muni_generic.jpgAt this point, everyone knows that Muni abides by a principal of being fashionably late at all times, sometimes to the point of comical tardiness. As the Bay Citizen reports, however, Muni’s considering bringing back one of its policies from the 1980s (no, not stirrup pants) to see if it can speed things up for 21st Century riders.

Apparently Muni Metro trains used to skyrocket through the main Muni tunnel at an average speed of 50mph. Due to equipment and tracks aging as things do, that speed has been reduced to only 30mph. But some of that speed might be reclaimed, Muni’s John Haley tells the BC, if one- and two-car Muni Metro trains are “hitched together as they enter the subway at the West Portal or Embarcadero stations during rush hour,” and are disconnected once again when they reach the other end of the tunnel.

It’s unclear from the BC article exactly why hooking up multiple trains would make things go faster — though they report that “delays on just one line can grind the whole system to a halt,” it seems like delays on a big, long, hooked up train will be just as system-clogging. But Haley seems high on the deal, telling them that “It would speed things up if you had one train with three cars instead two separate trains — and it would give us more capacity.” OK, then.

Muni reportedly tried this plan in the 80s, says a former employee of the agency, but dumped it because “they didn’t have the timing down.” Will Muni’s attempt to revive the 80s be a hit, or flop like Conan and Fright Night? It’s too soon to tell, but we’re hanging on to our high-waisted jeans just in case.

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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!
  • sweetauntie

    I would also like to see TWO seperate trains deboarding at the same time in the tunnel during commute hours. So much time is wasted when we have to wait for the train in front of us to empty and then slowly, slowly inch our way up to the front of the line. Such a frivolous waste of time and so easily remedied. But no, waaaaaaay too logical.

  • sweetauntie

    I would also like to see TWO seperate trains deboarding at the same time in the tunnel during commute hours. So much time is wasted when we have to wait for the train in front of us to empty and then slowly, slowly inch our way up to the front of the line. Such a frivolous waste of time and so easily remedied. But no, waaaaaaay too logical.

  • LibertyHiller

    That would only require rewriting the ATCS software, possibly from scratch. Sliding-block control was difficult enough to implement with one berth per station per direction; given how much fun that turned out to be, I don’t think the contractor could implement double-berthing for any amount of money.

    The funny thing is that ATCS was supposed to put an end to scheduled coupling at the portals. Now, Haley wants to go back to the future.

  • LibertyHiller

    That would only require rewriting the ATCS software, possibly from scratch. Sliding-block control was difficult enough to implement with one berth per station per direction; given how much fun that turned out to be, I don’t think the contractor could implement double-berthing for any amount of money.

    The funny thing is that ATCS was supposed to put an end to scheduled coupling at the portals. Now, Haley wants to go back to the future.

  • DT

    I quickly learned that it was best to be at the rear of the second car for when they derailed the third car at Forest Hill by slamming the brakes on too hard. I could simply get out and take the elevator.

    Once an operator disconnected the derailed third car and left it half in Forest Hill Station.

    Hasn’t Muni read any history of passenger injury and litigation on railroads?

    The software they’re running probably works only on Windows 3.

  • DT

    I quickly learned that it was best to be at the rear of the second car for when they derailed the third car at Forest Hill by slamming the brakes on too hard. I could simply get out and take the elevator.

    Once an operator disconnected the derailed third car and left it half in Forest Hill Station.

    Hasn’t Muni read any history of passenger injury and litigation on railroads?

    The software they’re running probably works only on Windows 3.

  • LibertyHiller

    As I recall, the ATCS ran OS/2 at its installation; the displays in the stations run XP.

  • LibertyHiller

    As I recall, the ATCS ran OS/2 at its installation; the displays in the stations run XP.