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

BART rejects ‘pussy-grabbing’ ad, sums up the state of the world today

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It’s come to this, you guys.

BART has effectively edited an ad from a women’s underwear brand in ways that might not shock you (assuming that you, unlike me, are still able to be shocked). SFGate has the story.

The ads feature inverted photographs of models wearing the underwear above the Thinx logo. BART was OK with “anxiety-proof underwear” and “patriarchy-proof underwear,” and didn’t bat an eye at the trans models in two ads.

 
But BART could not abide the phrase “pussy-grabbing,” and rejected that ad as violating the agency’s policies. Spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in a statement that the display “contains words recognized by the community as vulgar, indecent or profane for display in a public setting that includes minors.”

After months (years?) of wanting this cockamamie election to be over, I am now savoring this great story and kinda don’t want the insanity to end.

If you want to check out the Thinx website, I wouldn’t want to deter or dissuade you from doing that. Not by any means.

BART’s new fleet sees the light of day

If you blinked, you might’ve missed it—last weekend BART slowly rolled out (get it?) a test model of its new fleet of trains for some of us to “oooh” and “ahhhh” over. SFGate has details on upcoming tests if you didn’t catch this one:

Overnight testing for the train should start in the next two weeks, said Paul Oversier, assistant general manager for BART, with daytime runs starting in December and tests with passengers starting in early 2017.

According to that same SFGate post, some people who did get to ride lodged some complaints:

Regular BART commuters from Pleasant Hill and elsewhere into the East Bay bemoaned the lack of seats available on the new cars. Already, the current cars with four more seats are overcrowded, they said, and standing for an hour commute isn’t exactly comfortable.

Changes from the current fleet include: more standing room, higher ceilings, a more-efficient AC system, three boarding doors per car (versus the current two), and better ways to secure bicycles. BART’s plan is to have 775 new cars by 2021 to try to keep up with an ever-expanding ridership.

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

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