Mayor Wants Muni to Improve, but Won't Ride it to Work

By Matt Baume
|  Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
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Mayor Wants Muni to Improve, but Won't Ride it to Work

Charles Haynes

A sexual predator is lurking on crowded Muni trains, giving new meaning to "the daily grind."

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As San Francisco's new mayor, Ed Lee has been examining his options for getting to work. But one vehicle that hasn't gotten a mention: a Muni bus.

If it seems like you're waiting hours for Muni, it's not your imagination. In one recent case, riders were stranded near the ocean for over two hours. Muni's own service reports show line delays of over an hour several times a week.

So it might be no surprise that Lee's omitted any mention of riding Muni to work, instead favoring cars. Currently, he drives a natural gas vehicle, though it's in the shop at the moment. In the mean time, he's been uncomfortably riding Gavin's gigantic old SUV.

Lee went even further, calling Muni "embarrassing" earlier this week. He said that he wanted Muni to reach service levels comparable to that of transit in other cities.

He also claimed, "on-time performance has been the highest it's ever been in years." Actually, Muni's on-time rate decreased in the most recent quarter. Buses run at about 7 miles per hour, slightly slower than the average speed in 1912 when the first Muni line was founded.

Problems continue to plague the agency, with a series of repeated derailments just last week.

Nevertheless, Muni employees have recently clamored for perks, including amnesty on at-work parking tickets. The city was set to charge Muni employees the same rate as any other San Franciscan for parking their cars at work, but a last-minute delay will allow them to continue avoiding fines for parking without a permit on the job.

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