Rohit's Realm

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September 19, 2005

Municipal Mismanagement

This just in! This just in! The San Francisco Municipal Railway sucks! Not only does it suck, but in recent days, it has become the bain of my existence. In fact, as of this writing, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that there are very few things I hate more in this world than the SF MUNI System ... well, except for those damn Berkeley bums. Oh, and those bureaucratic ass-clowns over at L&S. Oh, and worthless bloggers. Did I mention those freakin' bums? Ok. Point taken. Touché.

Growing up in Orange County, public transportation was always a fairly foreign concept, one that barely even registered on my radar. Everyone has a car, everyone drives, and there is always ample parking, not to mention the so-called public transportation, where it even exists, is minimal and restricted to places you probably don't want to go in the first place. The experiences I had had, notably New York's subway system and the London Underground, left me suitably impressed with the concept and excited to not be burdened with a car in Berkeley. For the most part, this impression did not change in the course of my four years at Cal, since any incompetence and inefficiency of the AC Transit System was offset by BART's performance and the fact that it was free.

Coming to San Francisco, where parking is impossible and driving futile, I quickly familiarized myself with the MUNI system. What I have found in the months since I moved to SF has forever changed my impression of public transportation. So why am I going off on this subject now? Well, I was just about to tell you; stop being impatient, asshole. Anyway, I got out of work today at about 6pm, and was hoping to get home by 6:30pm to take care of some pressing errands (dry cleaning topped the list - yeah, my life sucks, but that's besides the point). I got to the MUNI station at Embarcadero by 6:05pm ... it would be 7:30pm before I got home, despite the actual transit time being only 20 minutes. Why, you might ask? Incompetence, inefficiency, stupidity, and idiocy. What else?

The N-Line train (the only one that goes to the Sunset from the Financial District) didn't arrive until 6:45pm. This train was then followed by two more N-Line trains in close succession. Why? Who knows? Maybe the MUNI scheduler was sleeping, or maybe the driver was jerking off (practicing for the jerky ride they provide, no doubt), or perhaps my life just sucks. The worst part about this is that it's nothing unusual. No train shows up for an incredible amount of time, and then several show up at once. Aside from the obvious waste of the minutes that compose my life, the other result of this idiotic and inefficient behavior is that the first train always is intensely jammed with people, so much so that I had to spend a brutal 30 minute ride with my head hitting the metal handrail at every stop, crammed between a large, sweaty guy and a super-sketchy Gothic girl, one of whom kept grabbing my ass.

In addition to being completely unreliable, MUNI also suffers from a significantly higher freak rating than does BART. Half the riders on MUNI are dirty, smelly, crazy, drunk, or all of the above. Not to mention, the train breaks down atleast twice a week, and I inevitably end up being late to work. Cody recently wrote about the protests against the recent fair increase because it mostly burdens the poor. I too protest the fair, not because I can't afford the extra quarter every trip, but because paying more for a service that remains incredibly shitty is completely unacceptable in my book.

To top it all off, when I get home, I found a $100 parking ticket on my car, parked in the completely illegal spot of my driveway. Are you kidding me? What the hell? We pay for that goddamn spot, and yet some moron meter maid decides it's on the sidewalk. Well, I might not be able to do anything about the MUNI but I'll be damned if I don't make them shove that parking ticket up their bureaucratic asses. SF Government - I HATE YOU!


Welcome to my childhood. I remember waiting for the bus after school and frequently seeing several full buses drive right by us. Even though there's supposedly a published schedule, we never bothered paying attention to it. There's also a bus that you can take during peak hours, but the streetcar is supposed to be faster... when it comes.

My friends got a ticket in the Marina for parking in our other friend's driveway. Apparently, the car can't stick out into the walkway for people passing by. Good luck fighting it.

rohit, get the hell outta dodge next weekend. imma have SF nuked. the city is beyond saving. since when did a government listen to the desires of the poor and non taxpaying? or maybe God will deal with that city as He did with New Orleans. which could mean POOL PARTY!!! HAhahahah too soon?

I feel your pain and anguish. Hell, I am still riding around on my bike in Huntington because I hate driving. I have had people seem utterly confused when I told them I rode my bike. You know, a whole 2 miles and all. The guy at the grocery store even said "I thought kids only ride bikes" when my friend and I asked for paper bags to put the stuff in our baskets. Pedal power.

As for Ed's idea, anyone want to make a slip n' slide down some steep hills?

I had the same thing happen to me with the parking ticket in multiple neighborhoods in the city; I think it happened to me in the Outer Richmond and my neighborhood, the Excelsior. I say fight it, chances are the meter maid was trying to make quota for that day and decided to head on out to your neck of the woods.

If you want some alternative buses to the N, there are a few limited and express buses that granted will make you walk a little bit more, but could be less crowded. Let me know.

I hope I find the energy to contest that damn ticket. Everyday I take it with me to work, and everyday, I don't have time to write my letter to those bastards. Then I bring the ticket home, don't want to look at it, and the cycle repeats. Shit!

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