When My Headache Burns

Cap’n Raspberry and I were waiting for the MUNI tonight in Castro station, eating tasties from Hot Cookie and talking about nothing in particular, when they forced us to walk to the other track to catch the Castro Shuttle, because MUNI is doing work on the lines at night…some sort of constant upgrade thing. This is only a small symptom of the general MUNI/Metro chaos, let me assure you…earlier today, I sat in the tunnel between Van Ness and Civic Center for half an hour with no explanation. And the lights in the train went off. Did I mention it’s really dark in the metro tunnels? Because it is.

Now, here’s my question: San Francisco has a population of about 800,000, right?

Do you think it might be in any way possible that some of those 800,000 people might want to take MUNI between Castro and West Portal after 9pm? Because MUNI doesn’t, apparently.

The Castro shuttle is part of a larger issue: they are shutting down the tracks entirely between Castro and West Portal after 9pm, and running a single track shuttle from Castro to Embarcadero, but only until 1am.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you need to get from San Francisco State to Treasure Island after your class gets out at 9:30, like Puff does.

First, you board an M at State.

Then, you get off at West Portal and get onto a Metro Shuttle, which you take to Castro.

Then, you take a Castro Shuttle to Embarcadero.

Then, you walk to the Transbay and take the 108.

Total traveling time? 1:45.

Insanity, I tell you.

I don’t understand why MUNI can’t keep the Metro open another hour, until 10pm—it would make such a huge difference in general satisfaction levels of the usually disgruntled populace. A hell of a lot of folks live in San Francisco, and a lot of us also use public transit, either because don’t have cars or don’t want to use them. When the public transit sucks, it forces people to buy cars, which clogs the streets and causes unhappiness for all.

It’s also a huge pain in the ass for me to get around at night now, thanks to the constant fussing with the Metro. The other night I ended up just catching an F, because I thought it would be more simple, and arriving home at some ungodly hour rumpled like a newspaper. The city does not die at night: if MUNI was reliably open, or had 24 hour service, I think the economy in San Francisco in general might improve, with more restless youth out, ready to buy things, in the wee hours. Even at three am, Market Street is alive, and would be even more so with more night transit options.

Right now, if I wanted to go into the City, I would have to stand in the cold until 2:16 to wait for the 108, assuming it was running vaguely on time. I’ve had to sit for an hour or more waiting for an owl bus, though. No good, I tell you.

MUNI, you are directly affecting my quality of life.

Stop it, I tell you. For the love of Pete.