Archive for the ‘Muni Stories’ Category

Muni Fight

This weekend, sitting under the oaks near Casa de Fruta, in ye olde garb, one of my friends mentioned the YouTube Muni Fight, and how the Cantonese back-of-the-bus cat calls had just been translated: “Hit her, hit her where it hurts.”

If you have no idea what I’m talking about:
From Muni Diaries, the translation: Muni Fisticuffs
Original YouTube video
Interview with the cell phone filmer

Factual point: despite MUNI saying it’s the 20, the filmer says it’s before the Stockton Tunnel, and the 20 doesn’t go through the tunnel. So I’m just confused. The young woman who stood in between them is my new hero.

‘Temporary Transbay Terminal’ will be a block farther from Market St.

Map showing present TransBay Terminal and Temporary Transbay Terminal

Map showing present TransBay Terminal and Temporary Transbay Terminal

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority, charged with replacing the present Transbay Terminal with a new, intermodal terminal possibly including a bullet train terminus, has revealed plans to relocate operations to a “Temporary Transbay Terminal” one block farther south and a block and a half east, to a spot bounded by Howard, Main, Folsom and Beale Streets. Click the thumbnail for a graphic showing the present terminal and the temporary new location.

The present Transbay Terminal primarily serves AC Transit buses for East bay commuters; Greyhound also has its San Francisco terminal there. Both these services will move to the temporary location.

Judging from drawings showing “prospective” appearance, the temporary terminal will be a circle of bus shelters with a few planters. The temporary terminal will displace a large parking lot whose customers are urged to consider alternatives, including not driving into the city at all. The parking lot will close Oct. 31, 2008 for construction of the temporary affair.

Waiting for 36-Teresita

Forest Hill Station, 1917
Forest Hill Station when it was brand-new in 1917, courtesy of the Western Neighborhoods Project. Sometimes I think one of these would be faster than the 36.

Across the street from Forest Hill Station, there is a damp, cave-like bus shelter with a stone bench inside. One afternoon a few weeks ago I was waiting inside that shelter for my bus, the 36, and not too far away was another regular of the line, an older Chinese man with a casually dapper style. He’s pretty recognizable, as his outfit is consistent from day to day: in his slightly worn suit, his durable leather vest zipped up under the coat, that awesome beret pushed back from his forehead, and the large bifocals that cover half his face, he gives you the impression that he takes care to look good, but not to excess. He’s really got more important things on his mind.

For instance, the likelihood (or not) of the 36 ever arriving on time.

You see, the 36-Teresita is one of those lines designated by Muni as “community service,” which in polite English means “unpredictable.” Unfortunately, it’s the line I live on, so I spend a lot of time waiting on that stone bench inside that shelter, repeatedly prodding my BlackBerry for the next arrival time. sometimes predicts that I have twenty minutes to wait, but then the next time I look, it predicts forty minutes — meaning a run has been dropped in the meantime.

I poked the BlackBerry: this time it predicted ten minutes to go.

Soon I noticed our man in the beret was talking to a beautiful dark-haired woman. She was slightly distracted by her children: with one hand she was preventing her restless older daughter from wandering into the path of the oncoming buses, and with the other she was giving additional support to the sleepy infant strapped to her chest. I recognized her: as it happened, I’d seen her at Tower Market several months earlier, when she was pregnant with that very child. It was definitely her: she had an unforgettable face.

I checked my BlackBerry again: eighteen minutes to go. So I started eavesdropping on their conversation.

MUNI Bus Hits Pedestrian

This photograph was taken at approximately 5pm, on May 8, 2008. A post on states that a pedestrian on 7th street and Mission was hit by the 14L, while crossing the street.

MUNI 14 accident-5/08/08

Life Without The 15

10 Townsend I keep hearing from neighbors about the demise of the 15. From North Beach we now have very constricted ways to get downtown and to the BART lines. This is fallout from the T-Third. The 15 was discontinued in April, and now all roads basically point to Chinatown. It sucks. Taking the 30 means: sitting through the madness of produce trucks unloading, with a glittering prospect of Union Square shopping madness afterwards. The old 10 route went quickly down a one-way street.
MUNI news report.
Discontinued 15 route: PDF
Two neighbors now make the haul out to the 10. The issue I have with the 10 is that if it’s having issues, I don’t have a backup out there, except for the F-Ferries, which has an even more infrequent run. Twice I’ve just taken cabs because both failed me. The 15 was a great route. The one-ways on the other side of Telegraph are a key to getting folks out of the North Beach area. Funnelling through Chinatown is not a wise idea.

Muni, Marin, and Missiles

A few weeks ago I explored some of the lesser-known aspects of the Bay Area. For example, did you know that Muni runs a bus that goes to Marin? The goes from the Caltrain depot to Fort Cronkhite once an hour every Sunday.

The 76 also stops at a place called , which was part of a network of 280 sites intended to guard U. S. cities from Soviet bomber attacks during the Cold War. (Here’s a map of Nike sites in the Bay Area, and an article about them from the .) The military shut down SF-88 in 1974 (the ICBM having made the Nike pretty much obsolete), but now you can visit the site as I did and see a slice of Cold War history. Pictures after the jump.

Muni Alert

I just got a report from the Castro station that all inbound Muni trains are halted due to a derailment at Embarcadero station so if you’re planning on heading into the city you might want to find alternate transport until the mess is cleared up.

Elegy for the 15-Third

out_of_service.jpgToday was the last day of operation for Muni’s 15-Third line, an unglamorous diesel which ran from one end of the city to the other, connecting Fisherman’s Wharf with City College via Columbus Avenue, the Financial District, 1st and Market, the CalTrain Station, Dogpatch, and Ocean Avenue.

The 15 was important to me early in my years in San Francisco, when I loved hanging out in North Beach but couldn’t afford to live anywhere near it. I also was a member of a dance collective (it was the early 80s, you know) with a studio out on Third and 20th Streets in a converted factory building. Sometimes, after performances, reluctant to go back to my little room in a flat shared with roommates I didn’t like very much, instead of catching the 22 back to the Fillmore I would catch the 15 to North Beach and go to City Lights Books and walk around. I was too broke to go into any of the bars and too shy to go into any of the strip clubs, but the funky action of North Beach still cheered me.

Flickr picture of an out-of-service Muni bus by Ian Fuller


Muni news

tthird_train.jpgAt a loss about locations where you can buy a Fast Pass, the monthly pass to San Francisco’s public transit? You could consult Muni’s online directory of Fast Pass vendors, but beginning April 10, Muni will sell passes online from their website.

And beginning April 7, the T-Third line will open full-time. Among other things, this means the death of the 15 Third St. bus. The 15 line’s extension into the Financial District and North Beach will be taken over by extending the 9-San Bruno line.

Finally, city officials are trying to crystalize support for the Central Subway, a huge project that will build a new line extending from 4th and Townsend to Chinatown, largely replacing the 30-Stockton — one of the most overcrowded bus lines in the country, I’ll bet. Trains might be running in the hole by 2015, just in time for Barry Bonds to hit home run number 2500.

The N is Near

From the N Judah Chronicles, via Mason Powell. Apologies if that’s your real name, but great pen name. I went to that site about 5 times today to forward it on to people. And I don’t even live on the N line.There is a dark brown MUNI shirt with cable car insignia that I could buy at the cable car museum, but it doesn’t have the same… cache. I wonder what a good 30 Stockton shirt would be… “Ask me where I got this live chicken.”

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