What Your New N-Judah LRV Is Going to Look Like! (Probably)

Several months ago, the SFMTA conducted a survey, both online and in person, to ask riders their opinions of various options for the new Siemens-built LRV cars that will replace the failing Breda fleet in the near future. While not a final say, the results, along with recommondations from SFMTA staff, make it clear what we will be getting, barring some radical shift in policy.

First off, the LRV body will liekly be the one nicknamed “Skyline.” You can see it in this link to the SFMTA blog – it’s the red one. Regardless of body type, these new cars offer significant advantages over the heavy, loud, disaster-prone Breda cars Mayor Willie Brown saddled us with in the 1990s. They have fewer parts, use less energy, have reliable doors, and are much easier to service. Since they’re being built in Sacramento, they don’t have far to go to get to work here in SF.

The more controversial decision on these new cars is the decision to use what’s called “longitudinal” seating. That’s a fancy way of saying the seats will have riders with their backs to the window, sitting facing inwards to the streetcar. If you’ve ever seen a New York City subway, that’s pretty much the same set up. The “Milan” streetcars on the F-line also have seating like this.

Not everyone surveyed was thrilled about this – interestingly enough people living further from the city center (i.e. L and N riders) as well as seniors preferred a seating setup more or less like we have now (seats facing front or back). Reasons offered for the “longitudinal” seating boiled down to a few main arguments – LRVs would weigh less, save more energy, and allow for more people to board in and out of the LRVs during busy times.

I’ve been on enough transit systems around the US and overseas, and frankly, either one is fine with me. I do find that with the current Bredas, a crowded car is hard to navigate, and it’s easy to get stuck in the middle while a pack of people in the way refuse to yield so one can leave.

If lining up the seats along the sides fixes this, fine. I would be curious to see how seniors/disable seating would be accommodated to ensure that those that need said seats can get to them easily and without a lot of hassle.

Most importantly, with modern, reliable LRVs on the street, we won’t have to listen to the infamous “Godzilla Mating Call” horns ever again.

Read the report and the survey here: SFMTA 14-1201 LRV Design Survey Results w attachments

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The NJC Zazzle Store Closes PERMANENTLY on Jan. 1 2015!

I know I’ve said this before, but this time it’s for real – I will be shutting down the blog’s store at Zazzle for good at the end of the month. I’m tired of fighting with these idiots about what’s a “copyrighted” image, especially when they insist a hand drawn image streetcars by someone somehow violates “copyright” when it does not.

Instead I’m looking for a local producer where we can offer “The N Is Near” and other assorted apparel, etc. at local stores. Not only will this mean an immediate cut in prices, it also means you’ll be suppoprting a local business or two, not some parsitical Internet jerk-factory.

For now, if you’re looking for some fun things to give during the season, check the store out and buy something! Proceeds go towards paying designers to replicate these onto a new system. Thanks and Enjoy!

Browse other gifts from Zazzle.

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An Inexpensive Way to Boost Capacity on the N and all Metro Lines

Ok, I kid. But this video of a guy using a pallet customized to ride the rails in Bratislava is kinda fun to watch:

Pallet © Tomáš Moravec, 2008 from Tomáš Moravec on Vimeo.

I don’t know that I’d want to do this on our Muni’s tracks, but if it was possible, at least on parts of the rail line, it could be fun. Kids, don’t try this at home.

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What Was Up With That Late Night Jack-Hammering in the Inner Sunset?

Over the weekend, a Loyal Reader sent me a note that there was road work being done in and around 9th/Judah late at night (actually about 2:30 in the morning on Sunday). Obviously since no one is working at the SFMTA at that time it was impossible to ask anyone what was up.

I sent in an email today to try and find out what was going on. Once I get a response, I’ll post it here. I find it strange they’d be doing routine work at 230 in the morning on a Sunday, especially jack-hammering pavement, etc., unless it was an emergency of some sort, but we shall find out.

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