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Muni offering free rides for its 100th anniversary

Friday, December 28, 2012
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San Franciscans are being taken for a ride on Muni today, for free, to celebrate the transit line's 100th birthday. Although, if officials are hoping the free rides will silence critics, they should think again. Many riders say that what the agency really needs to do as it moves forward is simply get it together and run its trains on time. The good news is that Muni's birthday wish for itself is the very same thing.

Hop on a Muni train, Muni bus, or a cable car for that matter and it won't cost you a dime, dollar or anything. Happy birthday from Muni, a system some love. "I've been a lot of places and I think Muni's one of the greatest transportation lines," rider Alma Damo said.

But it's also a system some don't love, even on its special day. "It's probably time to get more mature and get serious about getting me places on time," said rider Roxanne Rust, adding that even at 100-years-old, the agency is not mature enough because "If it was, I'd be on time to work, every day."

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"Not good. It's really unreliable. I think, my opinion, it's rare that it's ever on time," said rider Michael Reyes.

"I agree with them," Muni Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin told ABC7 News. He's a sometimes frustrated Muni rider himself, but as he looks down the road, track, or even the floor level of a train, he sees a much better second hundred years for Muni.

"The MTA board this past year approved a pretty significant investment in the maintenance of the system. We're buying some new buses, overhauling some of these light rail vehicles, hiring more mechanics, hiring more operators, so I think we'll start seeing an improvement in the on-time performance," he said.

That would be welcome news for Muni's 700,000 weekday riders even though for some people, the old gal isn't too bad as it is. "Most of the time, everything works pretty well. I'm just happy it's continuing to work," rider Bill Quinn said.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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muni, transportation, travel, san francisco news, terry mcsweeney
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