As any regular rider knows, Muni does a lot to earn its status as the least reliable major transit system in America. For many of its 300,000 daily riders, the one thing that makes it workable is real-time arrival information accessed via websites, mobile apps, or NextBus displays at transit stops. But soon after the new year arrived, the system started showing wildly inaccurate information.
A recent story that violated good journalistic practices led to new calls to cut funding for California High-Speed Rail. I broke down the story’s sources. I asked media watchdogs to weigh in. And I talked to the reporter behind the problematic coverage.
It’s easy to spot Rick Griffith around town. The Denver-based graphic artist — with the scholarly spectacles, punk-rock roots and hair that soars like lightning bolts from the sides of an otherwise bald head — is a regular at local museums and coffeehouses where he often holds court with the city’s most arty crowds.
Muni will carry 700,000 riders today, ranking it as the most heavily traveled transit system in the Bay Area. But as you read this, many buses and trains are at a standstill. They’re stopped as people fumble with dollar bills and coins to pay the fare, needlessly creating delays that our lurching transit system can’t afford. There are many ideas to speed up Muni, but one stands out as incredibly cheap and easy: offer a discount as an incentive for paying electronically rather than with cash.