Stuck underground

I keep hearing horrible things about MUNI service, but up until recently I’d never seen it. Then again, I own a car, so I don’t take the bus or Metro as often as I could. Lately, since my new pad is close to three bus lines and I can walk down to the Castro Metro stop, I’ve started taking it more. In fact, that was the plan when I rearranged my whole day to be able to go to the pillow fight. Got into work early, got out of there early, got home with enough time to fix a snack and trek on down. At least, that was the plan.

Stuck Then the K I had gotten on came to a stop after leaving the Church St. station. A subway worker who had boarded at Church got off on the side of the walkway. And then… nothing. We were made to wait.

Below is the complaint I submitted online, but I somehow doubt it’ll do any good. I gave them my name, address and contact info since they specify that the only way they’ll respond to your complaint and/or take action is if you give that information. Also, I’m copying the fields I couldn’t fill out, so if you intend to make a complaint online, you’ll know what info to collect while on the bus or Metro.

So a word to Metro users who are as green as I am to the system: If the train sits at the station for more than the time it takes for people to get on and off, and does so for two stops in a row without the driver saying anything about what’s going on: get out ASAP. Get out while you can. Something’s not right in Transitville.

Subject: Getting stuck behind derailment in subway, Tuesday 2/14/06

Date of Occurance: 2/14/06
Time: (be sure to include a.m. or p.m.) 5:30pm
Location: Between Church and Van Ness stops
Line Number: K
Vehicle Number:
(4 digit number painted on all Muni vehicles except 2 digits for cable cars)
Direction of Travel: Inbound
Employee ID Number or Name:
Employee Description:

On the evening of Tuesday the 14th, there was a derailment on the inbound MUNI subway between the Church and Van Ness stops. This is unfortunate and I know this sort of thing happens. However, the inbound K-Ingleside that I and about three or four dozen other people were on pulled up behind the derailment and sat there for almost an hour without moving or letting us evacuate back to the Church station. This might have been acceptable, except for the fact that a MUNI worker got on our train at the Church station to get a ride down to the derailment. This means that we all could have been told about what had happened, and let out at Church to find other ways to get where we were going. Instead, no announcements were made beforehand, nothing was done at all to indicate that something might be wrong and that we’d be stuck for an indeterminate amount of time.

People on that train were on their Valentine’s Day dates and had their plans delayed or possibly ruined. Some of us just had places to be and were made terribly late. I myself missed the entire event that was my reason for heading downtown in the first place.

Look, what I want to say is that when we get on MUNI busses and trains, we do so with the expectation that we’ll get to where we’re going, or if something happens, be told why we can’t and then given options. It’s not too much to ask. What happened last week was unacceptable. I certainly hope no one was hurt in the derailment, but if it happens again, let people off. If it’s the fault of the worker who got on at Church and didn’t let the driver know, find a way to keep drivers informed of problems on their routes. If there’s a system in place for such things, it failed.

And hey, make sure your drivers know how to use the PA system in their vehicles. I was standing right under the speaker and I could barely hear the first announcement our driver made and couldn’t make out parts of it. The second one he made later we could all hear just fine. I have a feeling that’s only because one of the other passengers that went up to talk to the driver said something about the volume of the first announcement.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jason D- (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    Dude! I was stuck on the N just inside the tunnel before Embarcadero for the same amount of time. The restaurant I was going to was very close to the Embarcadero stop so it pretty much screwed my reservations for dinner. It all worked out but if they had let us know before advancing into the tunnel to let us sit a bunch of us could have gotten off and walked or hopped a cab. It was handled like a Bush Administration job and hopefully with enough complaints thhey’ll be better with communication. That and I had to piss like a racehorse which made it seem interminable!

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