This morning while having my morning coffee and reading The Internet, we had one of the many little delays that affect the N. The SFMTA announced the delay, due to “mechanical issues”:
ATTN: IB #NJudah delay @ Carl/Cole due to mechanical problem on the train.
— SFMTA (@sfmta_muni) June 23, 2016
As it turned out, it was an issue with a door not closing. (aka a “mechanical issue.”) Fortunately, the N train stuck at Carl & Cole had a resourceful operator and passengers:
so much teamwork to fix our hella broken door on this N-Judah (stuck at Carl/Cole @sfmta_muni )
— miche (@michesf) June 23, 2016
This incident illustrates how a “small” problem (a crappily designed and maintained door mechanism) has a BIG effect on the performance of the N-Judah line (or any LRV line). One small screw up had the effect of delaying the people on that train, and the trains behind it. The ripple effect this kind of delay has for those who might be transferring later on to another line, or getting to work begins to add up very quickly.
It is small consoloation to those affected to go into explanations: the door mechanism on today’s Breda LRVs have always sucked, by design they are going to break down often, and wow that procurement process for the Bredas by Mayor Willie Brown was so f-d up. The riders just know that they were late to work, and that they can’t count on Muni to provide them with a ride to work every day.
It’s unfortunate, as aside from these (many) commute time screwups, you CAN get an N-Judah more often during the day, and on weekends. As always, the SFMTA finds a way to kill its good news with bad news.
Even telling people that the new Siemens cars have been specifically designed to have fewer breakdowns that cause these kinds of crappy delays is of no help now – people can’t sit on a broken down Breda LRV and dream of a wondrous future, especially when they’re explaining to the boss why they’re late for work.
I’ll end this with my standard disclaimer in an election year: many seats on the San Francisco “Board of Supervisors” are open elections, with no “incumbent” and others have incumbents with a record on “Muni issues.” Take some time to talk to these people who are going to flood your mailbox with junk mailers, and see if they have anything constructive to say.
Also! I am beginning to work on a brief Candidate Questionnaire for the Muni Rider Voter Guide. If you have suggestions about the issues you’d like to see Candidates for Supervisor address, email me via the contact form on this site. Let’s see what these folks have to say.