Latest on Muni Diaries

Transit News: Memorial for boy killed by Muni train, Mission Bay Loop, Muni control upgrade, rent near Muni stops, Muni shooting victim

As with most news programs, there’s some good and some bad here.

  • CA appellate judge blocks Mission Bay Loop construction (SFGate)
  • Muni train control system gets biggest upgrade since the ’90s (SF Examiner)
  • How Leap Transit is gaming the system to get a license (SFGate)
  • Another Day, Another Driver Blocking Muni’s Busiest Metro Line (Streetsblog SF)
  • Thrillist Mapped Out the Median Rents Near Each Muni Stop and It Will Make You Sad (UpOut)
  • Man shot in face on Muni didn’t know attacker, still struggles to recover (SFist)
  • Memorial grows for boy hit, killed by Muni train (ABC 7)

From the Vault: Paper Muni Fast Passes Through the Years

Image courtesy samsast

Before Clipper cards came into your life (“Translink” for you transit OGs), we marked our calendars by the monthly unveiling of the colorful paper Fast Pass. The paper Fast Pass was discontinued in 2011, and today we’re bringing back some of our favorite old Muni passes through the years. From the Muni Diaries vault:

  • Ken Schmier is the man who came up with the concept of the Fast Pass. He’s also the mind behind NextBus. Strange, right? But also, not. This happened around 37 years ago, to the best of our knowledge. The first passes went on sale sometime in 1974. The earliest we could find an image of (below) is October 1976.
  • In a blog post from Chronicle Books, designers for the book publisher lamented the lameness of the Clipper Card look, and paid homage to the beauty of the paper pass.
  • In 2009, local artist John Kuzich opened his Fast Pass exhibit at the de Young Museum. Kuzich asked for people’s passes on Craigslist, then assembled them on panels in really interesting and beautiful ways.

1976 muni fast pass by cranky old mission guy
Photo by Cranky Old Mission Guy

You can see lots more photos in this post. Here are some of our favs:

fast pass collage by steve rhods
Photo by Steve Rhodes

fast passes by christina b castro
Photo by cbcastro

Muni Fast Pass lamp modestly lights the room


We’ve come across our fair share of people who totally adore all things Muni over the years. We’re basically no longer surprised to see such folks expressing that emotion in real-world things like a lamp made of Muni Fast Passes. Just another notch in the San Francisco Is Awesome and Muni Is a Big Part of That belt. And that’s a mighty big belt.

Other expressions of Muni love we’ve seen include a Muni rug, Muni transfer art, a Fast Pass sofa pillow, and of course, no San Francisco home would be complete without a Muni toilet seat.

You guys are the best. You knew that, right?

h/t Muni rider Sara: “I need this lamp in my life”

Willie Brown says he is totally over Muni

willie brown gavin newsom

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is so over Muni like you can’t even believe. Yes, he who raced Muni down Market Street has concluded that investing in Muni is “a waste,” and he has a much better alternative for you: Driverless cars. Can’t make this stuff up.

In his San Francisco Chronicle column, the ex-mayor first addresses the very important issue of texting while walking, then he makes this pronouncement about Muni’s budget:

Mayor Ed Lee just announced that we are going to spend $48 million to try to fix Muni. What a waste.

It’s time to accept the fact that Muni will never run on time, spend enough to keep the system from collapsing and start thinking about alternatives like driverless cars.

SFist’s Eve Batey points out that Brown was the one who, in 2014, reportedly stepped in and ended that Muni operator sickout. But clearly he’s had a change of heart:

Obviously you want bus systems that will take people out of their cars. But, just as obviously, people aren’t getting out of their cars easily. That’s why San Francisco should volunteer to be the testing ground for driverless cars.

Get Google or whoever is building them to offer 100 cars to the city and let us see how they work. Think about it. You step outside, punch in a phone number and catch the next available car. They go from one stop to the next. They don’t need parking. They just keep moving.

And you don’t have to worry about them hitting anyone. Traffic is so gridlocked downtown, I doubt a driverless car would ever go faster than 10 mph.

Not that I’ve had the years of experience running a city or anything, but a transit option that requires a smart phone? Kinda reminds me of something else you recently hated here.

Photo by Steve Rhodes

On Muni, what’s cooler than being cool?


A: Being an ice-cold, cold-blooded passenger.

Like San Francisco’s famed Skippy the iguana and Charlie before this newest find, pets of all stripes are guaranteed to upgrade your commute.

Our cute-on-transit category is crawling with all the scaly, fuzzy, and furry creatures we love spotting during our daily travels. Oh, and there are also pictures of pets. Boom!

h/t Muni rider jvh for this recent snap.