Riders Rolling with Muni's Punches

Categories: Public Transit

crowded 30.JPG
Taylor Friedman
Sure, the 30 is crowded. But everyone's too busy listening to their iPod to complain.
​People love to bitch about Muni. You very rarely hear anyone mention their joyous -- or even normal -- ride to work. That's because Muni is a collective complaint; the bond that ties us together.

Imagine the masked joy people experienced on May 8, when Muni's overall services were reduced by 10 percent. For those who relish complaining about Muni, this was a gold mine.

On that date, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency scaled back the frequency of its bus and rail routes in order to close its beast of a budget gap. The slash is expected to save about $28.5 million -- although county funds and potential concessions by the drivers' union could scale back the scaling back.

And yet, on several recent Muni journeys around the city, we had a hell of a time finding riders eager to bitch about how much worse things are now than prior to May 8. Muni riders are accustomed to delays and standing on top of each other. What's 10 extra minutes every now and then, many asked.

William on bus.jpg
Taylor Friedman
Muni service cuts have added to William's Twittering time
​"It's always happened. It's just more often now," Andrea Fox told us on the N-Judah.

For William M., the 30-Stockton has and always will be the "Dirty 30." Even before May, the 30 was packed with commuters from the Marina heading toward Downtown and people migrating from Chinatown to Market Street.

"I would much rather tolerate this than drive in traffic," he said. "Plus, it's good for my Twitter."

Saad on bus.JPG
Taylor Friedman
Saad Abbas is loath to complain much about Muni -- making him a rare find
​Saad Abbas was taking the 30 at 8 a.m. to the City College of San Francisco. Though he said he has noticed things slow down at night, the longest he waits for Muni is 15 to 20 minutes. "I'm glad we have this system. I get by," he said.

Ai Karobe, 26, who takes the 38-Geary every day, said she offsets what would be a long wait by checking NextBus and planning accordingly. Karobe was only aware that changes had occurred because of announcements posted in the buses.

"It's always bad," she said, smiling.

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