The Big Project has finally been revealed: I was hired to work on a cover story about Muni for the SF Weekly!
I busted my ass, studying a lot of stuff including those dumb-ass work rules and turned around from being anti the Elsbernd amendment to being for it. It took a lot of knowledge and what not to turn me around, but I did.
More importantly I loved, loved loved learning from so many sources and so many real world people on some kick ass information and worked with a kick-ass reporter, Joe Eskenazi, on this. We could have written a 10k word story on this and STILL not gotten it done.
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San Francisco News & Politics
Whoa! What did the SFBG do? (Really, I’m curious.) Looking forward to reading the story.
I thought I recognised your familiar writing style when I read that article this morning. Very well written, as always, and factual. Keep up the good work!
It’s incredibly readable, too. Very nice job. It seems like everyone’s read it already, before noon.
Great look at the myriad issues with our beloved MUNI. There are no simple fixes, but perhaps we can stop the death by a thousand cuts that has been going on the last few years.
I hear you on the process of consolidating stops. I just wish people would realize how bad it is nearly everywhere else in this area. I work in Sunnyvale at the intersection of 2 major streets — Mary Ave and Central Expressway. If I want to get to El Camino to catch the 22 or 522, which is about 1.25 miles away, the fastest way is to walk, which takes me a bit over 20 minutes with all the lights and the nasty Caltrain crossing at Evelyn and Mary. There are no buses running directly to El Camino from here. The 32 community bus doesn’t hit El Camino until the end of its route. The connections that you can make from the 32 don’t run often enough to beat walking.
I think we can all walk another couple of blocks to catch the bus if it will speed up service and make it run more efficiently.
Congrats Greg! I read that last night and missed your bi-line. Excellent article. I posed wether or not the suggestions in it are possible on Quora even.
Couldn’t agree more on the point about how one or two people can derail necessary changes, such as stop consolidation.
I think part of the problem is the way politics works in the bay area. People are way, way too tolerant. When an angry person comes to a meeting and yells, they shouldn’t be aloud to derail the entire conversation and halt all progress.
The blame for this lies squarely on the moderator or leader of the meeting. At some point, there needs to be a person in charge and that person needs to step in and say “your time is up, let’s move on.”
Anyway, great article! So when are you writing your next investigative piece?
Indeed a good article. The shame is that so much could be done very cheaply if ANYONE at SFMTA/Muni/BOS had ANY spine. For years the Metro has been a disaster particularly in PM rush. Mgmt says it can’t do anything because it is all the fault of auto traffic out on the streets. Dynamic resequencing of the trains would cut crowding/speed workers home, AND cut driver OT. So why doesn’t Muni do this/ Mgmt’s excuse is the “premium pay for line transfer’contract provision. Over a decade ago Rescue Muni said–post the jobs as 8hrs; driving LRVs NO route guarantee. Of course TWU would have complained, but this is one that the public would line up with on behalf of better service. The political cowardice of mgmt costs every Metro rider 9who doesn’t give up) hours of delay and inconvenience every year. As a side benefit, the “bogus” turnbacks which victimise L and N riders would be reduced because the driver being turned back to clock off wouldn’t be as delayed.
FWIW, the operating time, by Muni schedules between Embarcadero and Balboa is very similar whether a K, M, or J.
It was refreshing to read such a honest and researched evaluation of Muni.
I take the N for 45 pain staking minutes everyday into work and have often wondered why it stops so much. Where is the petition that I can sign to let Mr. Newsom know that I’m more than fed up.
And how do we recruit some hipsters?
I’m sure we can all come up with good examples where stop consolidation would help. One of my favorites is on the 24 line. Going towards PacHts, it stops farside at 14th street and again nearside at Duboce. This is probably less than 400 feet, and the bus nearly always has to stop at both places. They could make one stop mid block, which would serve Davies Medical Center well and only be 1 minute from either 14th St or Duboce.