Hopefully both Loyal Readers and New Readers saw today’s front page article in the Examiner today. Aside from the fact that Rockin’ Reporter Alex Rocha managed to talk to a certain local blogger, what’s more important is that MUNI is clearly feeling some heat to do something, anything, if not to totally repair the system, to at least make people feel better. Maybe doing this blog and publishing our comments isn’t futile after all? Hmm.
Fine. Here’s the thing. We can always talk about “common sense” solutions as citizens and users of MUNI, but the fact is, we’re not privy to the endless amounts of data, engineering, and whatnot that makes up running a mass transit system for a major US city. The good citizens on the MUNI Citizen’s Advisory Council deserve a lighter lit because they rock and a big thanks because they must possess the patience of Job to put in the (unpaid) hours to try and wrest some answers from MUNI. That said, when I read this whole “all options on the table” rhetoric, my DNFW antennae are raised.
Simple. We get the rhetoric of how they’re trying to “help” and sure, possibly, not having the N have to bottleneck at the overworked Embarcadero station should help, but does that mean that instead we’d just push the problem to the Caltrain station?
More to the point, Nate Ford, Ken McDonald and MUNI management have done a great job pointing out inherent systemic flaws in MUNI they’ve inherited that include inflexible workplace rules imposed by a Who-Gives-A-Frak Union, and systemic funding problems. OK, so how the heck do you overcome Said Frakked Up Stuff with a reshuffling of the MUNI cars that clearly aren’t enough to service both the KLM and N lines and the new T?
The Mayor has proposed pie in the sky feel-good chatter about “free” MUNI to placate opponents, while at the same time being a realist and alluding to big fare increases and big cuts as part of a “get tough on MUNI” posture to help himself.
Meanwhile, allegedly Communist Supervisors are daring to take on the political sacred cow known as a public employee union in the hopes of making MUNI more efficient with our tax and fare dollars. (Remember how Nate and Ken kept talking about how said inefficient rules and whatnots keep all those malcontent drivers and bad biz practices from making MUNI efficient?)
Break it down easier: you can’t reshuffle the deck and expect to play the game if you don’t have enough cards in the first place. MUNI? Media? Mayor? Board? Are you listening?
We want our MUNI to do what it did for decades sans BS – work for US not the few. We know it can be done. Surely if Curitiba, Brazil can do it, the“City That Knows How” can too?
Or have we just become the “City That Knows How To Whine, Obfuscate, Hide Behind Political BS, Let Morons Run the Show, and Let Down the Citizens of Our Fair City?”