Muni Grilled Over Passenger-Dumps

By Matt Baume
|  Sunday, Jan 16, 2011  |  Updated 6:15 AM PDT
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Muni Grilled Over Passenger-Dumps

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom rides Muni.

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Muni riders aren't entitled to ride the trains all the way home, Muni bosses told an exasperated Board of Supervisors this week.

For years, residents of the Outer Sunset and Excelsior have complained about "switch-backs," a practice whereby Muni will halt the trains halfway to the beach and turn them around, leaving riders stranded.

Despite the unpredictable service, Muni remains an attractive option for many residents. A new study by the American Public Transportation Association indicates you can save around ten thousand dollars a year by ditching you car and riding Muni.

Supervisors Chu and Avalos summoned Muni's operations chief John Haley to explain the process, but he did little to calm passengers' frustration, according to the Gate.

Haley explained that the switchbacks are necessary because Muni can't keep to its schedule. Cutting runs short is the only way to play catchup, unless Muni can find a way to reduce delays.

Reducing those delays is probably the key to ending switchbacks, but they have a variety of causes: equipment breakdown due to deferred maintenance, double-parkers blocking train tracks, and heavy use in the downtown corridor.

Conducting repairs, enforcing parking controls, and providing more service downtown would all be expensive solutions. So until Muni can secure more cash, you might want to invest in a bicycle.

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