Vic's Letter: Protest on the N!

From: Victor Martorano <VicSFCA@aol.com>
Subject: True Story
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 23:11:35 EST

Hello all......

The following is a letter I sent to Ken Garcia of the San Francisco Chronicle. It is true, it happend tonight (Mar 30th, 1998).

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Ken....

This is not just another Muni story. Tonight on the N-Judah line coming in from the city a couple of hundred (or so) Sunset residents finally had enough and took some action.

I get on the N-Judah at Montgomery station. Tonight I got down there at 5:30pm and an N train didn't come for almost 40 minutes. Finally one came by and as you can imagine it was jammed with people. We plodded along and when the train came to the stop at Davies Medical Center, the driver announced that the train would be turning back at 19th Ave. There were many grumbles on the train because it was marked "Ocean Beach". When we arrived at 19th Ave and they told us to get off, the driver said another train was right behind him and we could get on that one.

Two carloads of people were off loaded onto 19th Ave and there was no other train in sight. People by now were steamed. Within a few minutes another street car was spotted coming over the hill. Unfortunately it was a single car. Many of us wondered how we would all fit on it. As the car approached 19th Ave. it stopped short of the platform and unloaded all it's passengers. People (myself included) demanded to know from the driver what was going on. By this time there was a large crowd, and the driver tried to explain that he too, was turning this car around to go back downtown.

By this time people had had enough. We loaded ourselves onto the streetcar and demanded to be taken all the way to the beach. We told the driver point blank, that we were not moving, we were disgusted and we wanted to be taken home. Everyone was calm, but firm that they weren't moving.

Over the radio the driver tried to explain that it was his supervisors decision to turn the car around, not his. No one cared, we wanted to get home. He radioed someone (a supervisor, I assume) and then after about 10 minutes, told us that he'd take us to the beach against his supervisors wishes. He said he knew we were tired and just wanted to get home. He received a round of applause and we were on our way.

I think this is a sign of something. And I think the rest of the Muni riders in this city should know that, at least on the N line, we're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

I was an act of civil disobedience. I was proud of my fellow riders. Willie Brown should be alerted because his name came up often on the ride home and not favorably.

Victor Martorano

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