To do this Instructable, you will need:
-Money for a ticket
Riding the train is an item on Neighbors Project's Neighbors Checklist.
Step 1: Get directions and schedules
Option1: In front of a computer or with your PDA
Use 511.org to plan your best route, including times. But keep in mind that that system only factors in allowing you to walk up to a mile. After you've ridden your recommended route a few times, you may notice that it's easier to walk further or bike to a different station to make the trip faster or more pleasant. Tip: bookmark the trip planner on your computer now.
Don't put much faith in the 511.org claims about when a train will arrive. Check MUNI's NextMUNI page before you even think about leaving your house or office. It gives you the updated predicted time for the arrival of many, though not all, routes. You can also sign up for pop up web and PDA alerts through myNextBus. BART has an estimated arrival tool too on its Web site.
You can get static schedule information about BART on your PDA too. And while you're at it, subscribe to BART's service advisory system so you can make other plans if your normal train gets stalled somewhere.
Option 2: On the street
If you're out and don't have time to check this stuff, or just are too lazy or drunk, just head to your stop and look for electronic signs telling you when your next train is. All of the underground stations in the downtown area have signs with information about when the next trains (separate for MUNI and BART). MUNI even has a map of where all the trains are. You can make bets with your friends about when the train will arrive, like the racing M&M's on the jumbotrons at ballgames. MUNI and BART also make constant announcements in the underground stations about when the next train will arrive.
If you're waiting at an outdoor MUNI stop that doesn't have a sign about arrivals, call 311 or 511 to ask for the schedule. I always do it because I can't stand not knowing. The other people waiting will probably hear you while you're calling, so they probably won't mind it if you happen to repeat the answer out loud so that they can hear.
By the way, the MUNI trains are either inbound or outbound. Inbound is towards Embarcadero (the downtown stop right by the ferry building). Outbound is going away from Embarcadero.
MUNI overview of its train routes.
Maps to get to the stadiums in the area.
Stations with secure bike parking.