SF Muni’s T-Third Line is Open for Business

April 5, 2007

UPDATE (April 11, 2007): As expected, the full-time debut of the T-Third has been somewhat of a disaster, as Muni copes with the challenges of adding a new rail line to the Metro system. However, Nat Ford, Executive Director of the SFMTA, has posted an official apology on the website. Eh, it’s something, but hopefully service will be set right soon — that’s better than any apology.

UPDATE (April 12, 2007): Ford’s official apology has been removed off the website. Surprise, surprise. Muni finally shows some class and apologizes, but then… they revoke the apology. Anyway, to read more about the unfolding disaster, check out this article from the Chronicle. Or pretty much any blog or official news source, since it seems just about everyone is discussing this.


We’re very happy to announce here on the Short Exact Guide that San Francisco Muni (the agency which operates the buses, light rail, and cable cars in San Francisco) — at long last, after years of anticipation (as well as construction errors and budget overruns) — is officially opening its new T-Third Street (or “T-Third”) light rail line for full operation, starting this Saturday, April 7, 2007. This is a very substantial change for Muni, an agency generally for known for cutting service rather than adding it. The new T-Third line, which contains over five miles of brand spanking new light rail track, runs from Sunnydale Avenue (in Visitacion Valley) on the one end, to Castro Station on the other end.

With the addition of the new line, Muni is making other service changes. Most notable is that the 15-Third bus (which essentially duplicates most of the T) is being chopped entirely, while the 9X-San Bruno Express now has an expanded route running full time, and the J-Church will run past Embarcadero to serve the ballpark and Caltrain station area at peak hours only. The S-Castro Shuttle is also effectively being discontinued, but it never came half the time anyway, so this might not be such a big loss. At any rate, click here to read about all the service changes and to see a map of the new route.

We know what you’re probably thinking: “Muni? Light rail line? This is a food blog. I came to read about restaurants and look at pictures of food, not to hear about a new Muni line. What combination of drugs is this guy on — and, might he be willing to share some of it?”

We claim that even though this post is not a restaurant review, it is still relevant to this blog. Regular readers have probably guessed that Short Exact is a bit of a public transit nut (and you would be right), since at the end of each review, we eschew providing more typical information on the parking situation, and instead suggest the transit routes you can use to reach each restaurant. Of course, the substantial service changes going into effect on April 7 render many of our old transit “itineraries” obsolete. The other point of this post (besides sharing our excitement about the new light rail line) is to let you know we have updated each and every one of our old reviews so that they are consistent with the new Muni service that starts on Saturday.

At any rate, we’ll be back to our usual programming soon, with a follow-up review of the newish FiDi Italian restaurant Perbacco. See you soon, and have fun “riding the rails”!



  1. This is one of those off-topic comments that you can delete. I just dropped in to say that I enjoyed your company in the “widget blow-out” thread. I consider the concept of going without my computer to be well, at the least undesirable and at the most scary. šŸ˜‰

  2. Timethief, I try to keep an extremely open comments policy here, and I can’t imagine a situation in which I would delete a comment from the most active member of the WordPress forum šŸ˜‰

    I’m glad to hear someone shares my sentiments about what a dark and terrible place this world would be without the Internet! Ahhh… at least widgets are restored! Thanks again for dropping by.

  3. I am so glad that you appreciate MUNI too! I too am excited about the T line! But I do have an ongoing beef with MUNI. I am glad they’ve been checking for passes on my train recently, but they really need to revamp or restructure the light rail system. Before I purchased a monthly pass, I used to have to struggle and fight the crowds to get to the front car to pay. For an out-of-towner, sometimes they don’t even know you have to enter the first car to pay.

    That is my beef. I’d love to explain more in detail, but I’m sure you’d really want to delete this comment then! Even with your open comments policy! šŸ˜‰

  4. Haha I still wouldn’t want to delete it!

    But we might have to get together over coffee for it, because about topics like these, I usually get worked up enough that typing alone (without having the ability to do some sort of yelling or other vocal protest) is rarely satisfying enough šŸ˜‰

  5. If I ever get to San Francisco again and that seems doubtful now that flying Canucks have to have passports I would be most definitely interested in public transit routes. I love to eat and part of the hassle of going out to eat on foot is being able to get to where you want to go via public transport.

    I had planned on going to wordcamp. However, getting there (minimum 9 week wait for a passport) as well as booking affordable accommodation at a bed and breakfast near by are major obstacles. The place that wordcamp will be held is as yet an unknown.

  6. Yeah, I heard them mentioning Wordcamp a little while back, but then there were no more updates. The passport thing is definitely a pain, and those seem like substantial obstacles, but if you do end up coming, please let me know! I “see” you so often on the forum, it’d be awesome to meet you in “real life.”

  7. If I come I will definitely let you know ahead of time but the prospects don’t look good so I haven’t bothered to apply for a passport. I would have to fly by float plane first over to Vancouver International and then fly out of there to San Francisco. For a 2 day conference I’m really looking at 2 additional days of very expensive and exhausting travel.

  8. I hear ya — it sure does sound like a pain. šŸ˜¦ Even if you don’t make it to this one, hopefully a future Wordcamp, or maybe just another random trip altogether.

  9. I’m in a blogging slump. I haven’t posted for 2 days and for me that’s a record. I’ve enjoyed our chat but I must be off now to take a walk before the best part of the day is gone. Thanks for the hospitality.
    Adieu šŸ™‚

  10. I came to read about restaurants and look at pictures of food, not to hear about a new Muni line. What the hell is this?? šŸ˜‰

    I’m a bit of a public transportation nut too. NYC kicks butt in this regard (and as you pointed out the 2nd ave line is now in the works). I traded in my car years ago for a monthly metro card – now I can ride the lines to my heart’s content for a mere $76/month.

  11. Doug, you left out the part about the drugs. Am I to assume you aren’t interested in that? šŸ˜‰

    Yeah, of course you’re right NYC is totally sweet for transportation. Lots of subway lines going every which way, running frequently, and perhaps best of all, running all night. Definitely much better than here.

  12. whatever combination you were referring to sounds pretty hardcore šŸ˜›

    Having all night access is great. I went to school in Boston and everything closed by 1230pm – I think they do it to control the college kids.

    I took a look at some pictures of the new line in SF – it looks really nice.

  13. It looks nice, but it has actually caused lots of problems, as there are a lot of issues that need to be ironed out. For many reasons, the T-Third is sort of a poor project — largely driven by politics rather than true transit needs — even though there are obviously some positive elements to it. There’s a new update added to the top of the post šŸ™‚

  14. It looks like they’ve removed the official apology!

  15. Your timing is great — I just noticed this about one minute ago. Time for a new update.

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