Enjoying Your Choco-Ration, Muni Riders? AKA How's that 3 Car Muni Metro Working?
You have to give credit to Muni and the SFMTA for one thing - they sure know how to spin the news media in ways that would make the Ministry of Truth blush in 1984. There are many such examples but I'm going to focus on just one today - the news about "test runs" of three-car Muni Metro trains, as reported in various outlets, including The Examiner.
Now, to hear what's said at SFMTA meetings, the press and whatnot, the MTA did oh so much hard work to make this pilot happen. Why, what a smart idea! Make the trains able to take more passengers when things are busy. What a great idea ! Huzzah for the shopkeep! Huzzah for the Salaries at Muni and the MTA!
There's just one little problem with all of this ballyhoo for this allegedly brilliant idea - that is how the system was supposed to work in the first *&^%! place. Yes, you read that right. When the Muni Metro system was designed, trains were supposed to have the option of three, even four cars as needed. Really.
The only reason we haven't had them since the introduction of the Breda cars in the 1990s? Well, that's because the Breda cars, to put it mildly, suck. You can read about how our esteemed ex-Mayor politicized and screwed up this process, but what's more important is the fallout for you, the rider - you got your services cut, and you didn't even realize it. The Breda cars had serious problems staying stuck together in a more than 2 car configuration, and somehow, only now, has the MTA bothered to even try and fix the problem.
(Or, if they had, despite all the Salaries, they failed for 15 years).
So while I applaud seeing an extension of service, and hope to maybe see a 3 car train on the N Judah line someday, I'm not going to hold my breath, and I'm certainly not going to jump for joy when my choco-ration is "increased" by 10 grams when it's actually been cut by 50.