"Akit is the man. He knows Clipper." (spenta)
"It’s a fantastic blog for any San Franciscan."
"Your blog is always on point, and well researched!" (Nina Decker)
"Everyone's favorite volunteer public policy consultant..." (Eve Batey, SF Appeal)
"You are doing a great job keeping on top of Translink stuff. Keep up the good work!"
(Greg Dewar, N Judah Chronicles)
"...I don't even bother subscribing anywhere else for my local public transportation info. You have it all..."
(Empowered Follower)
"If anyone at City Hall wants to make public transit better for all San Franciscans, it would be wise to follow Akit religiously...
or, better yet, give him a job."
(Brock Keeling, SFist)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

TransLink FAIL on BART: Not Available for Today

UPDATE: It now works.

Today has to be the worst day to have TransLink go down for one of the most important transit services to handle the New Years Eve and post "ball drop" crowds... BART.

There is word that TransLink is not accepted on BART today (verified by 511, TransLink, and BART), and the software fixing cannot begin until BART closes down service for the night.

What does this mean for you? You will have to purchase a regular BART ticket at the station, but remember to buy a round-trip ticket so you don't have to wait in a long line to purchase one for the ride home.

There could be a number of reasons why the failure happened, and these are just a bunch of guesses:
  • The software originally written for the gates was set to automatically expire.
  • A type of Y2K style software problem? This happened to some European trains and they simply moved the year back to 1990.
  • The New Year's "Flash Pass" program is cancelled this year, but it makes it even worse to have a dead TransLink program at the same time.
  • In the pursuit of fame, BART's James Fang wants to kill TransLink so he can keep promoting his cell phone payment program... um... $350,000 of your taxpayer money wasted versus a program already set-up (TransLink) and used on three transit systems.
The TransLink management board will likely talk about this incident, and I'll report back on what happened once the details are released.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Your Muni fare hike is paying: $3,000 bonuses to Operators. Try complaining to the Board, nope!

Everyone knows by now... Muni is a total piece of garbage and is way underfunded. They cut services, raise the cash fare, and raise our pass prices to up to $70 a month? This is a "transit first city" Newsom?

But wait... there's more! KPIX reports that all Muni operators just received a $3,000 bonus from the agency. The report shows that in three years, the agency has paid $18 million in bonuses (or if you were to break it down, it would be $6 million per year).

Really? $3,000 bonus for an agency with 25% absent rate for work on Christmas eve? I work for SF State and my salary doesn't include any bonus; just a nice thank you from my supervisors for a job well done.

OK, so the public is angry about our agency going wild; what can we do about it?

Well... nothing much. It's perfect timing for Muni to hand out $3,000 bonus checks because both the Board of Supervisors AND SFMTA board are on RECESS. The next BOS meeting is on January 5th and the SFMTA board schedule is not even posted for 2010 (hell, they didn't have a meeting since December 7th).

Citizens of San Francisco and the Bay Area who rides Muni, it is time to REVOLT. Demand the resignation of Mayor Newsom, SFMTA Chief Nat Ford, and union leader Irwin Lum.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009: A Year in Review at Akit's Complaint Department

2009 has been a great year here at Akit's Complaint Department. When comparing last year to this year, I've posted over 100 more blog entries than last year (maybe because my thesis took a lot of time in 2008).

A lot of blog entries targeted Muni for all the troubling antics the public is so ticked-off about while others targeted the TransLink card program on its development to a major program. I'm also proud that some of my blog entries has changed public policy and defends the people from the broken SF public government system.

And of course... to my readership: Thank you for your continued loyalty. I am truly honored to have my blog being read on your own personal and work computers.

As an anonymous reader said to me: "the squeaky wheel gets heard!" I will continue to squeak the wheels as the watchdog will keep an eye on our city.

Let's sum-up 2009!

  • TransLink releases their first survey to people who signed-up for the SFMTA/Muni trials.
  • After making some demands to TransLink and Muni to confirm people who signed-up for the testing program, the agencies release an official letter from SFMTA Chief Nat Ford to confirm our participation.
  • Concert organizers releases the schedule for the 2009 OutsideLands festival. I wasn't happy.
  • An unofficial TransLink card party is organized. The party was a success and demonstrated the program as easy to use and reliable (a great marketing tool too!).
  • Rumors were flying around about a Muni fare hike to $2.
  • The President's Cup brings another world of hell to our city and the folks of SF State. My information is better and more reliable than our city agencies. Info guide, updates (day 1, 2, and 3-6).
  • Halloween in the Castro killed-off again.
  • Muni hitting rock bottom? Actually... I think they can sink further.
  • Advice for rookies riding BART during the Bay Bridge closure.

Happy holidays everyone! Let's sing songs!

Dashing through the bags,
on the most crowded bus in town.

Hearing the driver yell,
"get off the stairs or this bus is going to hell!"

Live chicken in the bag,
Ladies clipping their fingers.

Oh what fun it is to ride and smell the stinky bus tonight...
Oh 30-Stockton, 30-Stockton!

P.S. Sorry for not posting in over a week, I've been out of commission with a cold and I'm almost back to 100% health.

Friday, December 11, 2009

TransLink to be Renamed "Clipper"

Today is the TransLink management group meeting at the MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) headquarters at 1PM and a piece of new information was released a few days ago as part of today's agenda.

The Executive Director, Steve Heminger wrote a memorandum to the TransLink management group of changing the name of TransLink to something more unique. Mr. Heminger asked his MTC staff of what name should be used, and they recommended to the TransLink managers to call the program "Clipper" and suggests to transition to this new name in mid-2010.

The reason why the MTC suggested "Clipper" is because the name TransLink is used by transit agencies around the world, including Australia, Northern Ireland, British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), and England. For our electronic pass system to be unique, it requires a unique name that doesn't confuse people that our program is different than others around the world.

Another reason why "Clipper" was chosen is due to San Francisco's maritime history with clipper ships, and is currently a popular attraction to view historical ships around the Wharf.

The TransLink management group will view the new logos and the MTC "will recommend approval to the MTC's Operations Committee of both the new name and a change order..."

To view the memorandum of the brand name change, click here (PDF document).


Here's some updated information on what TransLink staff will present to the management today. This contains the useful information that I've taken a look at:
  1. TransLink has successfully automated the web based add value process to have all requests processed within 24-hours, and also automated the history report process.
  2. Samtrans installation of Translink is nearly completed.
  3. TransLink has put out a proposal to upgrade the memory on existing equipment on vehicles, however I've already noticed upgrades on Muni's vehicles (there's a white sticker on the right side of the readers).
  4. Muni and TransLink is considering placing the new pilot program for seniors and disabled customers who are allowed to access BART for the price of a fast pass, as well as the lifeline program on the TransLink card.
  5. Approximately 90 Muni vehicles will need some re-work. While no details are provided, it looks like it could be equipment or wiring causing problems.
The most interesting news is that Golden Gate Ferry is considering to purchase automated gate equipment with TransLink technology to automate the process to board ferries. Basically, their plan is to remove staff from taking tickets and possibly selling tickets, and take advantage of automated gates to only accept TransLink and "limited use" cards for entry to the waiting area. Other ferry agencies around the nation does similar programs where the gate accurately counts how many people are to board the ferry and locks the gates when it reaches maximum capacity.

For more information about the meeting today and all the documents, click here for the agenda.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Muni Metro - Nobody Likes You

This has gone beyond belief to hear about another problem with Muni Metro. Let's get our shotgun and put this out of its misery.

As the news reports have mentioned (SFGate, SF Appeal, and SFist): Last night, the overhead wire somewhere near Van Ness station fell down and caused a huge shutdown of Muni Metro service within the subway portions. This caused a major hardship to passengers now being forced to rely on inadequate shuttle buses packed to the gills and existing bus lines crammed with people for alternatives to get back home.

But what makes this entire problem even worse, the first word of this came from the Twitter users, but there was no official notice of a big problem until HOURS LATER by 511's website and 311's twitter.

Doesn't this agency understand that failing to tell the public will result in angry customers? Who in their right mind would ever ride the metro ever again after this bullshit? It's every single damn day there's something going wrong, and sure as hell, people are riding the buses more often because at least if one breaks down, another one can come by. But wait... Muni cut some bus lines or reduced service.

"Transit first city" my ass.


It is starting to become a new trend, when Muni doesn't feel like telling the general public that there's a problem or some type of change coming soon.

Remember the fast pass hike? I exposed Muni for not giving the public with ample time and they fessed-up by posting up the new pass changes the next day.

How about the time I exposed Muni for not putting-up the schedules and the interactive maps when the route changes were just a week away? Yeah, caught them again.

Get with the program Muni. The public distrusts you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Catching the Muni Bus Illegally Should Not be Rewarded

I believe that if you attempt to catch a public transit bus or train and risk your own life doing so (an act considered against the law), you should not be rewarded with the driver opening the doors and letting you in; instead, the driver should just refuse to let the passenger board.

I noticed this twice in a five minute window during today's commute. One was "rewarded" while the other one was refused service:
  • At 36th and Geary, two people ran and crossed against the red light while the driver had her doors closed and was one second from moving the bus (since she had the green light). The driver let the passengers board.
  • At 33rd and Geary, a lady jaywalked across the street to catch a fast approaching bus less than 100 feet away and stood in the lane waiving her hands like a madman, and the bus passed her because that corner was not a bus stop; the driver also had to weave around her because she was standing in the lane. I even yelled at the lady, "ARE YOU CRAZY? Doing that is like committing suicide!"
In other instances, I've witnessed passengers transfer from bus to train by crossing the street diagonally, simply because the train was there to pick-up passengers.

There should be an official policy with public transit agencies, if you risk your own life or commit an illegal act in an attempt to catch a bus or train, you should never be rewarded with a ride on that vehicle and be refused service.

What's more important? Risking your own life to catch a bus or getting to your destination safely?

Plus, get out of your house EARLIER!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Akit's San Francisco Holiday Songs

With the holidays just around the bend, it's time to sing some holiday carols!

Here's one with our Mayor, Gavin Newsom.
Newsom the media walk away-er, didn't like Hank Plante's news.

Then he got all pissy on camera,
yelling out that "this interview blows."

All of the other media, laughed and called him names,
they never let poor Newsom run away from his pains.

Then one foggy San Francisco day,
Hank Plante came to say...

Newsom with your hair so greasy, why not get an interview tonight?

Then all the media loved him,
and he answered his questions with glee.

Newsom the media walk away-er, went down in history (and didn't become Governor!).

Ahh, the 10 days of Muni:
  • 10 broken down buses.
  • 9 overpaid inspectors.
  • 8 fare evasion citations.
  • 7 buses smell like asses.
  • 6 windows with graffiti.
  • 5 clipping nails!
  • 4 Sutter is gone.
  • 3 accidents.
  • 2 stabbings.
  • and an agency that is over $100 million in the red.

Always a classic... Jingle Bells!
Jingle bells, Muni smells, Nat Ford cuts our service.
Higher meter rates,
and no parking ticket breaks,
This city is going to hell, hey!

Another Jingle Bells classic!
Dashing through the bags,
on the most crowded bus in town.

Hearing the driver yell,
"get off the stairs or this bus is going to hell!"

Live chicken in the bag,
Ladies clipping their fingers.

Oh what fun it is to ride and smell the stinky bus tonight...
Oh 30-Stockton, 30-Stockton!

Friday, December 4, 2009

On the "Last Ride" for the 18-46th Avenue

It's tough to say goodbye to the 18-46th Avenue's route that serves Geary, Point Lobos, the Cliff House, and a small portion of La Playa.

Today is the last day of service for this segment before it is re-routed to take over the 38-Geary Ocean Beach branch segment from 33rd/Geary to the Ocean Beach terminal. This will make it more challenging for me to catch this bus line that goes directly to my workplace at SF State as I have to walk the notorious steep hills between Balboa and Geary.

Today's "last ride" did not have my usual driver (actually, I haven't seen her in a week), and one of those orange vested SFMTA "ambassadors" was on the bus as well to remind people of the deleted segment starting tomorrow.

Even more interesting is the buses had their automated announcements fixed. The bus announced every single stop, but only the street names. The modified announcements did not mention any major attractions/locations like this one: "Lake Merced and Font; San Francisco State University" or mentioning the SF Zoo.

Even more amusing is listening to the announcements that mentioned that the bus line will be modified and service hours reduced in three different languages, but also noticing that it kept getting cut-off every time because the stop announcements had priority over these reminders.

Read my obit-lette for the 18-46th Avenue and 38-Geary Ocean Beach branch on Muni Diaries.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Muni Meltdown II Coming this Monday

Yes, everyone knows by now that Muni will be do some major changes to their routes starting this Saturday, and everyone knows that the online trip planners are ready for these changes.

But let's get right to the point folks, Monday will be a world of hell, welcome to...
(or is it meltdown XXVIII?)

Since not everyone rides Muni on Saturdays and Sundays, Monday's commute will be the big stress test for the agency if it will go down in history for being worthy or a huge failure.

But... there's already big failures for the SFMTA with these upcoming changes:
  1. Not every bus stop has their yellow colored notice posted about their bus line or segment being cut. In particular, I noticed the 88-BART Shuttle stops on Lake Merced and John Muir Drive without any signage.
  2. There's word from SF Streetsblog that Muni will have a huge mid-year deficit in the millions.
  3. Muni didn't print enough of those pamphlets about all the route changes. Damn that is a thick pamphlet to carry around.
  4. Muni and 511 did not publish a new time schedule for all their buses starting 12/5/09. Instead, we are required to depend on the "trip planner" programs available.
  5. Don't forget, Muni is going to force you to cram another $5 to $15 on an adult fast pass in less than a month.

Remember folks, we are paying more for even worse service.
  • Don't believe the city government saying these service changes are to improve their efficiency. That's a load of bullshit. Cutting a bus line simply means cramming all those passengers to another bus line that's already full of people.
  • Gavin Newsom's dream is to have a "transit first" city; if you re-route or cut service to many lines and just increase frequency on just a few of them, PLUS increase fares and passes, AND massive deferred maintenance, how in the hell are we turning into a "transit first" city after December 5th?
We need to start organizing and fighting back. This is OUR public transit agency that is being destroyed by a bunch of idiots fresh from the insane asylum. Just see how angry I got when I published my 20 demands to fix Muni.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

UPDATE: 511 Trip Planner Ready for Muni Service Changes, but no Published Schedules

San Francisco Bay Area's 511 announcements section now reports that Muni's service schedule changes effective December 5, 2009 can now be used on the 511 "trip planner."

This is a step forward for 511, although Google Maps was able to implement the service changes a few days earlier.

One serious flaw with 511 and Muni is there are no published time schedules of the revised schedule and route changes on the 511 website (only the pre 12/5/09 schedules are posted). Muni's website refers all website visitors who wishes to review the time schedules to go directly to the 511 website for information.

Cool tip: to get a route schedule, enter the web address: http://www.sfmta.com/ and type in the line number. For example: http://www.sfmta.com/38L

If you ride on a bus line that does not run frequent service, a published time schedule is necessary to assure you do not wait at a bus stop for a long time.

While I take the bus to work at the same time, my return ride home depends on what time I leave work, and a printed published schedule in my coat pocket helps me plan if I should stay in my warm office or start walking to the stop.

Why did Muni Plan to Change the 9X to the 8X?

Today's question: Muni's plans to change the 9X-Bayshore Express, 9AX-Bayshore "A" Express, and 9BX-Bayshore "B" Express into the 8X, 8AX, and 8BX with some minor route changes. Why did Muni change the numbers?

Here's some background information: The "9" express bus services is basically a crosstown route that goes north and south and passes through numerous neighborhoods and attractions. Many of its customers are Chinese Americans because the southbound route picks-up passengers in Chinatown and also enters Visitacion Valley, a neighborhood popular with many first generation Chinese Americans.

The number four is considered to be death in many Asian cultures. It makes me wonder why Muni didn't change the route number of the 44-O'Shaughnessy that passes through the Clement Street business district, and the route is popular with elderly Chinese Americans going to and from the Richmond district.

I don't understand why Muni decided to change the "9" series of express buses to the number "8."
  • In one point of view, I feel that since the line is heavily used by Chinese Americans and passes through Chinatown, that by switching the number to "8," you make the bus become "lucky." But wouldn't this just show that the public agency favors certain ethnic groups versus others?
  • In an other point of view, it may just be convenient for Muni to move the express buses away from the San Bruno bus lines that occupies the number "9" and the future "9L."
Let's be aware that Muni has no plans to increase service on the 9X on December 5th, and it is possible that changing it to a "lucky number" may actually increase the number of passengers packed into that bus, even if it is for a short hop to Market street. Interestingly, maybe the 30-Stockton and 45-Union/Stockton buses won't be as crowded (yeah right).

Lastly, why not reserve the number 8 for the former 8-Market bus line? That was there before the F-Market ran permanently on our city streets to provide service when the Muni metro was a big piece of poo (and still is today). I would love to see the resurrection of the 8-Market going to/from the Castro and Ferry Building because the F-Market has a reputation for being slow and delayed due to the heavy tourist usage along the Embarcadero.

Send me your thoughts by making a comment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

UPDATE: Google Maps Now Includes Muni's Upcoming Service Changes

This is an interesting piece of news, Google Maps updated their "transit planner" for Muni when you tell the system you plan to take a trip on or after 12/5/09.

I noticed this change on the map posted on a recent entry on my blog addressing Muni about why new bus and train schedules are not posted for the public to view.

To give you a particular example, let's say I wanted to do these criteria:
  1. Departure date: 12/5/09
  2. Departure time: 10AM
  3. Starting point: 9th Avenue and Irving (Inner Sunset)
  4. End point: 4th and King
Now, if this trip were to happen before 12/5, it is obvious I would take the N-Judah for a direct ride (no transferring) to 4th and King streets. Muni's service changes website states that the N-Judah will not operate to Caltrain on weekends starting on 12/5 and I should transfer to a T-Third train along the subway portion of the N-Judah line.

Let's see what Google Maps created for me:

View Larger Map

Google Maps now tells me to take the N-Judah and transfer to the K-Ingleside/T-Third line at Embarcadero, and it will be a 10 minute transfer period until the next K/T train will arrive.


If you recall from my recent complaint about the 18-46th Avenue not working on Google maps and telling me to take the 91-Owl at 4AM on 12/7, I have a surprise... the map has been updated! See below.

Google now instructs me to take the 18-46th Avenue along the modified route (the former Ocean Beach branch of the 38-Geary) at 7:27AM, and I will arrive at SF State University at 7:57AM.


What does this all mean Akit? These updates to Google Maps means that it now officially works if you need to plan to get around the city after 12/5/09.

511's transit planner IS NOT YET READY and the SFMTA has NOT published time schedules for those who don't want to use a trip planner.

The power of one person can change city politics for the good. I'm proud of my accomplishments, and I thank my fellow Tweeters (like munialerts, munidiaries, and whole_tost) who helped spread the word around to hundreds or even thousands of people around San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Akit's Furlough Adventure #7: Japantown

Being on furlough this week is sort-of boring and I'm trying to find things to kill time. I thought it would be fun to go to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Japantown!

San Francisco's Japantown is home to a lot of great Japanese restaurants, non-profit community organizations, great hotels, and a heck of a shopping experience.

I know if you have gone to J-Town, you have been to Ichi Ban Kan, a place full of housewares, food products, personal grooming supplies, and ice cold beverages for a low price. They even carry unique items from Japan like Hi-Chews in a larger pack than the ones made for the United States distributors. They even carry unique flavors including peach.

Daiso recently opened-up in Japantown as well, and they are a huge Japan based worldwide chain store famous for items at a low price. Around the stores in the United States, they sell 95% of their products for only $1.50. One of their popular items are the keychain lights (in photograph) that retail at places like Brookstone for about $15, but it's only $1.50 at Daiso. The store in Japantown is SMALL and the one in Serramonte is huge with a big variety of items.

Between the two places, I like Ichi Ban Kan better with the large food variety. But I will admit that I like Daiso for the affordable plastic containers and such, and I prefer the one in Serramonte over the Japantown location because they accept credit cards.

As for lunch, a hearty meal for under $10 at Mifune includes cold soba (buckwheat) and udon (rice) noodles with tempura and their famous dipping sauce.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! If you are going out for Black Friday shopping, get there early and dress warmly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hey Muni, Where's the New Route Schedules?

Everyone in the city knows about the major service changes happening on Saturday, December 5th, unless if you don't understand English such as the Chinese Americans in Visitation Valley who didn't learn about it until Marlene Tran started rallying the troops.

(On a side note, Ms. Tran is a really great person to meet. I met with her during my first semester in Graduate School when she was teaching ESL on behalf of City College)

What really scratches my head is that both 511 and Google Maps (for public transit) does not have any information whatsoever about the route terminations and changes.

Here's a particular example: on Google Maps, I want to go from 33rd Avenue and Geary Blvd. to Lake Merced and Font Blvd and arrive at 8:00AM on 12/7/09. Easily, the 18-46th Avenue is the route I will have to take to directly get there (even if the line gets re-routed). Instead, Google Maps suggests I take the 38-Geary and the 91-Owl at 4AM to get to SF State three hours early. Google basically deleted every bus and train route that is being changed and kept the ones that will not be changed.

UPDATE: 11/26: Google maps updated their Muni routes for after 12/5/09 including time schedules. What you see below in this updated Google map shows the revised route for the 18-46th Avenue.

View Larger Map
Full description including what times I have to catch the bus are posted here.

In 511's trip planner program, the route changes and schedule changes have not been fixed. If I were to take the exact trip as I did for Google, it will tell me to take the 18-46th Avenue, but it takes the pre 12/5/09 route that goes around the Cliff House.

The public wants a time schedule NOW. Not everyone takes a major bus line that comes around every 5-10 minutes; I wait up to 20 minutes for the 18-46th Avenue and I have the right to know when my bus is scheduled to arrive so I can minimize waiting in the freezing cold.

If a time schedule does not get released soon, Google Maps and 511 will become USELESS.

Lastly, Muni should get their staff out into the streets putting up notices of line terminations or major changes at bus stops that will be affected NOW. There's a little more than one week left.

Monday, November 23, 2009

TransLink Management Meeting Update 11/23 (The Good Stuff)

TransLink's management board had their meeting earlier today and the MTC always posts their agenda online and also a couple of presentations by the TransLink staff to the board.

For the past few meetings, I've been giving you all the juicy details and skipping over the garbage that the public doesn't want to hear (mostly about dollars and cents).

So here's Monday, November 23rd's great information you should know:
  • In October 2009, there was 40,000 transactions, and is over double the amount from last year.
  • As of November 5th, 88 Samtrans buses are equipped with TransLink and continuing. Gillig buses are being pre-wired during the bus building process so TransLink equipment can be installed faster.
  • VTA will start installation in January 2010. It is estimated to be "revenue ready" by April 15th, but the installation may start late.
  • Installation of add value machines at the Transbay Temporary Terminal will be done in early December.
  • For those who transitioned from EZ Rider to TransLink, BART sent out surveys to those people.
  • SFMTA/Muni is continuing to distribute discount TransLink cards (elderly, disabled, and youth).
  • BART is still working on having their ticket machines be able to add funds and should be ready in late 2010.
  • VTA and Caltrain are also working on having their ticket machines to add-value, but has no date of planned completion.
  • TransLink is looking into a contactless only option (no gold chipped cards and no need to insert cards into slot).
  • The elderly/disabled Muni pass program that allows BART access is underway and TransLink is looking into integrating it into their program.
  • TransLink is looking into purchasing handheld readers for Cable Car usage.
  • A proposal by TransLink to add card readers at exit points on the Muni Metro subway sections.
  • Caltrain's monthly parking permit program is considering to be integrated with the TransLink card.
  • The TransLink contractor is working on a computer programming script for transaction history requests so it can be executed faster. TransLink claims they are able to save 500 man hours by taking advantage of computer technology.
Just looking over the documents shows a lot of the same material mentioned from previous meetings.

I don't agree with the idea of adding card readers at exit gates on Muni, unless if the data is being used to track rider patterns to improve service and/or make it easier for fare inspectors.

Lastly, I like the idea of TransLink getting history reports quicker and I hope they will be able to fully automate it online so everyone can review their history reports instantly instead of the few day waiting period.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update: Muni's 18-46th Avenue Passenger Shelters Removed

Within 48 hours of my recent posting about the removal of key components of the bus shelters on the 18-46th Avenue bus lines for the soon to be defunct route covering Geary and Pt. Lobos, Muni has removed all the shelters on that route segment.

18-46th Avenue at Pt. Lobos & 48th Ave

The Shelter for the 18-46th Avenue is Gone

Here's all the before & after photos I have taken:

I'm disappointed at Muni for removing the shelters way before the route changes are in effect. It's freezing cold at the stops near the Cliff House and the shelters are the only protection.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Muni already dismantling 18-46th Avenue bus stops

The above slide show is Muni's preparations for the end of the 18-46th Avenue segment that serves Geary and Pt. Lobos. While the route changes are about 20 days away, Muni has already removed the glass, route map, and lettering indicating it is a bus stop designated for the bus line.

To make matters worse, within a day of the removal of items, graffiti artists tagged-up the two bus stops at Pt. Lobos and 48th Avenue.

Just removing the glass makes things look sad for one of my favorite bus lines that takes me to and from work at SF State University. There's no protection from the elements and I was freezing my ass off waiting for the bus today.

Did Muni ever put a notice on these bus stops that they will be terminated on December 5th? No.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Is the Muni Metro the butt of jokes about the agency?

It's almost every single day, there's something wrong with Muni metro. Just today, SF Appeal reported the automatic train control systems was not functioning properly and Muni had to supplement the backed-up trains with bus shuttles.

I feel it is universally understood that Muni Metro is one of the big disasters about this agency, and its troubled past tells a big story:
  • Before the metro system, PCC cars ran along Market street and served the current metro routes of Muni (except the Embarcadero extension and the "T" line). The K, L, and M lines went through the Forest Hill tunnel by entering/exiting at West Portal, and at Market and Castro.
  • When the metro system and BART was being constructed, the PCC cars ran on temporary tracks because the agency used the "cut and cover" method. Basically, it means digging a huge trench and replacing the roadbed.
  • Once the metro started, the new Boeing cars was placed into service, and soon showed the major flaws about the system. The stations were high platform, and became a major issue for people with disabilities exiting along the surface routes, and while the cars were OK for use in the 80's, as the population grew, things didn't get pretty.
  • Muni metro was able to run manually and four train cars can be connected with the Boeing set, but customer complaints of the lack of air conditioning and the limited number of subway boarding doors made the cars a total piece of garbage. Muni sought the next generation of cars.
  • Muni awarded the contract to Breda to build the LRV 2 and LRV 3 generation of metro cars and was much more roomier with air conditioning and more room for passengers. But this also had problems: it was overweight, too long to operate with four cars, allegedly damaged the foundations of homes, noisier than the Boeings, and the cost of each vehicle was starting to climb as the city was paying to fix the problems associated with the earlier generation of Breda cars.
  • At the same time these new cars are being rolled-out, Muni added the automated train program for the subway portion and created the infamous "meltdown." This was caused by two major factors: A mix of automatically and manually operated trains in the system, and the Boeings couplers were not compatible with the Bredas to make longer trains.
  • After several years, we reach today; the automated system works better, but the Breda trains are starting to show their scars. The air conditioning on some of the train cars are totally inoperable and doesn't allow any cool air to circulate around the train, trains are more prone to breaking down, speed has been dramatically reduced on in the tunnel portion between Forest Hill and Castro, and there have been a number of accidents including the crash at West Portal.
I have to ask myself, with such a bad rap about our metro system, why is there a plan to build BRT corridors and have them ready for light rail service? When you think of light rail, all you can think about is the terrible metro service, but for me, installing light rail may be a bad idea because at least buses can go around each other when one is inoperable, a light rail car that is down is stuck and you have to be lucky if there is a track switch somewhere nearby.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cucumber in your Sushi - Yes or No?

Here's a good question: Why do some Japanese sushi bars and restaurants include cucumber in their rolls while others don't?

I have experienced this situation many times at various restaurants. About 65% don't include cucumber (unless if you order a cucumber roll), but the other 36% do include it, including many vendors who sell sushi at SF State (SushiGo and Healthy Eats) and at Lucky's at Sloat where a part-time sushi chef makes rolls for take-out.

In my opinion, I don't like cucumber in my sushi rolls, and it's especially frustrating when the restaurant didn't tell you that on the menu. I don't want a crunch in my rolls, I want to taste the fake crab and avocado in my California roll! I'm part-Japanese, and I'm confused!

So... what do you think? Do you like having cucumber in your sushi?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Muni Fast Pass Hike Now Official - Akit Caught Them Red Handed

It looks like the attention my blog forced SFMTA/Muni to update their website with some very critical information of changes to their fare/pass structure that goes into effect January 1, 2010.

This was regarding my blog entry about the Muni pass hike without any public notice.

It looks like I caught them red handed because they made modifications to their website on Friday, November 6th.


I reported on my blog on Thursday, November 5th that Muni did not give notice to the public of a pass hike, and I mentioned the affect it will have on people who orders their passes through a commuter benefits company. I was aware of this when an anonymous person who works for the city e-mailed me the day before telling me that he got notice of a pass hike, but it was not generally known to the public.

It looks like Muni caught onto my blog and they posted their pass hike information online. The photograph below is proof that they added this page to their website on Friday, November 6th at 4:55PM (one day after my blog entry). You can also view this photograph for additional proof.

Proof of SFMTA Muni Pass Price Changes

The rumored pass hike is true: adults will either pay $60 for a new "M" pass (Muni only), or $70 for an "A" pass (includes BART).

I really think it's great that a single person can change government policy. I did this before in July when I argued that Muni did not accept the Muni to BART transfer coupons for the return trip from AT&T Park and with the help of Phil Bronstein of the Chronicle, he was able to help me change the policy. Read Phil's three entries about the situation here.


On a lighter note, I also noticed Muni updated their service changes website to include a letter from SFMTA Chief Nat Ford, and Tom Nolan who is Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. This letter was posted hours later after I mentioned about why the public is not angry about the service changes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why are Citizens Not Angry at Muni's Upcoming Service Changes?

Less than a week ago, SFMTA/Muni released information to the public about the service changes scheduled to happen on December 5, 2009.

Where's the public's reaction about these changes? Having major service changes on the busiest transit service in the Bay Area is something that should be headline news the day after the changes were posted by Muni; but it's unusual to find most of the major news media shying away from reporting the changes. I'm also keeping an eye on chatter box (Twitter) about Muni and it seems there's very few people who are angry, nor delighted of the upcoming changes in just one month.

So people... are we simply just accepting these major changes or are we all just pent-up full of anger or sadness? It's time to speak-out and tell everyone if you like one of Muni's service changes ideas or you hate them.


I'll tell you my opinions, these changes suck for my neighborhood, the Outer Richmond. Muni is eliminating the 38-Geary Ocean Beach branch and the 18-46th Avenue will be re-routed and cover that route from 33rd/Geary to LaPlaya/Cabrillo.

I think it's a bad idea because you now force 38-Geary passengers to transfer to the 18 to get to their homes on Balboa and Cabrillo, and that means a wait of an average of up to 20 minutes; but if an 18 is a no-show, your wait can be up to 40 minutes (totally unacceptable). It also removes direct service to the Cliff House, which is essential for ADA passengers due to the very steep hills.

Here's my idea:
  • I see very few people taking the 38 Geary to V.A. Hospital/Fort Miley; so why doesn't Muni just remove that branch and have the agency run a shuttle bus, just like the folks at Laguna Honda Hospital (89-Laguna Honda)? The 38L can get passengers to 42nd Avenue, and the shuttle can just fetch and drop people off at the hospital (it's only two blocks away). This keeps service on the 38 to Ocean Beach, and the 18 continues to serve on Geary, Pt. Lobos, and the Cliff House.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What Muni Fast Pass Hike? SFMTA Hasn't Told Anyone

One of my popular postings at Akit's Complaint Department is titled: "Muni Fast Pass goes up January: How to still save money" and explains about the planned raising of Muni's adult Fast Pass from $55 (w/BART), to $60 (w/out BART) and $70 (w/BART). My source to the price hike is a link to a SF Appeal article posted on September 1, 2009.

January 2010 is not far away; there has been no word from the SFMTA/Muni of a Fast Pass price hike anywhere on their website. It's not on their front page, and not on their "Passes, Tickets, and Single-Ride Ticket Booklets" page (as of Wednesday). That's really odd.

While the SFMTA has failed to provide proper notice to the public about a pass hike; it has been widely known for the past several months that a price hike on the adult pass is planned to happen in January. Here are a list of articles you can read that supports this claim:
I also received an e-mail from one of my readers who works in the City and County of San Francisco and it mentioned that they know a pass hike is going to happen (courtesy of e-mails from the city's commuter benefits contractor). The person also provided his/her opinion: "Muni seems to be silent on the topic."


My question to SFMTA/Muni: Where is the official notice to the public about the adult Fast Pass price increase?

The media can claim there will be a hike, but no official notice from the agency makes it difficult for the public to know if it is true or not.

Do they know the consequences of NOT providing ample notice of a pass cost increase?
  • Commuter benefits companies must know ahead of time so they can inform their users and update their websites where people place their orders.
  • Employees who uses commuter benefits must notify their HR or payroll supervisor with ample time (at least one month before a hike) to raise their pre-tax deduction from their payroll. At SF State, employees have until November 30th to make any deduction changes to be effective for January.
  • For Commuter Check Direct users, the last day to make any changes for your January passes/tickets/checks is December 5th (as long as you give notice to your payroll/HR department).
  • People who receive paper commuter benefits vouchers will be shocked that they are $5 to $15 short and must pay the remainder in cash. Remember, pre-taxed from your paycheck saves about 20%, but paying extra in cash is considered post-tax.
  • TransLink card management must make proper adjustments to their computer software to reflect a major change. That takes time to reprogram versus printing new passes with a different cost and giving them to vendors.
Our public transit agency cannot give us late notice of changes. Here's a couple of not so timely changes:
You can't give less than two months notice to people of a pass hike due to the major affect it will have on the public who uses commuter benefits.

Here's a lesson for Muni:
  • "Early" is on-time.
  • "On-Time" is late.
  • "Late" is a pissed-off public.
How do I evaluate Muni's performance with providing timely notice about changes to their routes and fare structure? They FAILED. Public/government relations my ass.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For once, an election without political phone calls

Yesterday's elections must have been one of the most quietest around here in San Francisco, mostly because the local news press didn't cover it as extensively as other elections in the past...

One of the best things about yesterday's elections: NO POLITICAL PHONE CALLS.

Isn't it so nice when you don't get harassed at 7PM at night after eating a tasty dinner and getting some phone call from an annoying jackass on a recording telling you to vote for Proposition "F-U?" At the last election, I got calls from the SEIU from a live person, and I told them to buzz-off, I was watching Jeopardy!

It's a little sad that our federal government banned those "robocalls," but allowed political messages to be excluded. That sucks. Why doesn't the FTC give us citizens the right to opt-out of political phone calls on the do-not-call list?

Lastly, I did get a few of those annoying mailers telling me to vote for Proposition "D," but I decided to throw those straight into my shredder without reading it. What a waste of trees.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Major Muni Changes in One Month... I'm Not Pleased

It's adding salt to the wound... SFMTA/Muni just gave a one month (and a couple days) notice about major service changes to the agency, these include, but not limited to line terminations, permanent re-routes, line number changes, and service hour changes.

Muni has posted all their descriptive information online with color maps and a PDF brochure that is extremely long.

Some items of change are quite simple and would be generally agreed upon by the public, such as more 38L-Geary Limited vehicles during peak hours, and simple route changes that makes better sense to the general public.

Others are much more dramatic changes to Muni, including my favorite bus line to SF State, the 18-46th Avenue's elimination of the route along the Cliff House, and on Pt. Lobos/Geary stretching from 33rd Avenue to 48th Avenue. Others will be amused by the terminal changes, such as the 6-Parnassus returning to the ferry building (once again), and the 71-Haight Noriega terminating at the Transbay Terminal (and the future temporary terminal).

Yet, with all these major changes, something doesn't look right...
  • Muni has not published a time schedule, which is essential for the mapping services of 511 and Google Maps (for transit), and for those whose bus line runs on frequencies of at least 15 minutes or more. They better publish it soon so that Google and 511 programmers can update their information in a timely manner by December 5th.
  • Muni has also not published a new complete map of the city and its modified bus/train services.
  • Is one month enough time to get the public informed about these major changes?
  • Can the agency put-up the notices in a timely manner on buses, trains, and bus stops notifying passengers of new stops, eliminated stops, and replace all the Muni maps at bus shelters the day of the route changes?
I'm worried, but at the same time, let's see what kind of reaction the public will give now, on Sunday, December 5th, and Monday, December 6th (first day of the weekday commute).

We are also learning that these changes will not fix the deficit to zero, and therefore the City Insider reports that Muni is proposing to cut 250 jobs, change driver's schedules, cut overtime, and relocate federal stimulus money from projects to their operations sector. The big questions I have about this is: 250 jobs from where? Will this cut affect our transit? How about that stimulus money? We could really use some new Muni fare gates at the metro stations.

Lastly, here's the reaction from one of the ladies involved in the infamous Muni fight on the 30-Stockton. Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Akit's 20 Demands to Fix Muni

One of my former co-workers left me a comment about my recent posting about tips for rookies on BART and stated: "You should write a list of demands of MUNI and get them published in the newspaper. Or, write them out and nail them to the director of MUNI's door (like Martin Luther)."

Not a bad idea! But I don't think I'll ever get that close to Nat Ford's door without getting arrested by San Francisco's finest (which should be riding our buses), and I don't think the Chronicle gives a damn about my blog. (Side note: That Chronicle comment was a little too rough; sorry SF Chronicle!)

Here's my list of demands to Muni:
  1. Regaining the trust of the public with a reliable and efficient transportation service.
  2. The immediate resignation of SFMTA Chief Nathaniel Ford, and union leader Irwin Lum.
  3. The citizens of San Francisco reserves the right to vote for the Executive Director of the SFMTA versus the appointment by the Mayor.
  4. Faster buses than the average eight miles per hour.
  5. Investment in new Muni metro vehicles with extensive testing to assure no breakdowns, but must also be cost effective.
  6. Investment in high capacity, double articulated buses to serve major transit corridors.
  7. Increase in speed on the Twin Peaks Tunnel segment between Castro and Forest Hill.
  8. Addition of more historic trolleys or purchasing of low floor trains on the F-Market.
  9. Creation of express bus lines for mid-day and Saturday service for areas west of 19th Avenue (Sunset) and Park Presidio (Richmond).
  10. Increased police presence on all Municipal Railway vehicles. If that doesn't work, a dedicated transit police should be used.
  11. The swift termination of employees who have been found responsible for major vehicular and pedestrian accidents, and ones with too many complaints.
  12. Immediate clean-up of vehicles with graffiti and investment into ways graffiti can be easily erased without "ghost" graffiti still present on surfaces.
  13. The end of the bureaucratic red tape that has stalled major projects to improve transit.
  14. Improved maintenance of transit vehicles including more preventative maintenance.
  15. Having backup vehicles prepared at key locations around the city when a vehicle breaks-down.
  16. A knowledgeable 311 staff specifically dedicated to Muni; must have full understanding of system and policies, and when complaints must be addressed immediately versus the next business day.
  17. Assure operators of no retribution or punishment for confronting passengers; such as passengers playing music too loud.
  18. Installation of pre-paid fare machines at major transit stops to create quicker boarding.
  19. Eliminating bus stops that stop every block; should be changed to once every two blocks (minimum).
  20. Weekend service hours at the SFMTA Customer Service Center at Van Ness/Market.

Want to add to this list? Just post a comment.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rookie BART Passengers: Tips to an easy commute

With the Bay Bridge closure, many have decided to take BART, mostly because of their frequent service versus the ferry boats that runs on a rigid fixed schedule that's not that frequent.

There's a hot debate going on in the SFGate comments area regarding an article about an increase in ridership on BART due to the bridge closure and the problems with new riders to the system.

Although I'm not one of the daily commuters on BART, I do understand basic transportation courtesy about that particular agency. One of the easiest things a rookie passenger should do is to visit BART's website and learn about the system, from where to transfer, how to register a parking space, and how much the fare is. By being prepared, you'll be ready for the commute.

I'm going to share my tips for rookies to have a great experience on BART:
  1. Always know where your nearest BART station is located and know the local bus routes to get there.
  2. If you need to take your car, you should review the BART parking maps, and their rules and regulations on their website.
  3. If you are getting dropped-off, don't do it in a bus zone. The cops love writing $250 tickets.
  4. The BART parking lots costs a little bit of money on weekdays, but are typically free on weekends and after 3PM on weekdays. If you must pay, remember your parking stall number and register it within the train station. If you want to get a guaranteed parking spot, always go on BART's website and prepay for a reserved parking space.
  5. Don't wait in line to buy a ticket at the machine, get a high value ticket at many of your favorite retail outlets. You'll eventually use up the funds.
  6. If you don't want to hassle with tickets, get a TransLink card.
  7. Always line-up before the train arrives. When the train arrives, move away from the doors and let the passengers exit first. The first person in line boards first, followed by the rest. If that's not your train, tell your passengers behind you to pass-by.
  8. The train is not a place to disrespect. Never eat food, drink beverages, hog more than one seat, clip your nails, make cell phone calls, fart (passing gas, dutch oven, etc.), and don't sit in the seats for the elderly or disabled (unless if you meet that criteria).
  9. If the car you boarded is crowded, move to the next car. Don't be afraid to move to the next car while the train is in motion.
  10. Always be prepared to exit the train.
  11. When using the escalator, standees should stay to the right, and people walking up the escalator should stay to the left.
With all this mumbo jumbo going on about how safe the bridge is going to be after they re-open it, why not stick to public transit? There's less pollution spewing in the air, traffic jams won't be so bad, and you save more money with a commuter benefits program.

Hokubei Mainichi Newspaper Shutters Friday

It's shocking to hear the Nichi Bei Times disappeared not long ago, but it's even worse to hear that the second major Japanese American newspaper institution, the Hokubei Mainichi is going to end their news service with it's last edition tomorrow (Friday).

These newspapers are the lifeblood of the Bay Area Japanese American communities, especially San Francisco's Japantown. People rely on these newspapers for important information about events around their communities and important community issues.

This doesn't leave us with many media options out there. The Rafu Shimpo is the Buddhist Church's newspaper, and the Pacific Citizen is a newspaper operated by the Japanese American Citizens League with their primary news office in Southern California.

Sure, the Nichi Bei foundation is trying to get themselves going, but it lost a lot of its readership after the last edition of the Nichi Bei Times notified people that their current subscription is to abruptly end and they must pay to subscribe to the "foundation's" newspaper.

On a final note, I do miss the Nichi Bei Times and Hokubei Mainichi. Without their efforts to spread the word about the redress movement to get compensation and an apology from the federal government for sending Japanese Americans to internment camps, the effort would have been even more difficult. I appreciate their hard work to cover the news on projects I have helped lead that have made a difference to the Japantown community, including the "Save Japantown" movement and to fight back from mean criticism from the folks at 1600 Webster.

These newspapers are the lifeblood of Japantown, please don't go away forever.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Has Muni Hit Rock Bottom?

Here's a good question for everyone, has San Francisco's Muni hit rock bottom?

If you are wondering... "why are you asking this Akit?" I'm concerned about the state of our public transportation system. It's been in such a decline for nearly a decade, ever since the infamous "meltdown" on the Muni metro system and immediately spreads to the rest of the agency's bus lines.

The meltdown was a sign of big anger for the city, and the head guy at that time came under fire. Mayor Willie Brown promised to fix Muni, but that didn't last. Even our previous mayor (before Brown), Frank Jordan came under fire for eliminating transfers and raising the cost of a fast pass.

But it looks like under the Gavin Newsom era, things don't seem to be going in the right path for our transit agency.

Take a look at the list of items that I believe have made Muni simply hit rock bottom:
  1. Passenger injuries are creating crazy settlements. I just witnessed one recently at West Portal inbound when a lady injured her ankle upon boarding the train because the driver forgot to raise the stairs.
  2. More frequently broken-down buses. If you ride a bus line with a 20 minute or 30 minute headway and it doesn't show-up due to a breakdown, you'd be pissed that you would have to wait much longer.
  3. Muni metro is a total insult to our city. It's almost every single day that there's some kind of problem with the light rail system.
  4. Letting NIMBYs get their way, like the folks on Union who didn't want articulated buses in their neighborhood, even though it's a fact that the bus line is at crush loads on the regular 40-foot buses.
  5. More violence on the vehicles. A kid stabbed and no video footage? A fight that got over 500,000 views in 48 hours?
  6. What happened to preventative maintenance?
  7. More graffiti, and some of the places they graffiti is impossible to remove.
  8. Bad passengers who really need a swift boot up their ass. You don't have the right to hog three seats with your legs or clip your nails in public.
  9. Transit bus drivers that should have been fired a long time ago.
  10. A really messed-up union. They tried to file an injunction against KGO-TV from letting them get public records on driver complaints.
What does it take in this city to get Muni on the brighter end? The New York Subway system gained an infamous reputation for its graffiti, broken down trains, and nearly on the verge of collapse in the 1980's. This was because the government didn't invest in the trains and money was being funneled towards freeways and bridges for cars. But look at New York now, they have a clean and well operated transit system with tons of police. It's like Muni is the 1980's version of the New York subway.

It's time for San Francisco to reinvest in it's public transportation system NOW. Saying there's "no money" is never an excuse; an easy way to get money is by simply firing the top brass of Muni and hiring new folks at much less pay.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Akit's Furlough Adventures 5 & 6

Courtesy of a furlough program by my employer at SF State, everyone got a four-day weekend covering Friday to Monday. Too bad I have to return to work tomorrow, otherwise I'd lose more than 10% of my paycheck that's already been cut.

As promised, I'm keeping up with documenting my furlough days with "adventures" to various Bay Area locations. I'm combining both furlough days in one blog posting.

Friday, October 23, 2009
: I went in at 9:30AM to the California Academy of Sciences. Since I'm a member, admission was relatively quick and I was able to secure a ticket for the new planetarium show that is narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.

Coral Reef Cal Academy
This photo is of the Philippine coral reef tank at the lowest level of the Academy. This tank is one of the most popular spots of the aquarium due to its large size, seating, and a scheduled talk with a person in scuba gear. Since I got in at the earliest time, there was no crowds and I had the entire space for myself for at least 10 minutes. No screaming kids and it was absolutely quiet; something we adults need badly at museums and exhibitions.

African Penguins
The African penguins is popular exhibit at the Academy. While some stay on the rocks, many dive into the water and are playful with the people when they run their fingers over the glass. I was trying to kill time before I had to line-up to gain entry to the planetarium.

Free Muni Rides (The Ligit Way?)
After the planetarium, I ate lunch down at Kiki's on 9th Avenue between Lincoln and Irving, a sister restaurant to Kitaro's on Geary. Cheaply priced sushi and their cooked lunches are tasty. After eating a good meal, it was a hop on the N-Judah where the ride was "free" thanks to a broken fare box. I was planning to visit Chinatown, but it was getting too late and I eventually turned back for the long bus ride journey home.

Monday, October 26, 2009: After seeing an ad in the Chronicle about the Star Trek Exhibition at the San Jose Tech Museum, I thought I'd give it a try. It took a lot of planning, especially that I didn't want to drive down there. Instead, I planned out to park my car at Daly City BART and take the Caltrain Baby Bullet Express from Millbrae.

Daly City BART
Parking at Daly City BART wasn't that bad, the lot wasn't even 1/4 full at 7:30AM. I actually found a great parking spot after I reserved a space on BART's website and paid a $4.50 fee. The thing I hate about BART south of Daly City is the not so frequent service; direct Millbrae trains run on 15 minute frequencies, so timing was important to not miss the Caltrain express.

TransLink Caltrain Millbrae Station
Hey, look... TransLink! It's a little beat-up, but it worked perfectly fine.

Millbrae Caltrain Northound Train
Here's a northbound train heading towards San Francisco. It was one of a few trains passing by while I was waiting for the express. It turned out that the express train I was riding was the original Caltrain cars and it was a heck of a bumpy ride.

Unfortunately, the Tech Museum banned photography at the Star Trek exhibit. The $25 cost is totally not worth it. I'm only a mild Trekkie fan, but I remember most of the TV shows and films. There's a ton of props (some replicas and actual), many costumes, and some opportunities to take photos with official designated photographers who want to rip your butt off. Some things didn't even look right, including there was parts of the exhibits showing their wear and tear, holes in some of the displays (from a previous show?), lighting was poor, and the exhibit route was really odd.

The best traveling exhibition at the Tech Museum was the human bodies about a year or two ago, and that was amazing to view. For the Star Trek exhibit, I was expecting more interactive exhibits. When Star Trek was at the old California Academy of Sciences, it was very interactive, you can touch the screens, and play interactive games while learning about the world of Star Trek. The only "interactive" thing they offered was a $5 simulator ride that was below par.

If you were to compare the Tech Museum's Star Trek exhibit to the one at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Hilton kicks this traveling show to the ground and keeps on stomping hard.

Just to make matters worse, you also get admission to the Tech Museum and there was hundreds of kids playing with everything there. Tons of them are very disrespectful, including ones who thinks it's fun to play around escalators.

So after all this bullshit and spending less than 90 minutes in San Jose, I left on the next local Caltrain back home.