Ticket to Ride

Think whatever you will of public transportation but in some cities its a necessity and not just an option. San Francisco is one of these cities. There are just some neighborhoods that absolutely cannot support any more vehicles that you will end up circling blocks upon blocks in near tears. Yes, I own a car and yes this has happened to me (in multiples), so I suppose you could say that I am part of the problem. Normally though, I reside in Noe Valley, which offers a notasmuchapainintheass parking situation and aside from parking restrictions for street sweeping, etc., you can park virtually free and not too far from your flat. But I digress because this was supposed to be about the wonders of public transportation. Which has saved me many times from doing what I call The Parking God Sacrifice Ritual where you drive around in a test of your wills.

$2 is the adult fare for the MUNI for 3 hours and that can pretty much get your around The City. I’m not a frequent enough of a rider in one month that I would get my money’s worth out of the $70 pass — but I aspire to one day. For the occasional ride, its quite the steal. And sometimes (like today) you score extra when the driver gives you a transfer receipt for the whole day — maybe by accident or maybe not, who are you to judge — and you can spend the entire day roaming the city via public transport.

muni_map

Really, I had to head down to the Department of Parking and Traffic aka BigBadScary Ticket Office to appeal a ticket. Its like the equivalent of begging for your life — the guy it totally judging you while he looks at your entire nefarious parking career in black and white on his computer screen. Yes, I can pay more attention to parking restrictions and that would save me money. But I didn’t come here for a lecture, buddy. I came here for you to refund my $53. And that he did. Angelee: 1! So, lest I get a parking ticket for fixing my parking tickets, I decided to take MUNI and run some other errands in Downtown. Now I’m no math expert but I think that decision was a no-brainer.

  • By car: $.2.38 = 2.5 miles at $0.15 a mile = $0.38 + 1 hour parking meter at $2.00
  • By MUNI: $2

After a few more errands and a trip to my Thaihouse Express for lunch (which I rarely get to enjoy because the parking is such a PITA), I would say that I was very pleased with my use of MUNI today. And I felt good, like I was doing something good for the environment. OK, you got me, I also had a good parking spot in my ‘hood, and I will not move my car until Friday at the last possible second if I can have anything to do with it.

Marveling at the wonders of public transportation in San Francisco, I find myself thinking about my upcoming trip to Japan — a country that has undeniably one of the best public transportation systems albeit sometimes pullyourhairout confusing, it does its job and it does it efficiently. Trains are what make the world go ’round there and thanks to a J-Rail pass, it will my our trek through Nihon go ’round. Excited does not even begin to cover what I am feeling for this trip. But those butterflies in my tummy also remind me that I am leaving in 12 days and I need to get things in order. Really it’s only 10 days because I am also going to Coachella prior to our departure. Whoa. I really should stop babbling and start planning out our trip before we find ourselves homeless and sleeping in the streets of Tokyo.

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