Archive for the ‘MUNI’ 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.

Translink now works on BART

translinkAdding a crucial link to its roster of participating transit systems, the TransLink card now works on BART. The multi-county BART system joins San Francisco’s Muni, the East Bay’s AC Transit, and Marin County’s Golden Gate Transit buses and ferries. Almost all the Bay Area’s transit agencies will eventually participate; only CalTrain is not on TransLink’s list, for some reason, though CalTrain does particiapte in some transfer programs.

You can order a sturdy TransLink card online, then continue to add value to it online. The card with its smart chip should last for months, especially if you don’t punch a hole in it.

Best travel blog entry about SF evar

Old Ship Saloon Highway 101 Kearny Post Sutter HSBC House of Nanking flowering blossom tea Muni 30 Stockton 9x AT&T Park Angelina’s 22 Avenue and California fog son mist fog Stanford ELMI McCovey Marichal Mays Cepeda Portsmouth Square Ghirardelli Square Mechanics Institute Library Post Giants Winn Eugenio Velez Bay Bridge Adobe Saint Gregory’s of Nyssa Sara Miles Federal Reserve Bank Powell & Hyde Powell & Mason Van Ness Third & King Chronicle beach siren artichoke hearts salmon Golden Gate 1 Marin Vista Point yes yes yes Saint Francis!

‘Nearest Tube’ stop to become ‘Nearest Subway’ in SF

The British company acrossair is supposed to expand its “Nearest Tube” application for the iPhone 3GS — changed to “Nearest Subway” for the US market — to San Francisco today. The app uses GPS to overlay a subway map on the phone’s live video feed to tell users where the nearest station is.

It should be a simple feat in San Francisco, which has only two subway lines. But checking the acrossair website shows information only for the London and New York versions, and even those are said to be “launching as soon as Apple approves it!”

Update a day later: Speaking of BART, Streetsblog draws attention to the transit system’s “data transparency,” meaning that it allows anyone to use live data from its train control system to build applications, and lists the resulting applications on its website.

What do you do on public transit? Nothing… or something?

Macarthur BART, photo by Robert Schwandl

Local photographer Thomas Hawk made a very interesting post on his website today, reporting his “unscientific survey” of what commuters were doing on his 9 a.m. BART train from MacArthur to Embarcadero this morning. He didn’t ask anyone what they were doing, relying on his own observations. Most people were “doing nothing,” he found; others he broke down into “other” and into several categories of reading. See his post for the stats.

I love the idea of noticing what others are doing, and recording it unobtrusively and reporting it. It sounds a bit creepy when put that way, but there’s nothing wrong with doing so in a public space. I’d love to see people do this exact thing from time to time: walk the length of a bus or train and compile the same stats, or different ones. It’s just as valuable and interesting to report on skirt lengths, how many people smell, or the number of people wearing glasses.

That said, it’s interesting that Hawk happened to sort his survey by media consumption, and that he expresses surprise that “so many of the people on BART were simply doing nothing (this included sleeping as well).” Of course, BART, and public transit in general, is a great place to read. I’ve sometimes gotten on a BART train and ridden all the way to the end of the line and back just to have a comfortable reading experience uninterrupted by phones, people I know, my cats, or trips to the refrigerator. But those who were sitting quietly “doing nothing” may have relished the chance to do so as much as the people who were devouring media. As someone who sits in front of a computer all day and, often, much of the evening, I find it nice to have a time where I can’t do so — this includes driving, going to the ballgame or the symphony, and yes, “doing nothing.”

By the way, I just noticed that BART has a page on its website where it collects blog and Twitter posts about BART.

Just because it’s from Milan, do we have to take it?

Modern tram (real!) in Milan. Flickr photo by <A hREF="http://is.gd/sMMT">martin97</A>uk

I was literally startled when I saw this photo on a post on Streetsblog, a transit and urban planning-oriented site, showing a modern tram plying the streets of Milan, Italy. At first I thought it had to be photoshopped, but no, it’s real.

Streetsblog suggests using these monsters during commute times. I can’t imagine it helping. While you could load hundreds more passengers onto those long trains, what would happen to the streets crossing Market, given the sometimes short blocks between intersections? Imagine one of those things stretching back from Third St. all the way back to Second, completely blocking the Montgomery > New Montgomery intersection, which is one of only two ways to exit the Financial District during rush hour. Oy!

Ironically, San Francisco already has several streetcars from Milan — the orange “Peter Witt” jobs that still have Italian placards and warnings on the interior. Frankly they’re a lot of fun to ride. I’d save that long, modern tram for, maybe, the T line.

Public transportation 2.1

I was inspired by Tara’s post, Public Transportation 2.0, to add more than a comment.

When I was in Bangalore in 2007, I was struck by the utility of the ubiquitous motorized rickshaws, known locally as autocabs or just autos:

Any visitor to Asia has seen these things, since they’re in every Asian city. And they are cheap and they are everywhere. When I mentioned them to one of the panjandrums of the Bay Area public transportation scene, the executive director of one of the NGOs that lobbies for transportation policy, he was dismissive. “Oh, the tuk-tuks,” he said. “They clog up the streets, and they pollute. That’s not what we need. We need commuter rail that goes everywhere.”

Oh, fine, Mr. Bay Area Transit Boss! So I’m on my way to work in the morning. Never mind how I get to the BART station; I take a train across the bay to, say, Ashby. Now that I have alighted at your gigantor 1970s-era concrete monster BART station, I need to get to work, 2.3 miles away. It’s too far to walk. I could wait 20 minutes for a bus, and then that bus would take 20 minutes to poke along for the two miles, making my trip to work take over an hour… And that’s why I drive every day instead.

Read more

Public Transportation 2.0

The Bay Area is is known as the hub for bleeding edge technology, and now public transportation is taking advantage of it. Bart, Muni and Caltrain have easy to use online services to find your way around the city and keep up-to-date on the latest travel alerts.

Bart is now on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/sfbart providing the latest train delays and other interesting Bart news from and for commuters. You can get the updates directly to your phone through text messages. In addition, the account also responds to your questions. Recently I was having some problems with my Bart cards de-magnetizing and complained about the process to get a refund. The SFBart Twitter account promptly responded with some advice.

Here’s an example of a useful and timely update from SFBart: “There is a 15-20 minute delay at Embarcadero in the Daly City / SFO /Millbrae direction due to an equipment problem on a train.”

SF Bart is also getting into the community spirit and has a funny and somewhat unofficial blog where you can see what commuters are up to.

Caltrain is taking an even more progressive community approach by allowing its passengers to provide updates to the Caltrain Twitter accounts: http://www.twitter.com/caltrain
and the bicycle car http://twitter.com/bikecar. More information on how you can participate and provide Caltrain updates to the Twitter account is here: http://cow.org/c/about

If you don’t have a Twitter account, maybe now is the time to sign up or you can subscribe to the RSS feed off those pages.

Muni takes advantage of NextBus, a site that tells you when your bus will arrive via the website, Mobile Internet or SMS alerts.

If you want an easy way to plan your trips using public transportation, try out 511.org. Type in your start and ending address and the time you want to depart or arrive, and it will give you options using Bart, Muni and Caltrain.

511.org has a list of other useful services such as Dadnab which is text messaging service that plans your trips on city transit.

With all of these new fangled ways to plan out your trip using public transportation that make getting around the Bay Area that much easier, who needs a car?

Sunday Bus Fare: $1.50

Just read on N Judah Chronicles:

-And, for those of you who don’t have a MUNI monthly pass – don’t forget that on Sundays from now until the end of the holiday season, you get an all-day MUNI transfer for just $1.50. This is part of the ShopSF promotion going on that offers locals in the greater Bay Area discounts at stores, hotels and so on.

Express Busses & Spot.us

This is how it works: you submit an idea, either a story you want reported, or one you want to report, and people vote or Digg it *before* the work is done. Crowd-sourced journalism.

Check out this pitch: “Why doesn’t Muni run more express buses?” and journalist 39 here will do the leg work to deliver the all of the juicy details we’re all interested in.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GHPfYDwRYQ[/youtube]
– thanks to Jeremy Toeman for the headsup

In other news, I was abandoned on my bus for 5 minutes while the driver went into a liquor store. Me, on the 49 articulated bus, while it’s running. I like the level of trust they have in me, ( I was engrossed in a Sudoku game) but this is pushing it a little far. Especially since the drive then goes one stop and yells “end of the line!”

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.