There’s quite a bit of assorted updates for today. The biggest news for Our N, of course is the closure of the N Judah line between Duboce/Church and Cole Valley due to construction work. Because the detour will need to bypass the tunnel and ride down Haight Street, you can expect your trip in and out of the Sunset to take a little longer, so plan accordingly. You can find a map of the route at the MUNI website.
Next, we have an email from Reader Thomas, who asks about an issue we’ve talked about a little bit before and makes a modest proposal of his own to speed things up on the N:
I just wanted to see if you had any thoughts on adding a Muni ticket machine to the UCSF stop at Irving and Arguello.
Everyday during rush hour, the mighty N comes to a stand still for 6 or 8 minutes while the good people of UCSF load into the first car, each diligent in their fare payment at the drivers door.
If the folks at Muni just put in one of those ticket machines (similar to what they have by ATT Park and CalTrain) they could make that stop so much easier.
I wrote the SFMTA a few times with the suggestion, but they never responded.
This is a fairly common sight on inbound Ns – so many people need to buy a ticket, the long line keeps the N waiting while people board. Then, the front car gets packed full of people, and gets even more so at Carl and Cole, all the while the back car is half-empty. There has been loose talk in the past from MUNI to at least put in the same machines they have at 4th/King elsewhere to speed up boarding and collect more money, but we all know where that went.
Finally, thanks to Twitter, I got an alert about what sounds to be a serious accident involving a MUNI Bus and a bike rider courtesy of Luba at the Avenues Blog involving the 16 Noriega. It sounds pretty serious. Let’s hope the bike rider and his dog are OK.
I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more of that amazing 75 degree weather for a while, but it’s still that nice, cool sunny SF weather that makes living here so nice. Go out and see the city while you still can, and check out the new holiday exhibit at the SF Conservatory of Flowers as well!
Do people in the Sunset ever hear of this handy thing called a FastPass? If these boarders are there in droves *every* morning, they should do the smart thing and get a FP. Sheesh.
Rescue muni was reccomending a TVM there at least 8 maybe TEN years ago. But hey spending millions on the TEP study is more useful, right?
If you see this crowding happening on the N, you ought to suggest that those passengers procure a TransLink card. Both the buses and LRVs have TL readers at all of the doors. On the rail cars you can legally board from one of the rear doors… Proof Of Payment and all.
TL is here, and it’ll work without any additional, expensive infrastructure (at UCSF or elsewhere). It’s potentially more problematic on the buses if you catch a driver who’s self-righteous about rear door boarding.
Since I no longer take MUNI on a daily basis, I’ve taken to using my TL card. I’ve yet to be denied boarding because of malfunctioning equipment or operators. Even the driver on the L-Owl who didn’t know what a stop sign was recognized the TL card.
@Alex: TL is a good idea, esp. when they finally start using it on BART too. Heck MUNI could bulk-sell TL passes or even monthlies to UCSF and then UC could just give them to their employees.
@Patrick: That’s a good point vis a vis daily commuters. UCSF has a lot of people who are not commuters who are using that stop, either to visit someone in the hospital or get treatment or follow up care.
The challenge is that not everyone is a daily commuter and not everyone is going to pre-pay online or elsewhere.
Back in the Olden Days they used to have people who’d stand by the back door and take money, give out tickets and transfers, and help load the bus. They were called “loaders.”
about 6 months ago I fell asleep on an outbound N and ended up on the wrong side of the tunnel. Getting off at Carl and Cole, I saw one of these “loaders.” He had a stack of transfers and a coin belt. What a novel idea. D’oh!
While installing a TVM may take a while due to construction issues (there may not be a local source of electricity or data connection), having a MUNI “loader” at key stops (UCSF, Carl/Cole, Duboce) appears to be the next best option.