So, I’ve worked out the fastest commute. If I walk that way instead of this way, I end up at the corner of Van Ness and Market sooner than you’d think. I pop down the stairs, feed my FastPass and then myself through the turnstile, down another set of stairs, and then I’m on the MUNI Metro platform. Four stops inbound, all trains make the same stops. Up the stairs, into the lobby, swipe in, up the elevator, and there I am. Twenty minutes seat to seat. Usually.

Today I get to the platform and there are two trains. The first one is crowded so I get on the second one. I’m considering the game theory of first train versus second train when the first train takes off. The doors on my train stay open. I think my decision was incorrect.

A few minutes later, I hear vague sounds over the harsh disco I’m feeding my ears. I pluck out one of the buds and hear the PA informing us that the trains are not running at present and that my best bet is to catch a surface bus.

Of course, I’m running late. Replacing my earphone, I hop out and go up to the street.

There are no buses in sight. I start to hoof it downtown.

I start to hear an insistent siren. Looking around, I see a red truck coming down Market. It looks, from the front, like a heavy rescue. It turns out that I am wrong… As it speeds by, I can see letters indicating it is an air tender… A cascade unit, speeding downtown with lights and sirens?

I finally catch a bus. On the way, I see a huge tiller ladder stuck in traffic on a side street, heading downtown.

When I get to my destination, there is a lot of activity across the street in front of a high-rise. A second tiller truck is there, along with probably ten other units. Firefighters mill about.

Nothing really seemed to be going on other than the hubbub itself. I went on to my office.

Later, a news report came out… Here’s what they said.

My very favorite part…

“I suspect it was a small electrical problem that resolved itself quickly,” [the fire captain] said.

Okay. So something happened, as a result, an eastbound train operator saw heavy smoke.

In the train tunnel.

But it’s cool that it resolved itself quickly. This small electrical problem.


FWIW, one of my coworkers was trapped for twenty minutes on a train between stations… So it appears that my first train/second train decision was correct.