So I went to the library again yesterday. For those of you who have not caught this, I read a lot. I am, however, limited by my physical ability to carry books on MUNI, so I go to the library about twice a week to drop off one batch and pick up a new one. As a side note, I really wish people would not read library books while smoking, applying cologne, eating stinky food, examining dead bodies, vomiting, urinating, or bleeding, because I can smell/see many substances related to these activities on an alarming number of library books. I have, however, learned caution…which is why if you happened to be in the San Francisco Public Library and you noticed some odd woman sniffing books…well, that was me, sniffing books. Because the last batch I got contained one that smelled so bad that I couldn’t even read it. And yes, I did complain to the librarian when I returned it, and she sympathized, because it smelled awful.
So anyway, on the way back, I decided to be charitable and give the Metro a shot. I usually take BART, because it’s faster, cleaner, and less, well, stinky, but I thought, what the heck, ought to have the Metro organized by now, right? Also, the goddamn BART machines shock me every time I go out, and it’s starting to piss me off.
Can someone please explain why BART turnstiles shock me? Thank you.
So I went down to the Metro, which informed me that there was an Inbound T in three minutes, an N in four, an N in seven, a J in 10…etc. To my surprised, right as I came down the stairs, a one car T was pulling in, while the sign still said that there was an incoming T in 3 minutes. Despite being somewhat confused, because of the whole lack of information on the overhead boards about it, I hopped on…to the ghost train!
We duly stopped at Powell to disgorge some passengers and pick up a few mall rats, and then we trundled down the tunnel to stop at Montgomery, where a businessman who felt obliged to spread his crotch in my face got on. And groaned. Did I mention the groaning? Because I was nose deep in Over There and then I saw this looming crotch, and groaning.
Then, we set off for Embarcadero.
“Next stop, Embarcadro,” the overhead speaker said. The businessman grunted, and I checked my phone. 4:07. Sweet, I thought if I hoof it when we get to Embarcadero, I can catch the 4:15 108.
Suddenly, the train lurched to a stop. I didn’t think we were there already, but I peered out the window just in case, heart brimming with hope and then a sudden icy cold fear. Nope, seeing tunnel. I went back to reading when the train lurched forward again, and then stopped. We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, but was really only about 10 minutes. I know because I checked my phone and muttered “damnit.”
We continued with this delicate waltz for another 10 minutes, inching forward, stopping, inching forward, until suddenly I could see the platform, the edge of it, and I thought that maybe if the train would just get a few feet further down I could run and grab the 4:30 bus, when the train stopped again, and sat there. And sat there. And sat there. We turned and peered restlessly to no avail. I expectantly bookmarked my book, nothing doing.
Finally, the train crept along the platform to let us out, and I raced up the stairs to Fremont Street. On the way, I was flyered, despite my best efforts, and I shoved the flyer into my bag to look at later. Peering down Market, I saw that it was now 4:35, I had missed two 108s while sitting in the tunnel, and I had a leisurely 10 minutes to make my way to the Transbay.
10 minutes later, sitting on an on-time 108, which is more rare than a unicorn, I pulled the crumpled flyer out of my bag.
“Honor Our Contract: Is that too much to ask?”
Indeed, I think it is. While I understand that the shitty operations of MUNI are not the fault of the employees on the ground…when you’ve just spent close to thirty minutes trapped underground within feet of a station, you do not take amenably to flyering. Also, the flyer had no website or further information about the terms of said contract, and it also didn’t tell me what I should do if I thought that a contract needed to be honored. Some sleuthing turned up a website for Transport Workers Union Local 200, but it didn’t have much information either.
Two tops for the MUNI flyer people:
1. Do not flyer during rush hour. You seem pathologically incapable of running an on time train system between about three and seven, and infuriated commuters are going to start shoving your flyers in unsavory places.
2. More information, people! This is the digital age, perhaps you’ve heard of it. Set up a damn website.
As for me, I am staying far, far away from the Metro at all costs until they get their shit together. The surface buses are decent, and for everything else, there’s BART. I can see why MUNI is getting a failing grade, because I’d rather chew dessicated durians than take the Metro every day.