When i was first announced the SFMTA was going to build an offshoot of the Muni Metro that would run from near AT&T Park to outer Fisherman’s Wharf. This sounded like a great idea because you could get off at the Van Ness and Northpoint and have a short walk to Pier 39, the Wharf, a little further down to the Cannery do a little shopping, maybe drop by Ghiradelli Square next door and have a sundae then head back home. Then they said because of costs they would have to stop it at Chinatown.
Of course Chinatown. If you drop it into google most of the responses you get will be in Chinese newspapers, blogs, etc. Rose Pak is usually mentioned as well. This leaves out North Beach and the Wharf. Two high money making areas for tourists. Most tourists to Chinatown don’t spend much time since they done speak Chinese. At least at North Beach and the Wharf they speak English and a few other languages which means more money they can take out of your pocket.
Now they have been talking about the extension into North Beach. This was before the Mayoral election where most of the people running for Mayor were against a Central Subway that stopped in Chinatown. It really would have only benefitted the Chinese in San Francisco and very few others. You might get a short walk to the strip clubs on Broadway, but now they’ve found a way to move it into North Beach to support the Italian community that once lived there [a few still do, but it’s mostly hipsters now.
I would still like to see the full run of the Central Subway all the way down to Van Ness & Northpoint because it would help people who live out there commute downtown as well as a greater influx of money to the city. I’ll take the stop at North Beach for now and then maybe they can extend it all the way down to the Wharf just like they did with the T. I find the Metro to be very quick and I can get downtown in about 15 minutes, so why not speed things up to get people down to the wharf? As it is right now, from where I live to get to the wharf I need to take two buses and a short ride on the Metro. That usually takes me over an hour to get there. We rarely drive as parking is steep and hard to find. If we could hop on a Metro and get there in about an half hour instead of the over an hour it takes now I’d be all for it. We should be serving the entire city, not a small part of the city.
I have to admit that I haven’t had to take Muni on a regular basis in almost three years and now that it’s back in my life because of work I don’t like what I see. While for me it’s rather efficient, it’s the way it takes you from one place to another is what bothers me.
I have to take the 48 Quintara to whatever metro will get me to Civic Center and then board the 19 Polk towards Hunters Point to get me out to the Potrero Hill area. It’s takes about 45 minutes which is good considering, but there are a few things that I encounter along the way that I don’t like.
- People need to bathe more often. The stench on Muni now is unbelievable. People seem to me like they bathe maybe once a week if that and you’re lucky if they shave once a month.
- Why do y’alls have to be so loud. If you’re talking to a person next to you there’s no reason to exceed 100 db even if the bus or metro is loud.
- Driving apparently is no longer a required skill to navigate a bus. There is this kind of fascinating experience when you get stuck standing or are not sitting in a front facing position I can only call the air hump. It’s the constant gas to brake ratio that literally makes you look like you’re having sex with the air. It is an annoying feeling to have to spend 45 minutes humping the air in front of you and is especially creepy if it’s a crowded bus.
- People who ride Muni now are rude. I was yelled at a week ago by a girl because in trying to see if I could get 3G access on the Metro [you can’t except for Castro station or BART] I held up my phone in a somewhat vertical manner and she yelled at me to not take a picture of her. I really didn’t have an interest in taking a picture of her and if I really did I would have used a decent line and asked her so she’d remember me. So now I am a dirty old man for holding up my phone on the Metro. Also most people on Muni have a frown on their face.
- The buses and Metro generally need work on them. This is something that’s been mentioned in numerous articles before, but part of the bad driving by people is because the buses are older and need work. I’m sure this would help with the air humping action as well as the frowns on everyone’s face.
- The Clipper Card is still a mystery. When I have it filled and tap it, it sometimes beeps once or sometimes twice. I have no idea what either one means and there was one time when I got on and tapped it and it turned out it wasn’t loaded, but no one seemed to care until I tried to transfer and they were checking the cards. I will continue to claim that I didn’t know if they check my card on any bus trip and I figure that should go over well because they need a machine to tell whether or not your card is valid and there’s nothing that tells you whether it’s valid or not.
If my family had two cars this wouldn’t be a problem as parking where I work is easy. Hell, it’s even free for me, but I can’t leave my wife without a car for the better part of day because she starts to get cabin fever after a couple of days. What would be the best for me was if I could just spend all my time in the Sunset and only have to run out of the house for little trips around the neighborhood, but you know, like all of you, we need jobs to work and there ain’t no one looking for web designers and code monkeys in the Sunset…yet. If you are, contact me immediately.
This one has been on my mind for some time and after checking the route of the 66 Quintara bus. I think it’s time to put it out of commission. It is the shortest bus route beating the old winner the 37 Corbett and runs from 30th and Vicente to 9th and Judah now. If you need to get anywhere along that route there are other buses that can serve the need in a better way.
There was talk some time ago of making the 48 Quintara run all day and not just during rush hours which I have been in favor of since I first heard it. I have to note that I do live on a street where the 48 Quintara stops at my corner, but the 66 Quintara is only a couple of blocks away and I have had a reason to ride it in over 30 years. When I do see the 66 there’s hardly anyone on it in either direction so it’s not filling a need for riders. It used to have a longer run and my Grandmother who used to work as the secretary to the Dean of Medicine at UCSF used to take it to get to work every day. When I was a kid I used to take it with her to go to the swimming and trampoline lessons I was taking at UCSF, but it doesn’t go that far anymore. I believe it used to run down Parnassus and then somehow mysteriously continued to downtown, but it’s been so long I can’t remember anymore.
I’ve ridden the 48 to get the West Portal and have even had to ride it down to the Mission a few times. It’s interesting how it will be packed until West Portal and then it empties out [except for the few kids staying on to go to McAteer High School] and stays empty until you start to get close to 24th Street when all the Mission hipsters get on and most dump out at 24th and Mission. This is a well used route that could use more service. Work is no longer a 9-5 sort of thing. My last two jobs I would sometimes have to go in at 10-12 to start work so I’d have to walk down to Taraval and hop on the L. Granted four blocks isn’t a lot [it’s actually equal to .32 miles], but the 48 is one of the most ruthlessly on time buses coming every 10 minutes with very little variance. I can get down to 4th & Mission in about a half hour for a bus in San Francisco, that’s impressive.
The 66 has done it’s time, but I think it’s time to move those drivers over to the 48 line and lay the 66 to rest and make the 48 full time, or maybe they could move a couple of drivers over the 29 Sunset so that you don’t have to wait a half hour during rush hour to get one.