Posts Tagged ‘MUNI’

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 2.0

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?

Proposed Muni route changes: Bryant Street’s out of luck

Courtesy SFist — which provided a huge public service by untangling the stupidity of Muni publishing dozens of proposed route changes on dozens of separate PDFs — here are all the proposed changes to Muni routes posted to SFist’s Flickr set. SFist rules today.

Among the several radical changes:

  • Bryant Street is totally out of luck. No more service in the Mission District or South of Market. That means that if you wanted to take a bus to or from the Hall of Justice — like if your car was towed and you wanted to get it back — you have to catch a bus on Folsom and then walk two blocks.

More changes after the jump

My Cup of Joe

Peets @Embarcadero Station

As I exited the Embarcadero BART/Muni station, contemplating my public transportation frustrations, I noticed the spectacle pictured above.

At first glance, I thought nothing of it. I remembered the construction walls were up for the better part of the year. Once I realized the change in scenery, I hopped down the escalator (I was going up) to snap a a picture.

I don’t know what compelled me. Maybe it was the thought of looking forward to a nice Cup of Joe after expelling myself from one of my most frustrating morning rituals: dealing with the N-Judah on a daily basis. (I mean, come on! How many people can you fit in one train during rush hour?)

It seemed like the light at the end of a very long tunnel. And then I thought of how much better life would be if Muni would invest just as much into running their trains on time, or having an adequate amount of trains during rush hour. Of course, being from the South (as in Southern California), I really can’t complain about public transportation. Muni is by far the best in comparison.

Still, I really do despise the N-Judah with every fiber of my being. But, the bright side is that after waiting up to 20 minutes* for a 30 minute* ride in a sardine-packed streetcar, I’ll get to wait in what I expect to be a very long line of aggrevated train riding coffee drinkers. Oh joy! [/Sarcasm]

The real bright side is that this might mean the lines will probably lessen a bit aboveground!

Check out the San Francisco Business Times article if you’re not hip to the BART/Peets news.

Muni Transit Effectiveness Project community meetings

The SF Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP) community meetings kicked off this week. On 4/19 at West Portal Elementary was the first meeting, with meetings upcoming on the following dates/places.

In April and May, the TEP will share preliminary proposals for Muni service changes and reliability improvements at a series of 11 community meetings throughout San Francisco. With your help, a revitalized Muni system will not only benefit current transit customers, but will improve mobility for everyone who lives, works in or visits San Francisco. Interpretation in Cantonese and Spanish will be provided, and there will be a Fast Pass raffle at each meeting.

  • 4.24 – 6pm – The SF Jewish Community Center – map
  • 4.26 – 10:30am – Dianne Feinstein Elementary – map
  • 4.28 – 6pm – Southeast Community Facility – map
  • 4.30 – 6pm – City College Mission Campus – map

Meetings will continue into May, for a full schedule visit the meetings page on the TEP website.

Related

Travel by train

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