Muni can fall apart like a house of cards

I live between 4 and 5 miles from work. If I walk it takes me about 70 minutes, if I bike it takes about 20 minutes.

If I take Muni it takes me 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop, between 5 and 10 minutes before a streetcar arrives, a 30-minute ride (Muni averages less than 8 miles an hour during rush hour), and an additional 10 minutes to walk to work, in total about an hour.

When I walk or ride a bike I will always arrive at a consistent time. But Muni is built like a house of cards. If anything falls, the entire system collapses and my arrival frequently will be much later.

So unless you have a job that allows you to be late more than once a week, you might reconsider your transportation. You will save yourself $4 per day and live longer.

Rich Knittel, San Francisco

Misguided fire consulting

Your article about Belmont and San Carlos’ worries about their choice of fire equipment was a revelation. Most telling was their hiring of a consulting firm — doesn’t anyone working there know anything? Why don’t they ask the firefighters? These guys have a “grapevine” second to none.

The consulting firm’s recommendation of a quint was insane. That is a compromised piece of equipment, but in a structural fire there can be no compromise. A quint pulls up to the scene, connects up and begins putting its stored water on the fire. In the meantime a family is trapped on the other side of the building on the fourth or eighth floor. Do you break down the set-up and pull around to their aid with the ladder?

A little common sense, please. Pumper engines and ladders are supposed to be dispatched to
different types of fire situations.

Joseph Locasto, San Mateo

Reallocate subway funds

Interestingly, Muni’s projected budget deficit over 20 years is $1.6 billion — while the Central Subway’s cost over 8 years is $1.58 billion. By reallocating the MTA’s existing $636 million in state/local funding for the Central Subway, Muni could rebuild the citywide transit system and design hundreds of miles of beautiful transit-priority streets.

With a replenished reserve fund plus increased ridership revenues won by efficient service, Muni would flourish as a 21st-century model of public transit.

Howard Wong, San Francisco

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