Muni driver reportedly assaulted via skateboard to the head

47VanNess
Pic by Flickr user Paul Sullivan
Muni rider Sloane sent us a harrowing story about a driver vs. passenger assault on Muni, which took place on her 47-Van Ness on Tuesday afternoon. From her public (shareable) Facebook post linked above:

…all of a sudden, the skater hits the driver in the head with his board, hard. People are crowding around and he yells some shit I can’t hear and then skates away. The man sitting behind me took a video, sent it to the police and was on the phone reporting it. We all exit the bus and the driver is sitting up front, gushing blood and in shock, trying to reach someone over the radio.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose confirmed the incident, which took place at 4pm Tuesday at Van Ness and Bush on an inbound 47. The Muni operator suffered lacerations to his forehead and was taken to Kaiser.

Rose tells us SFMTA is pulling video from the bus to help aid SFPD in its investigation.

This isn’t the first time in recent past a Muni driver suffered fight-related injuries on the job. And it won’t be the first or last time we remind everyone to stay safe — and to remember that a being a Muni operator can be a rough job. We’ll end with some too-true words from Sloane’s post: “I have no idea what instigated this but assaulting a public servant is really damn shitty.”

 

The future is now (er, next year): Sneak peek at new Muni trains

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Starting next year, you might see a few of the new light-rail trains on your commute, and SFMTA has just released photos of what these trains look like! Squee. It’s so the future.

SFMTA is set to replace all the trains by 2028, which seems a long ways away. But the first of four initial trains are in production now, scheduled to arrive by the end of this year for testing in real life in 2017.

Why are these trains better? According to the SFMTA:

Compared to our current fleet, which started service in 1996, the new Siemens trains should be much more reliable. The new trains have systems that are proven to go significantly longer in between breakdowns and, therefore, require less maintenance. The new Siemens design is projected to run an average of 59,000 miles without breakdowns, which is more than double the minimum of 25,000 miles originally specified.

Officials also said that the new trains would have a lot fewer problems raising the steps up and down. So, yay!

Take another look:
New Trains 2

H/t: SFist
Photo via SFMTA

‘Nowhere in Particular’: Art by Driver Doug on view now

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Were you lucky enough to learn the ins and outs of driving a Muni bus when Driver Doug graced the stage at Muni Diaries Live not once, but twice? No? Well, lemme just tell you, you missed out. Dude has the best insights on how to drive and ride the bus in San Francisco. He’s also written books on the topic.

Now, he’s showing the photos that the art in those books is based on. Here are the details:

Nowhere in Particular: Art by Driver Doug will be showing August 18th through September 19th at the Castro Country Club, 4058 18th Street.

A word from the artist:

“It’s been three years since “The Dao of Doug: The Art of Driving a Bus” has been published and I have learned so much about editing, marketing, podcast and audio recording. So I thought, what is the next best thing I can do to put myself out there and show my creative self to you? The answer came back through my friends in recovery. Post an art show of wall art from photos used as illustrations in my book mixed with natural scenes of beauty from places visited when I’m off the bus and away from traffic. 

On the wall are canvas wrap and semi-gloss photo prints of various sizes jam packed on a wall like cars on a freeway. I hope you like the images I have selected and let’s talk. I hope to create an opportunity to hang wall art at a reasonable price. 8″ x 10″ prints start at $50, with larger print collage semi-gloss photo frames of 20″ x 30″ available for $200.”

Photo by Kevin Wong

Transit news: Ch-ch-changes for Mission Street ‘red carpet’, Muni shelter beating, public meeting on city subway

inside Muni muni diaries by telliprego

What do you need to know about transit this week? Well:

The fantastic inside-the-beast photo is by @telliprego on Instagram. Follow @munidiaries on Instagram to see more.

A night in the life of BART’s cleaning crew

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You probably have an idea or two about what kind of grossness is on every BART train. It could be as innocuous as ice cream drippings from this over-the-top stoner, or toe jam (sorry!) from this shoeless rider. Or you could be cleaning up after this NSFW hot mess. last week BART interviewed some of the utility workers in a story on what it’s like to clean the trains every night.

BART interviewed Tony Gletty, who trains the utility workers to clean the trains, and Jennie Meixel, utility foreworker:

“When BART had the old carpet flooring, I used to have to get on my hands and knees to scrub spots, and bend in awkward positions.” Gletty reflected. “It’s a lot better now.” Meixel mixes it up to keep workers from strain: “I try to rotate tasks as much as possible,” she said.

Black splotches of gum, flattened into the floor by being stepped on hundreds of times, were like sticky polka dots on the floors of train cars. (Even though the new composite flooring is easier to clean than the old carpeted floors, the last of which were removed in August 2015.) Someone had left a half-drunk Big Gulp beverage on the seats as well, but the workers said that was one of the cleaner cars they typically encounter.

Hats off to these hard-working people. Read more about it here.

Photo credit: BART.gov

Muni operator, driver get into physical fight

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Image courtesy Carla Romero for The Examiner

Being a Muni operator is no picnic in the park sometimes. Because, FSM knows, even as you’re piloting a Muni vehicle by picnics in the park, any number of surprises and vitriol could launch themselves into your lane.

That’s why it was especially disheartening to see and hear of violence against Muni operators. This past weekend, Muni operator Carla Romero, pictured above, claimed she was attacked by an irate car driver as she reattached the trolley wires outside a 30-Stockton bus. The driver, in turn, claimed Romero attacked him. See the full report on SFExaminer.com.

Romero told The Examiner that she loves working for Muni, but she wants the public to be more aware of the violence operators are subject to out there.

To many of us Muni riders, a great operator can make your day. Cases in point: an operator, Tammy, throwing a party for her passengers on the 33-StanyanDriver Doug, who somehow still associates the word “Zen” with Muni after driving it for 17 years; and this Metro operator, who has absolutely no time to wait for shit blocking his path.

Stay safe, everybody, and keep your hands to yourselves whenever possible.

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