New BART hero identified: It’s Refrigerator Man!

Sometimes, people are the worst, but thank goodness there are also real-life heroes who will stand up against bad behavior. And we see this all the time, particularly on public transit. From rider Mariah Bear on Facebook:

Crowded BART train, I tune in and realize that a woman in hijab a few rows away is asking the guy next to her, basically, to stop manspreading. She’s saying, calmly but with increasing intensity, “Please, that’s my side of the seat. Please let me have my seat.”


I’m about to extricate myself from my window seat and offer to swap when she gets up in disgust and goes to stand. A guy gets up to offer her his seat. She starts to say, “Oh no, you don’t have to…,” He just smiles.


Dude is built like a refrigerator. She takes his seat and he just *whump* plops down next to, practically in the lap of, Mr. Manspreader.

I give him a thumbs up and a big smile.

A new hero is born! All together now: Refrigerator Man! Refrigerator Man!

Thanks to readers Cynthia P. and Mary M. for the tip.

Seen other everyday heroes who deserve our collective applause? Tag us @munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open!


What it’s like to be the humans of the SFMTA Twittertron

San Franciscans take their right to complain about Muni very, very seriously. Your colorful commentary runs the gamut between long-form pieces on the state of humanity and a well-timed (or ill-timed, as the case may be) tweet: “Fuck you, Muni!”

We get them all the time at @MuniDiaries, and we feel your pain. But it may soften those sharp edges to know that there are actually three people (not robots!) at the SFMTA whose job is to respond to an often irate public. We tracked down these most-patient humans, got them into our podcast studio, and asked them: What’s it like to be on the receiving end of our ire?

As it turns out, it’s not all terrible. In today’s Muni Diaries podcast, SFMTA’s Schad Dalton and Rick Banchero tell us all about what it’s like to run the @sfmta_muni feed and to respond to your Muni complaints and real-life crisis — everything from violent crimes to a lost scarf.

Sometimes people will tell us we’re incompetent, that we should lose our jobs, that we are a failure, and those are just some of the nicer things. Sometimes it is hard and you feel that they are coming at you. Sometimes people are like, “Hey Muni, F-U!”

But they won’t brush you off:

And you’d to check to see if there was some follow up you might have missed. We do our research: is there more to this thread? And usually it’s somebody who has to vent. A lot of times I’ll message back to see if there is something we can help with.

Listen to the whole interview with SFMTA’s Schad Dalton and Rick Banchero in today’s Muni Diaries podcast:
Google Play

You can find Schad, Rick, and their colleagues at @sfmta_muni.

Photo by @stonymcrock


Humanity spotted on Muni: She’s a lady(bug)

Pic by Flickr user chriss

In our early days (oof, more than nine years ago), we focused our storytelling and story-gathering energies on the written word, a story you’d tell to the happy-hour crowd after seeing or hearing god-knows-what on the journey over.

As the times changed and more photos and videos found their way into our inbox — and as our “inbox” expanded to include that social media you kids are always on — we came to appreciate a good written yarn even more than usual. Take it away, Bram.

I was traveling on the 7 bus recently from Haight St. to downtown, which I use almost daily. It is truly a smorgasbord of life, with many overcooked people yelling, shouting and not being particularly civilized. That is OK, but it certainly hardens you.

Across from me was a woman with a backpack on her lap. I noticed she had a company ID in her hand and was trying to encourage an object onto her plastic ID. It was a ladybug.

She pushed, asked and begged until it made its way onto the plastic. She then gently placed the card under a seat, so Lady would not be crushed by feet, and waited until she walked to freedom.

Me, would have flicked it out the window, onto the next seat or aisle and not thought twice about it.

I got off before her. Turned to her and said, thanks for putting my faith back into humanity.

Thanks for sending, @bramgoodwin. Inspired to spill a real-life, so-San Francisco story of your own? Share on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox,, is always open.

Found: The Muni suggestion box is open

The letter box on Muni buses isn’t just for religious flyers. Rider Terry F. recently spotted a hand written note in the box on his bus, and it turned out to be a polite reminder to Muni repair:

To Muni Repair,

There are 6 yellow tiles missing (broken) at the platform at the first stop at Caltrain stop outbound. Keep up the good work with picking up the trash.


Miss Lisette S.

In the age of tweeting your Muni complaints, I can really appreciate a letter writer. Thanks, Terry, for passing this along.

Other repair requests to Muni:
Poop-cleaning neighbors still need help
BART riders weigh in on escalator repair date
Lost and found: this Muni driver has your ID

Have you seen other noteworthy letters or missives of any other form? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open!

Are you a podcast fan? Hear our live stories on the new Muni Diaries podcast! Find us on iTunes and Google Play!

This Muni Metro left us googly eyed

…and also a little scared and a touch like Cookie Monster.

Not one week after we receive an important dispatch on the Muni Scream lights—party on, pareidolia—we receive word, from rider Matt, that the application of googly eyes for delight-inducing purposes is alive and well.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen googly eyes on Muni Metro and we certainly hope it’s not the last. If you’ve yet to be convinced of the delight factor, googly eyes actually represent a totally an important art movement.

h/t to rider Matt—thanks, Matt!

Spotted googly eyes in the wild? Gone googly-eyed over something you saw in the wild? Both are fair game here at Muni Diaries, and we’d love if you shared on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox,, never has eyes bigger than its stomach, so don’t fret and feed the beast.

Has Muni got your goat?

Sounds about right.

All puns aside, sender-inner Emily treated us to a delightful scene over at Muni’s Presidio Division: your standard, so-very-SF web of overhead bus wires, sleeping Muni coaches, AND GOATS, OMG!

In addition to feeding our Muni menagerie obsession, goats are a tried-and-true vegetation management technique. In fact, the fine, well-horned staff of City Grazing was recently spotted on Twin Peaks, doing their part (nomming delicious, delicious weeds) for this year’s Pink Triangle event.

If you’ve got important cuteness (or weirdness, or oddities, or…) other important news for your fellow riders, tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always hungry, too.


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