Yes It’s Public, But Transportation It Ain’t

San Francisco’s public transportation system leaves much to be desired. This is not really news to anyone who has to take it everyday, since it is fraught with delays, annoyances, and just overall lackingness.
This was heavily evidenced to me today as I was trying to get from Powell Street to 2nd & Brannan. The most direct route is to take the Muni Train. Seems like that would make sense, due to the fact it’s a Point A to Point B ride. Well, that works in theory, but in practive the problem is that they have the N Judah train go between tehse two stations. The N Judah line (and conversely the L Taraval) is a line that is just plain, flat out terrible due to the fact it is above ground for so long and runs such a huge distance out to the Sunset district. Why the hell this is the line that is running this new stretch is beyond me, but what I do know is that I had to wait about 25 minutes before a train finally came. But, to add insult to injury two more trains behind that one were there as well.
What’s funny about all this (and I mean that in the most sarcastic tone possible) is that I asked a station agent if there was a problem with the N Judah line, to which she told me there wasn’t. Apparently if the line is running at all, that counts as a success in their book, since if there are three trains backed up behind each other, there is a problem!
Hopefully, once the Third Street extension gets completed down to Bay Point, they’ll start up a new line for that, so that it can run as off time as it would like and the systemwide slowness that Muni is known for can me more evenly distrbiuted for a gentle, constant annoyance as opposed to a harsh screaming pain in the ass.
The buses may seem like they run a bit better, but they are completely illogical sometimes as well. Such as today, I was treated to sitting on a #3 bus to go up Sutter Street for about 15 minutes. The bus did nothing, it just sat there. That’s fine if there’s some schedule they’re keeping and they don’t want to run too many buses, but then a #2 bus (whcih runs nearly the same route) came up behind us and left before us. I don’t get it. I simply don’t get it.
I assume that there are just too many layers of bureaucracy at Muni and that’s probably why it runs like hell. The whole system needs a massive overall, because unless I’m going from one side of San Francisco to the other, walking is almost always faster and I can save my $1.25 fare (oh yeah, recent 25% price increase for our convenience. Blah!)