Latest on Muni Diaries

New streetcar line debuts next month


Do you think it’s weird how the F-Market doesn’t run on the Embarcadero south of Market, despite there being hella streetcar tracks along that stretch? You’re not alone.

Muni is set to start its much anticipated E-Embarcadero service on weekends starting in late-July. Hoodline has the deets:

Five historic streetcars will be put into service from 10am–7pm Saturdays and Sundays, with rollout of seven-day service planned in early 2016. They’ll make the same stops as the N-Judah from the Folsom stop to Caltrain, using separate street-level platforms, and will share the same stops as the existing F-line historic streetcar from the Ferry Terminal north to the Wharf. Streetcars will run about every 15 minutes.

“There are two really exciting benefits of the E-line,” said Julie Kirschbaum, operations planning and scheduling manager for SFMTA. “The first is it makes new connections. It provides a one-seat ride for people traveling from the Embarcadero to 4th and King or the ballpark.” It also provides additional capacity where the F-line is most packed: between Pier 39 and the Ferry Building. “By giving this extra service on the weekends,” she added, “it will help make the F-line less crowded.”

Check out the full story over at Hoodline, including information about drivers training to operate streetcars. Neat stuff.

We look forward not only to (EVEN MOAR) confused tourists, but also to stories that are bound to come out of this new Muni line. Muni Forward, indeed!

Photo by Jeremy Whiteman

Smoking WUT on Muni?


This, from Muni rider Thomas: “I was just riding the 49 from Van Ness and McAllister. Down to City College for class. And these dudes get on at 16th and Mission. This fool pulls out a crak pipe [sic] and takes a puff! No one wants their second hand meth smoke!”

While we can’t be sure what these fellas are smokin’, we just know it ain’t cool.

Just the other night, a wasted guy got on my and Tara’s 49 with a lit cigarette. I side-eyes’d him like you do, and he mumbled this and that back. Then some guys behind him told him to put it out. “It’s cool that you’re smoking, but no one on this bus likes the smell.”

We know it’s not exactly a totally new phenomenon, people smoking on the bus. But, SRSLY?

Muni inspires full hip-hop album


As if we needed further proof that Muni is a way of life, JW Friedman comes along and drops an entire album of music about our transit system. We got in touch recently to learn what prompted such an artistic outpour.

“I’m a Muni commuter, I ride it all the time, so that was a big chunk of it. Mostly, though, and a bit dorkier — at the time that was recorded, there was a guy on twitter named ‘beebee’ who was fairly well-known for posting nothing but photos of the bus, and updates about his bus’ status (“the bus is late”, “the bus is here”, “i’m on the bus”, etc). I found it strangely endearing, so in a lot of ways, this was an attempt to channel that mindset, that sort of excitement about something as commonplace as public transit. There’s also a lot of background audio throughout the songs that I recorded surreptitiously on the bus (the announcements, general ambience), and the process of riding around town waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ to capture became a small obsession for me over the course of a couple weeks. So I kind of ended up channeling that excitement about transit in a lot more ways than I expected.”

He made an entire album of songs about Muni, which he calls Beebee on the Bus. We wondered what inspired the entirety of Friedman’s musical endeavors.

“Satellite High is a weird situation in a lot of ways, really. The name is a pseudonym that I established many years ago as a ‘rap name’ sort of thing when I was doing pretty traditional straight-forward hip-hop. I’ve always been a giant fan of rap, especially the more technical and esoteric side of the genre, but over time my music started to develop in ways I didn’t expect that left me pretty far from the platonic ideal of ‘a rap artist.’ I’ve actually started releasing music under my real name, J. W. Friedman, and have sort of abandoned the Satellite High moniker in the process, but that’s a very recent decision and the results remain to be seem. The main motivator, honestly, is that it can be a bit tiring to remind people that ‘Satellite High’ is one person and not a rock band or a collective or something.”

LOL I know what he means. “Muni Diaries isn’t just a guy?” LOLOL.

Anyhoo, check out the tracks herein and drop on by the album page for even more Muni Musix. Great stuff.

h/t The one, the only, Tarin Towers

What to Do This Weekend: Day Tripping on BART to Fremont’s Niles District

niles district from ileana

We’re blessed with awesome local weekend spots close by, like Dolores Park and Lake Merritt, but sometimes you just want to get out of town for a minute. Instead of shelling out money to rent a car, what if you could get BART to take you to one of those darling little towns and play tourist for a day? Taking any transit route to the end of the line can feel like an adventure, and it’s surprising how easily you can turn a commuter train ride into an actual getaway. It’s the ultimate Clipper Card hack, and a great example of a hidden weekend trip is the Historic Niles District in Fremont.

The Niles District is loaded with antique shops and cute restaurants. Here’s your weekend itinerary:


Don’t like Muni? Then don’t ride it


Muni rider Vira has had enough. She overheard “Startup Douche” (term of affection) dispatching a plea for help from aboard the 38R recently. Her recollection:

“Dear Startup Douche, I overheard your phone conversation on the 38R this morning. Couldn’t help it since you talked so loudly. You how you despise MUNI [sic], how you’re probably going to get a staph infection from holding onto the pole. For some people, MUNI [sic] is the only form of transportation. I’m sure we’d all like to take a private car from A to B. But most of us can’t. I would tell you to take your privilege elsewhere. But since you’re also riding MUNI [sic], you don’t have any. Nice try acting like you’re above us.”

Perhaps Mr. Douche mistook the cardinal rule of being a regular Muni rider: Ride, but complain. Love to hate; hate to love. That, or maybe he has an Android phone and therefore can’t use Leap. Wait a second!

What’s Wrong With This Muni Photo?

muni stop panda

Pssst: look closely, can you spot what’s wrong with this Muni photo? It looks like just another day in San Francisco, and just another Muni stop on a random block, right? Except…

Did you spot the panda?

This happy Muni moment was brought to you by @yoadriaaaaaan on Instagram. Tag us @munidiaries to submit your own!