Did Today’s Commute Suck, or What? – UPDATED

Wow. It seemed like today we had a Commute From Hell Festival today on MUNI. First, we had a derailment this morning which created endless amounts of fun for everyone. This is on the heels of a less-than-stellar opening of the T-Third, and the confusion caused by the switchover from the N to the T for trains headed to Caltrain.
This afternoon was not much better. When I went to the Montgomery Station to catch a much-needed N around 4:30 or so, I (and a lot of my fellow riders) waited for an N to show up.
While talking to everyone on the platform, many people reported that when their commute this morning was delayed, they were told the cause was not just the derailment but the odd “too many trains in the tunnel” line instead. Curious.
I talked to a passenger who’d been waiting in the Montgomery Station since 4:15 waiting for an N,with no luck. We waited, and waited and waited, until an N showed up at 4:55 or so. Sure enough, the N was already crowded, leaving little room for all the passengers getting on at Montgomery Station.
I quickly did some math and realized that frankly, it didn’t matter if I got on or not – by the time the N got to my post office, it’d be closed. So I gave up and went back upstairs to meet up with a friend instead and waited out the storm.
I’d like to hear from more of my fellow N-Judah riders about how your commute has improved (or declined) following the changes to the line, and what (if anything) you were told while you waited and waited and waited….
UPDATE: The MTA/MUNI website is a mess, so I found this link where you can send in your complaints. Sure, they may end up going down the MUNI Black Hole of Non-Responsiveness, but try it anyway.
UPDATE 2: MattyMatt of SFist posted this great video, as well as an apology from MUNI director Nate Ford. Check it out.
I think it is great that Nate Ford has chosen to act like a responsible person in this very crappy situation. Too bad the MTA board, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor couldn’t find the courage to do the same.

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16 Responses to Did Today’s Commute Suck, or What? – UPDATED

  1. Jeff says:

    Terrible. Just terrible.
    I live in the Outer Sunset and work really close to the (former) last stop of the N at Caltrain…while my commute’s always been kinda slow and dull, the recent shakeup has pushed it over into just unbearable.
    Typically, it’d take me 45 minutes to an hour to get home via the N; with the new transfer at the Embarcadero, I’m looking forward to hour to hour-and-a-half commute times. For a six-mile trip.
    I waited 20 minutes for an N after hopping off the T Third at the Embarcadero. Naturally, several empty T Third and J Churches passed by, nearly empty.
    There’s so much confusion at the corner of 4th and King. People trying to catch either a J Church or T Third, having to deal with that freeway on/offramp and beat the lights to catch whatever train might be closest at the moment. It’s just a mess…people are gonna get hit.
    I haven’t owned a car in nearly 15 years, but all this is making me reconsider that. Dang it.

  2. Sara says:

    I commute from the Inner Sunset to 2nd and Market. Today I missed a 10:15am class because my commute took 1.5 hours (double the usual commute time). Just outside the entrance to the downtown tunnel, the N-Judah operator told us to get off the train and find alternate transportation along market street (no reason given). I ended up on the F-market (after being passed by 2 full trains).
    Also, yesterday evening I was on an N outbound that held us inside the downtown tunnel (past Van Ness station) for about 15 min. After the wait, we diverted to Church and were told to exit the train (again, no reason given).
    Maybe tomorrow I will leave 2 hrs early. Or maybe I will drive.

  3. Greg says:

    Yikes! I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg. Judging from comments left at SFist and SFGate, among others, these last two days really did suck as much as I thought they did.
    You can’t have as many people as I heard today on the platform complaining and dismiss it out of hand as MUNI and the city tend to do. Maybe it’s time we enforced that little-known advisory proposition passed in the 90s that requires elected officials to ride transit every week.
    When Gavin was late due to a crappy 1-California situation, notice how fast things changed. Imagine if he and the rest of the Board had to ride the MUNI.
    (Although, for the record, Sup. Ammiano has been a longtime MUNI rider, according to a source in his office, and has had to endure the same crap we all do.)

  4. Tom says:

    Muni was messed up way into the evening, with 35 minute intervals for trips towards downtown at 7pm from carl & cole.
    This isn’t like an airline with different planes everywhere and crews out of hours. 90% of N trains are two-car, and they either turn at embarcadero or ocean beach. Can it be difficult to get them back to the 7-10 minutes on the schedule?
    New signs are going up in the tunnel, in the train, and on the shelters.
    If you are down around 4th and king, I’d take the 30 to 3rd & market from the side of safeway. You’ll cut 10 mins off the wait/transit/change time.

  5. smskater says:

    52 runs didn’t go out on. The N Judah missed 13 runs on 4/10

  6. carlo says:

    I live on Duboce at Church and I can tell you that yesterday and today there was a constant backup of N trains waiting to get in and out of the tunnel. Something is up and it is making for a huge mess on the surface streets…

  7. DG says:

    This week has been hell. I think I’m switching to the buses.
    I wait at Church & Duboce for the N or J. Monday I got on an N, only to be told to get off and find surface transit.
    Yesterday my train waited 15 minutes at the entrance to the tunnel.
    And today I was routed down to Market surface transit by an N driver.
    This is a mess.

  8. Greg says:

    Frankly I’m glad I’m glad I’m working at home today and avoiding another day of MUNI follies. Even in casual conversation last night people were pissed.
    How long will we all put up with this?

  9. JR says:

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor I’ve heard that there will be a lot more 1 car runs in place of 2 cars now that the N doesn’t run all the way to CalTrain? Talk about making a rotten situation worse.

  10. JP says:

    I tried to ride the N in this morning (15th/Judah). One train passed, completely full (it stopped at Funston and skipped 12th).
    The next train came (3-4 min later) and took an extremely long time to go down the streets to Duboce. The tunnel was even more painful.
    I hopped off at Civic Center to run an errand. About 10 min. later I hopped on an inbound L. The operator spent the rest of the extremely slow ride to Embarcadero explaining that with N no longer running to King, it causes all sorts of backups in the subway, which ripples across the system.
    These last few days have been horrible.

  11. Jerry Jarvis says:

    When I use to go out to 48th ave from down town I would take the 71 to 23 ave & Judah and catch the almost empty N there with little wait time.

  12. aj says:

    For faster service to the Embarcadero, take the N to Van Ness and change to the southbound 47.

  13. Mike says:

    Boy am I glad I am away from the city this week! Yikes.
    Jeff makes a good point about the J and T stops. It doesn’t help as much that there are two trains going from Caltrain towards the downtown subway, because they leave from different platforms. Car traffic in that area is heavy and fast, and it really is a dangerous situation to get from Caltrain over to the T platform in a hurry.
    Frankly, the Caltrain station is one of the most unpleasant places to catch a bus to Market. You can take the 10, 30, 45, or 47 buses or the J or T trains, but they all stop at different places and you have to deal with busy intersections to get to all but the 10 stop. I have even missed the 30 trying to decide whether the 30 or the 45 will be the first to leave, because there is quite a distance between the 30 and the 45 stops. I realize this is due to several lines terminating in this area, but sheesh. If there is a way to make this less friendly to transit riders, I don’t know what it would be.

  14. MAJ says:

    It is a disaster taking the N from Cole Valley. I hope it will stop raining so I can bike and avoid riding it altogether.

  15. traci grant says:

    hi. i’m traci grant from NBC11. i’m doing a story on muni today and i’m trying to gather some information on what riders have experienced in the last week.
    send me your horror stories and we’ll put your emails on tv. but do it today and as soon as possible so we can get it on the evening news. traci.grant@nbc.com

  16. Michael Radtke says:

    I posted this same message on Thursday morning to Rescue Muni’s new blog site under the username MUNI VICTIM. I find it ironic to read a quote made by bullsh*t-artist Nat Ford on Thursday,”Fortunately last night, we started to see significant improvement”!!!! Thursday night’s commute was no different than Wednesday’s, which is referred to below:
    As a daily N-Judah passenger, I cannot believe that Muni dis-service has gotten EVEN WORSE
    this week as they debut the T-Line.
    Every morning I am finding NO trains waiting at my end-of-the-line stop with 3 or 4 arriving
    within minutes of each other, sitting ( not turning around & loading passengers) another 10-15
    minutes doing nothing (probably awaiting instructions from one of those STUPERVISORS in the
    white trucks who like to congregate at busy intersections)
    Every night, I stand in the Civic Center station and WAIT, WAIT, WAIT as 4 or 5 J-Church, 2-4
    Castro Shuttles and at least 2 of the “invisisble to the system: T-Line trains go by before even
    1 N-Judah shows up, loaded to the gills, usually ( as is Muni;’s fashion) by 1 or 2 more N-Judah’s, 1 of which may actually take us to the end of the line.
    As any N-Judah rider who rides past 9th Avenue knows, your chances of being taken to your destination decrease exponentially the further you travel west of 9th Avenue. Why the STUPERVISORS in the white trucks think it makes more sense to turn a train around at Sunset instead of completing the last 4 stops is beyond me-perhaps they can then PRETEND they are ON-TIME?!! downtown? It takes nearly as long to turn one of these pieces or crap around as it does to continue to La Playa and use the turnaround!!!
    On top of which they are nearly ALWAYS EXTREMELY RUDE ABOUT IT! That’s if you can even understand the announcement that you are once again being kicked off a train you waited for almost an hour to board-seems to me if people are going to be dealing with the public they should be able to
    speak a coherent sentence IN ENGLISH! I shudder to think about one of these drivers trying to
    dispense information in an EMERGENCY!
    MUNI is beyond broken-as far as I’m concerned they can start witrh that bullsh*t artist
    Nat West and fire the lot of them from the top down-THE SO-CALLED SYSTEM COULD ONLY RUN

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