At 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.