These guys … freestyling on BART is everything

When I moved to SF back in 2000, one of the first things I noticed about Muni Metro and BART trains is the lack of dancers and musicians on the train, a la NYC subways. That’s why it was especially refreshing to see this submission to @bartdiaries the other day, from Urban Baseball Chick.

I just … how do they … WUT?

Maybe you can help this old man ID exactly what this style of dance is called? It’s not poppin and lockin, or is it? Help!

Even this BART ad can’t with 2016

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When Amy sent this to me the other day, I was really confused. Was BART running vintage ads on purpose? Do they, like many of us, want this current year (and really, does 2017 look any better?) to not exist, and are thus choosing to live in the past?

In any case, check out this old-ass BART ad. I mean, those carpets

Official-looking BART ad implores riders: Get your shit together

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Someone with crafty Photoshop fingers made these official-looking ads on BART, and I think we can all approve of this message:

“Attention BART riders: Racism, Sexism, Islamophobia, Homophobia, Transphobia and Zenophobia are prohibited in the BART system at all times. Get your shit together.”

A good message at any time, especially now.

Here are some more creative hacks of Muni and BART signs:

h/t SFist

Photo by @yearofthefilm

An ode to one of our favorite buskers

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Jesse Morris was better known as “Punk Rock Johnny Cash” — if you had the fortune of seeing him at downtown BART stations, you’d know his breathtaking rendition of “Folsom Prison Blues.” Jeff took this photo in an alley off Valencia yesterday, a simple honoring of this musician who made our Muni and BART rides just a little more special.

In 2011, riders told us that Jesse had passed away, and more than 60 people wrote us about how much he made their day every time they saw him at BART.

Two of the letters that we got from readers at the time:

“When my sister turned 40 a few years ago, I gave Punk Rock Johnny Cash $10 to sing happy birthday to her on my phone.”

“For the past four years, I looked forward to seeing Jesse at BART. When my Mom was dying from cancer, I got her one of Jesse’s CDs, She loved Johnny Cash, and she loved SF, and he was kind of a bit of both.”

Jesse’s bandmates and friends organized a benefit concert for him at the Uptown in Oakland. Here’s a video of Jesse singing at BART — it’s easy to see why he made such a big impression on everyone.

RIP Jesse Morris, indeed.

[VIDEO] BART passenger hopes Assyrian speaker on train gets deported


If this week (year?) has taught us anything, it’s that there is fear all around us, even in our little Bay Area-shaped bubble.

We originally heard about the video from Emily T. Green (@emilytgreen) on Twitter, whose friend Ivet Lolham posted this video on her Facebook page.

I was on the BART going home after a long day and this lady right here heard me talk Assyrian on the phone. You can see what happened next…

Here’s my best attempt at transcribing what the seated woman is saying in the video:

“This woman is a stalker from the Middle East. She’s a Middle Eastern terrorist, and she’s terrorizing citizens like me. And she will probably get deported. And this bastard (points to someone off-camera behind her) … oh, you shut the fuck up. You’re all stalkers. Don’t lie.

(woman taping says, “This is gonna go on Facebook”).

“I don’t give a fuck. Nobody’s gonna watch it. What I would like to say right now is, this crazy person is stalking people, with all these other stalkers. And anybody watching on Facebook knows the ugly, dirty thing you do every year playing the dead pool game (says something indecipherable) and you’re standing here harassing me and I think you’re an ugly little pig who might get deported and I pray that you do.”

We’re in touch with Emily, a Chronicle reporter, and Ivet to find out more about what happened. We’ll update this post as needed.

Be careful out there, everybody.

Election Guide 2016 for the transit-savvy voter

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You might’ve noticed it’s election season. While the contest for commander-in-chief has tempered many of us in an anxious, sour marinade over the last several months, let’s not forget the hyper-local measures on our SF ballots this year — particularly those relating to public transit. Rather than advocating for one measure or candidate, consider this a pointer post for all the pertinent transit-oriented ballot measures.

Every vote counts, so read up and get out there on Nov. 8. Those “I voted” stickers won’t wear themselves.

BART Board of Directors Districts 7 and 9

The BART Board of Directors comprises nine elected officials representing the nine BART districts. Each member serves a four-year term, and two of those districts have open seats. District 7 includes, among several East Bay stations, Montgomery and Embarcadero stations. District 9 is entirely within the city of SF, including the 16th Street Mission, 24th Street Mission, Glen Park, Civic Center, Powell Street, and Balboa Park stations.

Prop J: Funding for Homelessness and Transportation

Prop J aims to amend the city charter to allocate an initial $50 million per year for homeless services and an initial $101.6 million for transportation services over the next 24 years. An approved proposition would also include scheduled increases over that period. The transportation improvements would be paid through a Transportation Improvement Fund, which would subsidize the cost of transportation for low-income seniors, youth, and people with disabilities, as well as to upgrade the existing fleet and infrastructure.

Prop K: General sales tax

There’s no Prop J without Prop K. Both have to pass in order for anything to take effect, because the sales tax increase (Prop K) would fund all the improvements for the homeless and transportation services outlined in Prop J.

Sales tax increase, you say? Yes. A yes vote on Prop K would increase the city sales tax from 8.75 percent to 9.25 percent.

Prop L: The SFMTA Board of Directors

Prop L proposes amending the city charter to split the appointment authority for the SFMTA Board of Directors between the mayor and the Board of Supervisors. Currently, the mayor holds all appointing power to that board. Additionally, a yes on L would reduce the number of supes needed to reject the SFMTA budget from seven to six.

SFMTA is the agency that manages any and all Muni “stuff.”

Prop RR: BART infrastructure improvements

A yes vote on RR means you’re in favor of the BART powers that be increasing its debt, via this $3.5 million bond measure, to garner the funds needed to upgrade the aging system’s infrastructure. Such improvements include replacing and upgrading the system’s tracks, tunnels and train-control systems.

The SF Transit Riders Union put together their first-ever election guide. In addition to spotlighting candidates that have put legislative money where their mouths are in terms of public-transit advocacy, they’ve made endorsements on these ballot measures and more if you’re itchy for more knowledge.

Hear our best Muni stories live on stage! Muni Diaries Live is back on Nov. 5 at the Elbo Room. Tickets on sale now!

Pic by moppett65535 on Flickr

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