Reader Mail: The Abrupt End of The N?

Reader Jeff S. of the Outer Sunset writes:

Dear N-Judah Chronicles:
Since yesterday [March 30th – ed.], the N-Judah westbound has been turning around at 19th Avenue! My wife has had to get off at 19th both last night and today and find another bus to get her home.
What is up with that? Doesn’t MUNI know that people live west of 19th Avenue? We Sunset residents are used to being treated by the city as second class citizens, but this is ridiculous.
I’m assuming (hoping) the situation is temporary. Can you get to the bottom of this?

After receiving Jeff S.’s email, I emailed MUNI via their new, spiffy website, but as of press time have not received a reply, so I will try the city’s new “311” service too, to see what we can find out. If any readers out there have had similar experiences lately, please write in and we’ll see what we find.
As always, feel free to email your experiences with the N-Judah, or any MUNI line to the N-Judah Chronicles and share your experiences with your fellow citizens! Thanks!

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6 Responses to Reader Mail: The Abrupt End of The N?

  1. With any transportation system (bus, trolley bus, streetcar, or train), when there is a breakdown along the line, the transportation system will replace the missing unit by rerouting another, and turning it around before it gets to the end of the line.
    I’ve seen N Judahs rerouted at: Duboce, Hillway (just before UCSF), 19th Avenue, a turnaround track somewhere in the high twenties/low thirties of the Avenues, and Sunset Blvd.
    Also, there could’ve been door or brake problems with the streetcar, but MUNI central had waited entirely too long to take the that unit out of service.

  2. Greg says:

    @ Write Procrastinator: Good point. However in those cases more often than not such early turnarounds are announced, either by the driver, or on the sign at the front of the train itself.
    For example, once I saw a N Judah with its endpoint announced as Arguello on the light up sign on the front car.
    Likewise, some N Judahs end at Ocean Beach, but when they turn around they run the route to Duboce, but turn in to J-Church cars (and their light up board indicates as such as it makes its way there).
    I think this is a case where if people are told in advance what’s happening or at least why they’re more likely to accept the outcome, instead of just suddenly finding out they’re being dumped far away from home late at night.

  3. What can I say? You know and I know from the infamous cell phone footage, that Muni operators are mercurial. They need backrubs from their girlfriends to keep them even.

  4. meinWestAdd says:

    @WP: Ehhh. Door failure is not a good enough reason to take a train out of service. If it was, we’d have no trains in operation!
    @Greg: It’s been my experience that the turnarounds are announced, but not nearly far enough in advance. On the outbound L’s, they generally announce the turnaround by 14th/15th ave instead of giving riders a chance to camp out at West Portal.
    I’ve had the fun experience of taking a few outbound L’s recently that decided to turn around at 22nd ave. The first time this happened I called 511 and someone on the other end verified that indeed, the operator was not authorized to turn the train around. The outbound turnaround involved booting people off of a very full two car train (also at 22nd) because the train was running “so late” due to stoppage at Castro. Both times I’ve boarded the trains (Montgomery and West Portal respectively), the destination signs said 46th ave (Wawona or Taraval depending).
    Conversely, watch out for the Eastbound trains down Taraval. ~9am on Thursday (19 Apr 2007) I got on what was an outbound M (on Taraval), which turned into an outbound K at West Portal at the behest of a coordinator type person. This train joined up with four other outbound Ks and Ms at West Portal leaving fifty or sixty people stranded at West Portal waiting for a train that was actually headed downtown. That was NOT due to mechanical failure (altho one of the doors died a noisy, shrieking death at 19th ave), and that train would have much better served everyone by running down to Embarcadero and running out of service after that (if it were indeed brought out of service).

  5. “WP: Ehhh. Door failure is not a good enough reason to take a train out of service. If it was, we’d have no trains in operation!”
    Please be patient with me because I am not an operator and I don’t know Bredas from beans. But if Bredas are anything like other trains, “locking out” the offending door might not be enough and a failsafe mechanism might be triggering something in the train to the point that it won’t run properly.

  6. Tip: If SFMTA staff do not reply to your e-mail, spam them every couple days or so until you get a reply. They usually don’t respond if you e-mail them at night or after certain times, like 5 PM, I believe.

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