Vintage Muni: Geek out on this Bay Area transit ruin porn


Sure, everything feels like this right now. But there is is still beauty to be had if we all look closely — or if you’re, say, just wandering around in Colusa County.
Hat tip to Jack, who found the mother lode of Bay Area ruin porn by doing just that. He said this appeared to be a facility where they restore buses, but he’s keeping the exact location close to the vest to protect the undoubtedly very cool work being done here.
This treasure trove featured old Muni buses — including the 18-Sloat pictured above; the artist currently known as the 18-46th Avenue, the East Bay’s AC Transit, and even the ye olde Key System.

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[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.

How San Francisco’s transit ballot measures fared in this election


Here’s how the transit ballot measures and BART Board of Director’s races fared (data according to SFGate):

  • Prop J (PDF), which would set aside funding (generated via the proposed sales tax increase in Prop K) for homelessness and transportation: passed
  • Prop K (PDF), which was a sales tax increase of $0.0075 to cover Prop J’s set aside: failed
  • Prop L (PDF), which would have shifted three of seven MTA Board appointments from the Mayor to the Board of Supervisors: failed
  • Prop RR, which was a $3.5 billion bond to repair and upgrade BART: passed
  • BART Board District 7: Lateefah Simon
  • BART Board District 9: Bevan Dufty

For more info, check out our Election Guide.

Photo by moppett65535 on Flickr

Election Guide 2016 for the transit-savvy voter


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

Muni lessons learned: I love you and hang loose


I’ve long maintained that you can actually see the best in humanity on Muni (let’s call it hu-MUNI-ty) if you look closely. I think it’s especially true when you’re taking the bus to an errand you don’t particularly want to be doing.

I was on a 5 recently, and the bureaucratic underpinnings of my tasks ahead easily overshadowed the peppy songs on my Pandora station and the equally peppy group of developmentally disabled adults and two chaperones that joined me on the bus on Market Street.

Try as it might, the eye-rolling promise of red tape couldn’t stop the positive train from rolling right through my cranky little heart.

Despite a couple of their wheelchairs nearly getting eaten by cranky back doors (seriously, bus), the group of about 10 all made it on safely. The chaperones started signing to each other as the bus went along its way, and one of their charges seemed fascinated by their hand dances. She was so fascinated — and within my eye line — that I was fascinated. I stared at the lot of them, definitely in the mood to see something, anything, well, nice.

Whether intentionally or not — I like to think it was a happy accident, like our friend Bob Ross used to say — she started molding her own fingers into the shaka and the signal for I love you, smiling ear to ear the entire time.

It made my entire day. Days later, I’m still thinking about it.

Muni has told us this before, and it’s probably about time we start listening to it: Please love back.

Hear our best Muni stories live on stage! Muni Diaries Live is back on Nov. 5 at the Elbo Room. Online tickets have closed, but you can still get them at the door, which opens at 6pm. See you there!

Pic by Gino Zahnd on Flickr.

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