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Epic MUNI Fail In Progress

If you're wondering why the N or MUNI seems unusually frakked, there was a snapped overhead cable at Duboce and Church. I was made aware of it literally minutes after it happened thanks to my good friend Jack from the Blackthorn!

I have been posting updates and "retweets" on Twitter - follow me at www.twitter.com/njudah for updates as we find out more. And if you're on Twitter send us a message if you see something now or anytime!

Comments

Seems to me like that intersection is at the heart of many a Muni fail. They really need to give that place a thorough overhaul: wires, tracks, traffic patterns, the whole lot. Otherwise you'll just keep getting fails like this all the time.

Were any of you standing waiting for a shuttle bus that was supposed to be "there any minute" (per one of the 10-12 dozen drivers standing shooting the breeze)from 5:20 TO 6:00 when one finally arrived.
Does anybody else notice the incompetency of muni when these emergencies occur. I am not asking for miracles, only some leadership - at least inform the crowd that they are trying to get some buses and that they understand our frustration.
The scene>

2 inspectors standing around like a deer in the headlights, no one directing traffic except for 2 muni drivers and 2 muni metro "officers" for a minute here and there. Total Ignorance of the few hundred patrons waiting to get back to the Cole Valley/Sunset
To summarize, as one fellow patron told an inspector there is never contigency plans. It has been a REAL BAD week with 2 track switching problems during evening commute

I was chapped because I got down to the Embarcadero at 5:15 and noticed right away that it seemed awfully empty. I also saw no N in sight on the board, but that's not unusual.

A LL left, and then a K came and went and a MM came and went and then about ten minutes in, another LL comes, at which point some Muni employee who'd been hanging around the platform starts yelling (no mic or anything), "If you're waiting on the N or J, get on this, and then get off at Church to get a shuttle back to your line! Wires down at Duboce! if you're waiting on the N or J, get on this one!"

And I'm thinking, "Wait, why didn't they suggest getting on the M and K to Church when they were here and left empty? Why aren't there recorded continual announcements? Just what the heck is wrong with Muni?" but of course there are no rational answers to those questions.

Anyway, since I live at 20th and Judah, I wasn't about to screw with a shuttle back to the N and just stayed on the LL until 19th Ave, at which point I took a (late and packed) 28 bus back up to Judah and home. It sucked but I bet I got home quicker than I would've with the shuttle.

For contrast, here's a story from 2001, in Salt Lake City. I was there to check out the UTA TRAX light rail operation. I had ridden to Sandy, the southern terminal, and was riding back to downtown, when an announcement came on the car PA advising that there was a bomb threat downtown and all trains would be turned at Ballpark station. When we arrived there, UTA personnel were busy loading people into buses, and one man was on his radio coordinating the process, and possibly calling for more buses. After we had bypassed the site of the emergency, we transferred to a temporary "stub" LRV going to the north terminal. Because there was no crossover available, it had to run "wrong main" in one direction, which didn't look that strange to me because I'd been in Melbourne, Australia earlier that year. For an outfit that had not been running rail service all that long, UTA certainly handled the situation well. Granted, they aren't nearly as big as Muni, but maybe Muni could borrow some UTA folks for cross training in crisis management. Or does Muni management have an NIH (not invented here) mentality?

Are there any Muni insiders around who could enlighten us as to how the place is actually run? Is there someone with ultimate authority for keeping the rail service running? What is the role of the field supervisors and what options do they have for modifying the service? What about drivers? How much information does each party have about what's going on in the network? I know I might regret this, but I'm curious about how the sausage is made.

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