Those red bus-only lanes on Mission: hot or not?

red bus lane mission muni diaries burrito justice

Mission hangers-about are familiar with those hard-to-miss red bus lanes on Mission Street. Some of those people, including local business owners and Supervisor David Campos, say they’re annoying and are looking to walk back their implementation.

The lanes were part of the Mission Street Improvement Project, which established bus-only lanes on Mission Street from 14th Street to 30th Street.

Small business owners and Supervisor Campos claim that the bus-only lanes are hurting the bottom line, but can anyone really accurately estimate how much businesses were hurt by transit options? As Streetsblog points out:

Studies show that businesses tend to get it wrong about how many customers arrive by car. Regardless, figuring how it impacts bottom lines on Mission would be difficult. A sampling of businesses would have to offer their books for an audit. And then if sales receipts really went down from this time last year, it would have to be compared to businesses a few blocks away, to make sure it’s not a reflection of the regional economy.

Business owners interviewed by Streetsblog, however, point to the bus lanes as the reason for decline. In terms of estimating how much business comes from car-drivers versus Muni riders, SFMTA says that Mission street carries  over 65,000 Muni riders each day, and about 8,000 cars travel along Mission street. In addition to looking like our very own Muni red carpet — “14! 14, what are you wearing!?” — an SFMTA press release says the bus-only lanes have, thus far, improved travel-time reliability and reduced collisions.

But as Campos said in the release, “I want to make sure that the project works for everyone and takes into account the unique aspects of the Mission.”

To be fair, governing by 100-percent consensus is San Francisco’s favorite tune, and you will not take that away from those elected to govern, by god!

Bus-only lanes: Hot or not?

Photo by Burrito Justice

Bus driver loves driving the bus so much, she got a rad tattoo

MN_bus_tattoo

From the “I Wish I Loved My Job That Much” files comes the story of a Minneapolis bus driver who freaking loves the eff out of her job.

The Star Tribune has more about Angi Stevens, a five-year veteran Metro Transit transit driver:

“It’s been a hit,” said Stevens, 29, of Minneapolis. “Some people think I’m crazy. Others think it’s cool. Many people talk about it. I look down at this and say this is what I do and I’m really good at it.”

Stevens won Minneapolis’ bus “roadeo” (Muni started doing this again recently, btw—see here). The former bartender got the tattoo to celebrate her fifth anniversary driving the bus in Minneapolis. The whole Star Tribune story about Stevens is worth a read.

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SFMTA releases safety coloring book

sfmta coloring book page 1

In a surprisingly quirky move, the SFMTA released a transit safety coloring book for young people (or just adult hipsters in need of some Zen). The coloring book also has other games, like a word finder, fun facts, and safety tips for kids.

From the SFMTA:

This is an activity book for young people created by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, also called the SFMTA. The SFMTA oversees the City’s entire land-based transportation system including walking, bicycling, Muni buses, Muni Metro light rail, cable cars, historic streetcars, Paratransit cabs and vans, taxis, parking and traffic. This activity book will show you how to be safe when you are moving through San Francisco’s lively urban landscape. Safety starts with all of us: Slow down, be alert and share the road.

sfmta coloring book muni diaries page 4

It’d be pretty meta to do this while riding the bus, no? You can download the SFMTA coloring book here.

Video: Michael Jackson dead-ringer definitely startin’ something at this BART station

💛💛💛 #michaeljackson #sanfrancisco

A video posted by msdominiquediamond (@msdominiquediamond) on

Stop everything and pick up your headphones right now, because this Michael Jackson impersonator is pretty much jaw-droppingly good. Watch his moves just glide across the BART station floor. Thanks to @msdominiquediamond on Instagram for taking this excellent video, guaranteed to make you smile and watch it a few more times.

I think I’ve seen him in other outfits busking near Montgomery Street station or Powell. Anyone know this incredibly talented performer?

Chariot “brand ambassadors” target Muni riders while they wait

chariot by sf citizen

In the spirit of “there’s an app for that,” we’ve seen a lot of Muni alternatives come and go with varying degrees of obnoxiousness. Remember the doomed shuttle called Leap that tried to sell you cold brew but only if you don’t need wheelchair-accessible seats? That was pretty bad, but we just heard about a new move that might win the douche award.

Muni rider Erin L. told us that private shuttle service Chariot has been sending “brand ambassadors” to Muni stops to chat up riders to get them to quit public transit. She ran into these Chariot reps twice at the 38BX stop just last week on Sansome and Pine. The rep asked Erin whether she knew about Chariot and has heard about the app.

Ick, right? This feels more aggressive than the Lyft ads we’ve seen on Muni shelters (at least some of those make reference to the “last mile” problem). We reached out to Chariot last week but the company hasn’t returned our inquiry. However, on Chariot’s website, it looks like Chariot is ramping up their efforts of on-the-street advertising. The company is hiring more “energetic, outgoing” brand ambassadors to “spread the word about Chariot,” mostly in SoMa and downtown.
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