UPDATED: Supervisor Carmen Chu to Hold Hearing on Unannounced Turnarounds on the N-Judah and L-Taraval Lines Monday, Jan. 10th!
Yes, you read that right. Supervisor Carmen Chu is holding a hearing as chair of the Board's City Operations & Neighborhood Services Committee to ask the perennial question all riders of the N-Judah and the L-Taraval ask - why the frak does Muni insist on dumping people out at 19th Avenue outbound with no prior warning?
The hearing will be held on Monday, January 10th at 10:30am in Room 250 in City Hall. Because it's during working hours, many people are likely to not be able to attend (I will try but I may have a conference call for work at the same time). Naturally, SFMTA boss Nathaniel Ford won't be there, but John Haley, Director of Transit, will be, to listen and get a talking to from the supervisors.
Now, let's be clear, this issue has been talked about for a long time, and so far, every time we get the MTA bosses to make promises, and nothing happens. For fun shall we review a few past posts?
2007: Reader Mail from Eve Batey (then of the Chronicle, now of the SF Appeal) , Reader Mail from N Rider Jeff, Follow Up to Jeff's Complaint, How a Bad N Judah Line Hurts the Poor, Yet Another Reader Mail complaint, Big Promises Made to Assemblymember Fiona Ma and the Sunset District Neighborhood Coalition (via Reader Mail), More Big Promises Broadcast In the Press
2009: Reader Warren's Complaints about the Same Operator Doing Turnarounds
You get the idea. This doesn't even include the bazillions of Tweets made by frustrated commuters over the years.
Now, telling tales of how this kind of unreliability is a royal pain in the ass is important, so that perhaps someone at the MTA or Muni might have a Grinch-like heart-growing experience and decide to do something for a change. It goes almost without saying how traumatic this kind of unreliability is for seniors or the disabled living on the west side - but let's face it everyone relying on Muni on the westside is screwed in one way or another and it's unacceptable, period.
Just as important, however, is demanding very specific dates and promises of what will be done to fix the problem once and for all, and what the MTA and Muni need to do so.
Recall that in 2006 at a town hall meeting, Nathaniel Ford made promises to fix the 9th/Irving & 9th/Judah signaling problems that were endangering people. Soon afterward, in 2007, the MTA quietly backed off their promises. It wasn't until a woman had her legs cut off by a train in 2008 that the SFCTA stepped in to pick up the slack and build a system to try and prevent this.
Because the timing of this meeting means you may not be able to attend, I would urge you to please email Supervisor Chu (and CC your own supervisor if you don't live in District 4 since these kinds of FAILs can affect people on all Metro lines) and describe in brief how these turnarounds affect you, and demand that the MTA commit to producing an action plan with specifics. You should also CC your comments to the SFMTA, and/or hit them on Twitter at @sfmta_muni now, and every time they screw up, in the hopes they might one day listen.
There's no magical solution to all of this, but it's time the MTA and Muni be told what to do by the owner/riders, and demand specifics as to what they will do (not plan to do) to fix them. We've talked too much about this already - playtime is over, it's a new year, and it's time to do something.