Today on the N-Judah: How A Little Problem Ends Up Becoming a Big Problem Ruining Everyone’s Commute

This morning while having my morning coffee and reading The Internet, we had one of the many little delays that affect the N. The SFMTA announced the delay, due to “mechanical issues”:

As it turned out, it was an issue with a door not closing. (aka a “mechanical issue.”) Fortunately, the N train stuck at Carl & Cole had a resourceful operator and passengers:

This incident illustrates how a “small” problem (a crappily designed and maintained door mechanism) has a BIG effect on the performance of the N-Judah line (or any LRV line). One small screw up had the effect of delaying the people on that train, and the trains behind it. The ripple effect this kind of delay has for those who might be transferring later on to another line, or getting to work begins to add up very quickly.

It is small consoloation to those affected to go into explanations: the door mechanism on today’s Breda LRVs have always sucked, by design they are going to break down often, and wow that procurement process for the Bredas by Mayor Willie Brown was so f-d up. The riders just know that they were late to work, and that they can’t count on Muni to provide them with a ride to work every day.

It’s unfortunate, as aside from these (many) commute time screwups, you CAN get an N-Judah more often during the day, and on weekends. As always, the SFMTA finds a way to kill its good news with bad news.

Even telling people that the new Siemens cars have been specifically designed to have fewer breakdowns that cause these kinds of crappy delays is of no help now – people can’t sit on a broken down Breda LRV and dream of a wondrous future, especially when they’re explaining to the boss why they’re late for work.

I’ll end this with my standard disclaimer in an election year: many seats on the San Francisco “Board of Supervisors” are open elections, with no “incumbent” and others have incumbents with a record on “Muni issues.” Take some time to talk to these people who are going to flood your mailbox with junk mailers, and see if they have anything constructive to say.

Also! I am beginning to work on a brief Candidate Questionnaire for the Muni Rider Voter Guide. If you have suggestions about the issues you’d like to see Candidates for Supervisor address, email me via the contact form on this site. Let’s see what these folks have to say.

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Some Nice Muni/N Judah Photos from Examiner Photo Editor Jessica Christian…

If you’ve walked past a newsstand lately and noticed an amazing cover photo on the Examiner or the SF Weekly, chances are you saw a photo by Jessica Christian, the Examiner Photo Editor.

Recently she posted a sample of her Muni-related photography on her Tumblr site, and it’s worth checking out. Jessica is a regular rider of the N, and as you can imagine, always has something to take a photo of during her daily commute.

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Two Muni Meltdowns In 2 Days? (Updated)

I managed to get home just before Thursday’s Muni meltdown which had the misfortune of happening right as people were trying to get home. There’s always that sudden quiet on Irving that makes you realize something has gone horribly wrong…

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

This in and of itself would not be unusual news, but just the day before, I was switching from the 22 to the N at Duboce. I’d made the N with time to spare, but…

and my online twin noted it at the same time (twitter jinx)

Again, this was right around 6pm, when people were trying to get home to watch the game, etc. I ended up walking to Haight and took a trusty 6 Parnassus home, one of the benefits of living within a block of more than a few bus lines. Our bus was packed with N Judah refugees on the way out west.

The sad thing is I was all set to write a post about how lately things seemed to be much better on the N – I’ve usually never had to wait for more than a few minute to get one inbound or outbound, regardless of the day, and only once did I have a crazy guy screaming gross insults and terrorizing women passengers with physical threats. Perhaps I should keep such thoughts to myself lest I accidentally put a curse on the N by mistake.

UPDATE (6/11/2016): What happened Friday night? I went to the Giants game and caught one of many N inbounds easily, but right after I got off the train Twitter started blowing up with reports of some sort of issue right around 5ish, just in time for the Friday commute home, the Giants game, etc. I seem to be lucky enough to miss these when I’m going somewhere – I just wish my luck extended to everyone riding Muni, always and forever also….

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Inner Sunset Flea Market at Irving/6th This Weekend

The election is over! Yay!

There’s a lot going on but for now I wanted to post this quick note about the flea market happening this weekend on Irving Street. They often have good things there, so check it out!

The house formerly known as "Yes We Can!" Is having a flea market this weekend! Check it out!

A photo posted by G. Dewar (@njudah) on

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