Did you know there was a movie theater on 17th Ave. and Geary that used to play lots of children’s films? That was just one of the destinations that this Muni Diaries Live storyteller would see on her Muni journeys growing up in San Francisco. Comedian and native San Franciscan Yayne Abeba started riding Muni by herself when she was 7, along with all her relatives ages 1 to 6.
“Muni was our baby sitter, and I learned a lot of life lessons on it,” she says. As a child, you could find Yayne dancing and singing her way around San Francisco with the San Francisco Children’s Opera. In 1995, she began studying with Jean Shelton at the Jean Shelton actor’s lab. She was bitten by the comedy bug in 1999 at Tony Spark’s Luggage Store. (more…)
New important word in parrot vocabulary: “Back door!”
This parrot is riding Muni backwards like a total pro. We don’t see the parrot’s human companion nearby, and judging from the confident stare on the bird’s face, he’s got this whole urban transit thing down. Thanks to @audlaq for getting a photo of this intrepid Muni rider.
Oh, by the way, here’s another parrot (the same parrot? Its cousin or twin?) riding the LRV in a sporty little vest, and then again in a fashionable casual sweater.
Some of our district supervisors might have a Muni story or two starting this summer. Muni riders from the San Francisco Transit Riders Union have challenged San Francisco supervisors and the mayor to take Muni for 22 days straight starting in June, making good on a ballot measure passed 22 years ago. Could there be a Muni Diaries story from one of these supervisors in the near future? We hope so.
In 1993, San Francisco voters passed Proposition AA: “City officials and full-time employees [shall] travel to and from work on public transit at least twice a week.” But the proposition was never enacted upon until now. So far, supervisors Scott Wiener, Jane Kim, John Avalos, David Campos, Julie Christensen, Eric Mar, Mark Farrell, and London Breed have told the transit rider union that they are going to participate.
SFTRU’s Ilyse Magy told us that when Supervisor Avalos spoke up during the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday, he composed what almost sounded like a poem for the occasion:
“I will commit to 22 days Excelsior style. I will hop on the 8X, wait
or rather waint for the 52. I will mingle and rub elbows on the 14
Mission, will imagine the cross town freedom of the 43. And finally I
will pray when I ride the J Church that I don’t get switched back on.”
Magy said that the “waint” is apparently reference to a mural in his district called “Wainting for the 52.” Avalos for the next Muni Haiku Battle, perhaps?
Gizmodo writer and Muni Diaries Live alum Annalee Newitz took her first Leap journey and found that on purely the usability level, there is another app that beats Leap’s service for a very simple reason. Her story details the slightly confusing morning of trying to find the Leap bus, and then this happened:
First, it didn’t even have an Android app – to buy my coffee, I had to borrow the iPhone app of the woman working behind the counter. More importantly, Leap’s mobile site didn’t tell me when the next bus would be coming. Sure, Leap promises that they will come every 15 minutes during the hours when they run. But I couldn’t time my arrival at the bus stop because Leap wouldn’t tell me when the bus was coming. The teeny blue bus icon didn’t even show up on their real-time map until it was about a block away from my stop.
This wouldn’t seem like such an affront if it weren’t for the fact that San Francisco’s public transit system uses an app called NextBus which is actually ridiculously helpful. It geolocates you, and gives you a list of arrival times for all the buses in your immediate area.
We can probably all agree that knowing when the bus is coming is…kind of, sort of, important when you’re trying to get somewhere, right? You can read the rest of her journey on Gizmodo. You should also check out this excellently illustrated and well-written story on the privatization of buses in San Francisco.