Today's cover story is about Muni's broken vehicles and the broken system that leads mechanics to "fix" them with plastic bags, duct tape, and rubber bands.
The rolling symbol of Muni's long-term neglect of maintenance needs is Coach No. 5427, which has been motoring through city streets since at least April 2011 with rooftop wires wrapped in black plastic bags or liners held in place with zipties.
SF Weekly has learned that Coach 5427 went out on its normal runs this morning, serving on the 24-Divisidero route. About 10 a.m., however, it diverted off its scheduled course and motored to the Potrero bus yard. Whether the jury-rigged application atop this bus that has passed Muni muster every day for more than a year will be addressed is unknown.
Finally, if today's cover story left any of you wanting even more statistics regarding public transit -- and Muni's somewhat dubious performance when stacked alongside other large agencies -- see below:
Los Angeles Municipal Transportation Agency:
Mean Distance Between Failures (miles between breakdowns, essentially):
Bus: 3,727 miles.
Light-Rail Vehicles: 17,926 miles.
Vehicle count: 2,417 buses, 270 overall rail vehicles.
Maintenance staff: Diesel -- 841 mechanics, 401 attendants, 78 body repair workers.
Rail -- 207 mechanics, 92 attendants.
Mean Distance Between Failures: 4,665 miles.
Vehicle count: 585 buses.
Maintenance staff: 143 mechanics, 75 service employees.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
Mean Distance Between Failures:
Diesel/Hybrid buses: 9,842 miles; Electric buses: 19,121 miles.
Rail -- City Trolley: 7,645 miles; Suburban Trolley: 43,730 miles
Vehicle count: 908 rail cars (388 commuter rail; 335 subway/elevated; 159 trolley/light rail; 26 high-speed rail); 1,583 diesel/hybrid buses; 38 electric buses.
Maintenance staff: 857 bus mechanics. 901 rail mechanics