Column: SF Muni to get 8 change machines for $40k ... someday
- Published Tuesday, March 31, 2009, by the San Francisco Chronicle
Change is months away for Muni change machines
By C.W. Nevius
Include it among the great mysteries of San Francisco. Why are there buffalo in Golden Gate Park? Why is there no beach in North Beach?
And why is it impossible to get five ones for a $5 bill at a Muni station?
"You can change a $20 bill for four $5 bills," wrote regular reader Dave Stewart in an e-mail, "and you can change a $1 bill for four quarters. But you can't change a $5 bill for five $1 bills."
Since the Muni fare is $1.50, it is possible to walk into -- for example -- the bustling Powell Station with a $20 and find yourself unable to get exact change for a ticket.
"What kind of world-class city is San Francisco if its most central railway/BART station cannot change a $5 bill?" fumes local resident and travel writer Chris McGinnis.
Spokesman Judson True says Muni feels your pain.
"We share the public's frustration that it is not as easy as it should be to pay the fare," True said.
True said $40,000 of the upcoming stimulus package will go for approximately eight change machines. Eight? That's all? And how soon might they be installed?
"Probably nine to 12 months," True said.
Cynics say the fare will probably be raised to $2 by then. But we'll still need to change that five.
C.W. Nevius' column runs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail him at cwnevius@...