Reader Mail: Follow Up Notes, N-Judah Turnarounds, and More

Loyal Readers have been sending mail recently, but only now am I getting caught up. We’ve got quite a roundup this afternoon!
First, a follow-up to Reader Jeff S. of the Outer Sunset, whom as you may recall sent us this message regarding strange turnarounds on the N-Judah.
After receiving Jeff’s e-mail, I decided to try using the MUNI online complaint form.. I received the following response via the system on April 5th:

Dear Mr. Dewar:
Thank you for your report regarding your reader’s experience with the driver of the N-Judah line.
I have forwarded your report to the Metro Rail Operations and to the Community & Public Relations, for investigation and appropriate action.
Your feedback is appreciated because it allows us to focus on the steps needed to improve our service. Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention.
If you need additional information regarding this report, please contact the MUNI Passenger Service Department at (415) 923-6275.
Maria Williams
Manager, Passenger Services
SF Municipal Railway

So, there you have it. Since receiving this message on April 5th, I’ve not heard back anything since, so it’s either a) gone down the MUNI black hole or b) is being dealt with.
More after the jump…

Reader Stephen (also from the Outer Sunset writes):

Today [April 18th] I was at the N stop at 43rd ave waiting to go downtown. They have a “next muni” sign there, and when I got to the station, it said: N-Judah: 5 minutes and 19 minutes. So I waited and kept looking back to see the minutes count down. Just after the next muni got down to 3 minutes, it began singing a new tune: next muni: 18 minutes. I looked down the hill and saw that there wasn’t a train at the turnaround, so I guess the sign was just kidding about the 5 minutes when I first got to the stop.

I think this is one of the hiccups caused by the introduction of the T-Third service. I’ve had some similar experiences when using NextBus Muni on my cell phone…also many people in the neighborhood have noted that N-Judah service is turning around sooner than it normally does (i.e. at 22nd instead of Ocean Beach, and it’s noted on the light up board at the front of the train), which surely messes things up.
Finally, Reader Joseph from the Sunset writes:

This is random, but if anyone knows, it would be you. Do you when Muni started re-branding itself as SFMTA? I know the history of MTA being created to run Muni and DPT, but only in the last six months or so have they been pushing SFMTA. Hell, the Muni name is being used less and leess. Have they trashed the Muni name so bad, that the think they can fool us with SFMTA — we won’t notice it’s Muni?

This is a source of mystery, a question even I can’t get a straight answer to. I think it’s an attempt to re-brand and give the agency that oversees MUNI and the DPT a higher profile, since the MTA “runs” MUNI.
It’s another example of an entity at war with its own users/customers/citizens. I do not know of a single person who says “Oh hey I took the SFMTA to work today” or anything remotely close to such a ridiculous statement. Despite all the TV ads and such, people in San Francisco call the thing they ride to work “MUNI” and MUNI it should remain.
They can whitewash the history of the San Francisco Municipal Railway all they like, but I seriously doubt you’ll hear people talk about riding the “SFMTA” to work anytime soon.
Please continue to send in your comments, questions, and ideas and I’ll feature it in an upcoming Reader Mail post!

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