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Argh...A Mini Meltdown At My Own Blog...And A Short Story About BTB Day...

The one time I didn't compose a posting offline, complete with links and whatnots, and that's the one time my ISP decides to pull a MUNI and crap out on me. I cannot communicate just how frustrating this is. Lesson learned - never compose a complex posting online, and follow the rules one sets out for themselves, in this case don't compose online.

I'll reconstruct it and repost it later on. Meanwhile, I will regale you all with an incident that happened after the infamous Bay To Breakers event yesterday, which according to our friends at SFist had some issues Sunday.

So, there I was minding my own business, heading out from the Duboce Park Cafe towards downtown. As you all may or may not have been aware, MUNI was in overdrive (sort of) providing extra trains and buses and 7 dollar fun rides for all those people after the big race.

Anyway, so as I wait for my N to show up, one pulls up and it is packed, sardine-style, with happy people from all over the city. What I did not count on, however, was seeing the N used as a recycling truck. Yes, that's right. You see, two enterprising individuals took it upon themselves to collect nine huge garbage bags worth of plastic water bottles in hopes of getting the CRV for each. So, intelligently, they chose to take an N on the most packed day of the season.

Yeah. That was my reaction too.

Oh, but it gets better. You see, as I watched these two Rhodes Scholars try to get all of these huge bags off the super-crowded N-Judah, I noticed that one bag was starting to snag on the handrail by the exit. Before I could say "Stop, kind gentlemen, you're about to spill f*cking bottles all over the place," it tore open. Suddenly the stop, the train floor and the sidewalk were covered in stupid water bottles. Of course this delayed things even more.

Finally, I managed to get on the train, while everyone else was trying to kick water bottles out the door. The Genius Duo decided to snap every one of them up, and had no problem reaching under the about to start moving train to grab every last one of them. News flash, geniuses - you can still redeem the bottles if they are flat. You cannot, however, get a new hand if your existing one gets chopped off, at the recyclers.

I was glad to get off the train when I did and go about the rest of my day. I did leave MUNI wondering a few things - one was why it is they can have enough trains to run for BTB, but not for the daily commute. The other was how much it costs MUNI to service all these big special events - and how it is that MUNI riders are the ones that end up shouldering the costs for these things (in both actual costs and lost service) and not those who created the added burden in the first place?

Comments

@Greg, a few comments on your last paragraph.

1. They can provide this level of service on the N because it is Sunday and the other rail lines are not running as often. Also, they only use 1-car trains on the J/K/L/M/T on Sunday.

2. Many of us paid $7 up front to fund the extra service. I didn't know that I could supposedly save a few bucks on the MUNI event sticker by showing my FastPass. I bought the sticker when I registered and it is only available at the $7 rate. I saw a lot of people with the MUNi stickers, and at $7 a pop, they are providing a substantial amount of revenue to MUNI for the extra service. B2B may be one the largest special event revenue generators for MUNI each year.

3. I do agree, however, that MUNI's regular riders really suffer on B2B day. If you need to go crosstown before noon, you might as well forget it. The 'broken' lines, where you have to get off your bus, cross the B2B course and pick up the line again, really don't work well at all. You have no idea when the bus for the other part of the route will show up. I think 19th Ave/Crossover Drive is the only street that crosses the course during the event. The traffic is horrendous as you can imagine. Cars were backed up on Judah for blocks trying to get onto 19th Ave.

@Mike: Good points, all. I think you're right - Bay To Breakers would at least seem to reimburse costs via the rider. I'm thinking more of things like Giants games or 49ers games where the promise that "sales taxes" will make up for the excessive load on the system, but never materializes quite like promised.

I knew that things would be a mess on Sunday so I didn't take the N until after noontime, and avoided the worst of it.

Where are the pix? I'd love to see these bags a breakin.

@jetdude: these were not the kind of people that would have appreciated a candid shot. And after once having a knife pulled on me by someone who "didn't want his f*cking picture taken" (when in fact I was just checking NextMuni) and another time when a rogue limo driver threatened me with violence while he was illegally picking up passengers in violation of Taxi rules, I try to be more careful now.

My experience this Sunday was normal and infuriating.

Trying to go downtown at about 1:30pm - Carl and Cole - the first inbound N is too crowded for more passengers. Wait 10 minutes for the next one. Even MORE crowded. Scratch going downtown.

Decide to go to the Excelsior. Wait 25 minutes for a 43 at Frederick and Cole. At 25 minute mark, THREE 43 buses in a row going towards the Marina. Scratch going to the Excelsior.

I've experienced the 'broken' lines, too. Infuriating and would always make me late to work.

The other really bad transit day is the SF Marathon.

The liquor merchants sure made out like bandits.
B2B brings dollars to the city's coffers.Hotel& sales and other assorted taxes.
Muni has it's problems we know,why else would we be here to read about the woe's of commuters.Muni could of had done a better job of public safety by positioning inspectors to discourage the fellows from bring on to the trains their recyclables until a later time.But as we all know Muni is just like us.Not perfect.

What a freakin mess. I was at 9th & Judah at around 2pm, heading to Caltrain, and one 2 car train came, packed. A minute later another 2 car train came, the first car packed, the second locked - and empty. A few minutes later another 2 car came, first car P-A-C-K-E-D, the second, you guessed it, locked and empty. a third 2 car came a few minutes after that... first car packed, second, you can guess. Several minutes after that a 2 car J came, with a Church/Duboce headsign, and was fairly empty. Whew!

We crawled along, and got trapped between Duboce Park and Church, about halfway down the hill. Exactly 9 minutes later we got down to Fillmore, where he let us off (opening only the first door of the car, and I hustled down to Market, got a T (luckly, it was the first one to come), and finally, roughly 90 minutes after attempting to board the first N that came, I arrived at CalTrain... long after the train I was aiming for departed.

I'm baffled by MUNI, yet again. Why exactly did so many trains arrive within a few minutes of each other? Why exactly were several of the trains only using the first car? Why exactly do... oh, lord knows, nobody has an answer...

On the plus side, a number of friends were in my neighborhood (9th/Irving-ish) during the day, and they got to poke around. I don't know about you guys, but a lot of people seem to think that the the Sunsets are leper communities - "Oh, I'd love to come for drinks/bbq/whatever, but you know, you live *so* far away..." - as if we're asking them to schlep to Milpitas (not that there's anything wrong with Milpitas, of course).

Sorry for the rambling post, I've just been visiting the site for a while and haven't yet commented. Sunday got me really worked up, and, well, here I am.

(I'm so sorry for the second submission - I hit preview and then post, but neglected to proofread. This is better...)


What a freakin mess. I was at 9th & Judah at around 2pm, heading to Caltrain, and a 2 car train came, packed. A minute later another 2 car train came, the first car packed, the second locked - and empty. A few minutes later another 2 car came, first car P-A-C-K-E-D, the second, you guessed it, locked and empty. A third 2 car came a few minutes after that... first car packed, second, you can guess. Several minutes after that a 2 car J came, with a Church/Duboce headsign, and was fairly empty. Whew!

We crawled along, and got trapped between Duboce Park and Church, about halfway down the hill. Exactly 9 minutes later we got down to Fillmore, where he let us off (opening only the first door of the car), and I hustled down to Market, got a T (luckily, it was the first one to come), and finally, roughly 90 minutes after attempting to board the first N that came, I arrived at Caltrain... long after the train I was aiming for departed.

I'm baffled by MUNI, yet again. Why exactly did so many trains arrive within a few minutes of each other? Why exactly were several of the trains only using the first car? Why exactly do... oh, lord knows, nobody has an answer...

On the plus side, a number of friends were in my neighborhood (9th/Irving-ish) during the day, and they got to poke around. I don't know about you guys, but a lot of people seem to think that the the Sunsets are leper communities - "Oh, I'd love to come for drinks/bbq/whatever, but you know, you live *so* far away..." - as if we're asking them to schlep to Milpitas (not that there's anything wrong with Milpitas, of course).

Sorry for the rambling post, I've just been visiting the site for a while and haven't yet commented. Sunday got me really worked up, and, well, here I am.

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