We return again for an installment of this ofttimes confusing feature, in which we ask those ensconced too cozily in your SF bubbles to take a step back, summon your inner C.W. Nevius, and try to understand why some folks just don't appreciate the way we do things here — if for nothing else than to enjoy an ironic chuckle at our own expense. If all of this seems too difficult, please refer to our other recurring feature, 7 Reasons to Love San Francisco, and be on your merry way.
This week's edition: Our ultra-unreliable, intracity public transit system known as Muni
It's a question asked by newcomers and longtime residents alike: Why can a world-class city such as ours not have a public transit system that gets us from A to B without constant heartache and strife? It's a vexing question, given our inferiority complex in re: New York City, and when one finds oneself stuck in the tunnel between Church and Van Ness for, oh, twenty minutes or more, one might find oneself even fantasizing about living in less awesome places, like Washington D.C., or even Boston, because they have metro systems that at least on the surface don't appear to make their residents want to kill themselves on a regular basis.
As Dave Snyder of the San Francisco Transit Riders Union recently told the Examiner, "There are [transit] agencies all over the world that have more passengers and that ride on street level and have a much better on-time performance rate than Muni.” Also, Muni has not managed to reach the 85% on-time performance mandated by voters in a 1999 referendum, and last year saw a spate of delays on the Muni metro caused by a variety of factors, some of which just have to do with maintenance of the trains, but some of which point to a system that isn't so competently run.
I mean, what does it tell you when even homeless people don't want to ride the thing?