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Friday, July 13, 2012

"Muni Minute" Doesn't Apply to Muni Board Meetings

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Apparently, you don't need a Tardis to bend time. But it's probably more sanitary than Muni.
  • Apparently, you don't need a Tardis to bend time. But it's probably more sanitary than Muni.
Apparently, you don't need a Tardis to bend time. But it's probably more sanitary than Muni.

Many a San Franciscan waiting eons for a Muni bus or train that was scheduled to arrive within five minutes has marveled at our public transit agency's ability to alter time and space. Now, however, the Bay Citizen has revealed that, in the most basic way, Muni really did alter time, if not space. Vehicles arriving up to four minutes and 59 seconds late were counted as being only four minutes late -- "on time" by Muni's definition.

This has led to the coining of the term "the Muni Minute." It remains to be seen how Muni will redefine terms such as "clean" or "full stop." We've already seen an intriguing definition of the term "maintenance."

Muni is selective in its use of the "Muni Minute," however. Speakers at Municipal Transportation Agency Board meetings, for example, are given two minutes to say their piece. SF Weekly called up the Board to ask if that's two minutes, or two minutes and 59 seconds.

Board member Christina Rubke laughed. But, turning serious, she noted that, yes, when it comes to people speaking during public comment, two minutes is two minutes.

Muni officials, meanwhile, have downplayed the revelation that their records have been padded -- which led to on-time rates some 18 percent better than what you'd expect without "quirks."

Muni hopes to move to a "headway"-based system in the coming months, which would emphasize vehicles arriving at regular intervals rather than at preordained times. Perhaps the same can be adopted for MTA Board meetings. Speakers can "arrive" every several minutes, regularly, rather than simply speaking at a prescheduled time.

One thing's for certain: Speakers will show up. And they will be irate. That's the most reliable offering Muni's got going.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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