing in about a broken lift.

“It is a priority to me!” responds the wheelchair guy who is now trapped on the bus.

Various Muni crimes of note this week: a guy grabbed a phone out of a woman’s hand and ran off near Powell and Lombard; a guy was carrying a gun around on Muni and was arrested thanks to a vigilant passenger.

And, from SFPD’s daily recap, last night at 5:50, two teens snatched a 41-year-old woman’s phone on the T-Third near LaSalle. As always, remember to keep your wits about you on the bus and to keep a firm grip on your expensive toys.

Speaking of crimes, you should be arrested if you call it “the Muni” or “MUNI” in all caps (it’s not an acronym).

Bank of America seems to have noticed just such a gaffe in their advertising, and corrected some billboards. What a relief.

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