Muni driver … to the rescue?

From today’s Ingleside Station SFPD newsletter, though the incident likely happened sometime last week:
<blockquote>2:30 pm — Silver Ave. &amp; Mission St. — Strong Arm Robbery

A 15 year old Portola District male was set upon and beaten by three robbers who broke his jaw and took his iPod. <strong>A Muni bus driver stopped the assault</strong> and the perpetrators fled. The robbers were described as: black males aged 16 to 18 years old, standing 5’9″ to 5’10” tall, weighing 150 to 160 pounds. All were wearing black sweatshirts over dark jeans. One was wearing a black beanie hat, one was carrying a black back pack.</blockquote>
(Emphasis mine)

Muni Hookups on Craigslist

So you’re sitting on the bus and you spot a hottie sitting across from you, what do you do? If you’re a bunch of “suits” on the 41, looks like the thing to do is to stare at the said attractive woman shamelessly and then apologize for it! I found this hilarious post on Craigslist’s Missed Connections section:

Woman on the 41, jeans, sweater, too much attention

So you got on the bus somewhere on union today, you sat facing forward, the suits with their blackberries and the awkward stares filled the back of the bus, 9 old guys trying to catch a glimpse of you. my buddy and i had our backs to you and could not stop laughing watching these guys. the best was when you got off the bus and walked into the old jamba juice, full floor to ceiling glass, looked back and caught the ENTIRE group of dudes staring… so for two of us, we apologize. You are extremely beautiful and the staring was intense, but still pretty funny.

Thanks.

Lovelorn Muni riders have also posted for the dark hair beauty on N-Judah, the intense blonde on the 44, and a hoodie-wearing guy again on the N (hmmm is the N the hottest line in the Muni system?).

Do you have a Muni missed connection?

p.s. Don’t ask me why I’m reading the Craigslist Missed Connection section! I’m doing it for the greater good of Muni riders!

Yes, San Francisco, you are paying for Muni’s accidents

Not the worst that can happen in a Muni accident

Not the worst that can happen in a Muni accident

The San Francisco Chronicle reports today that since July 2002, Muni has paid out nearly $66 million to “people who allege injuries, fatalities, and property damage caused by the agency’s transit fleet.” Muni accidents are costing the city millions, and the number of fatalities so far this year sounds pretty awful to me:

Three pedestrians have been killed so far this year by Muni buses or streetcars. In January, a 40-year-old man in the Sunset District tripped and fell under an N-Judah streetcar, which dragged him for two blocks. In May, a 77-year-old woman was struck and killed by a 71-Haight-Noriega bus on Market Street. Last month, a 63-year-old woman died after an N-Judah streetcar struck her in a crosswalk.

Last year, there were eight fatalities, double the number from 2006. In most every case involving death or serious injury, the city is sued. Some of the cases take years to resolve.

(From Muni Accidents Cost S.F. Dearly)

Personally I have seen some pretty reckless behaviors like drivers who can’t see cyclists riding in the bike lane or an extremely fast bus careening down the hill (hello 27-Bryant, I am talking to you!). My car’s got a pretty ugly dent from the Mission bus that decided to sidle up to my passenger door a few years ago. According to the Chronicle, accidents like these (Muni hits another vehicle) account for more than half of the claims. Meanwhile, the top safety position at the agency has remained unfilled for the past four to five months, reports the Chronicle.

Have you seen any dangerous Muni behavior or accidents?

The Low-Down on NextBus SMS Feeds

I admit. I don’t own an iPhone or any Bluetooth-enable device. Therefore, I’m stuck relying on dumb luck and the occasional NextBus kiosk to catch a timely bus. So after reading Beth’s blog about the NextBus text messaging service, I got pretty excited. Would this mean I wouldn’t have to text a friend anymore to get the next 33 outbound? Don’t hold your breath, friends.

Last week, all week, I put the SMS system to the test, texting for Nextbus predictions. And here’s what I found: the system works – sort of. The key is to be exact about the text and coding of your messages. The NextBus site tries to explain the way the system works, but fails on many accounts. So I’ve put together a barebones how-to guide to get you through the rough patches. I’ll keep playing around with the system and make updates as needed. But here’s the low, low down:

Starting the message: Every message needs to start with “Nbus muni.”

Specifying an address/intersection: If you don’t know the route number or just want to find the next bus coming your way, use the street address or intersection. For example, “haight & clayton” or “2010 haight.” The entire text message would be:

Nbus muni 2010 haight    OR   Nbus muni haight & clayton

Specifying a bus line: To specify a bus line (AKA route number) at your location, add “r” plus the line. For example, “r43” specifies the 43 line. The entire text message would be:

Nbus muni r43 haight & clayton

The not-very-useful “n” command: When Muni texts you back with predictions, you can respond by texting “n” back. This gives you either arrival predictions for the next bus going by your location (like the 7 line if the previous predictions were for the 6 line) or the next direction (such as outbound or inbound).  There’s no way to tell – or specify – what you’re going to get.

Specifying the direction: You can’t, so don’t try! This part pissed me off the most. Often, Nextbus responded with outbound bus predictions when I wanted inbound bus predictions. How do you circumvent this? You can try two things:

– Respond with the “n” command. You’ll either receive information for the next direction, the next line, or the super annoying “Going beyond end of selection.” Arg!
– If you specified a route, create a new message specifying an address or intersection. If you get the wrong direction, respond with the “n” command.

Saving a stop: Save a stop that you’d like to save in the future by responding to NextBus with “s STOPNAME,” and Nextbus will remember it for next time. For example “s school” saves your location as the stop for your school. The next time you want predictions for that stop, just text “Nbus school.”

Read more

Fold up the baby strollers and bring extra pacifiers, ok?

SFGate has a very spirited discussion of whether moms should be required to fold up babystrollers on Muni. Some seemed to have turned this into a gender issue but really this is an etiquette issue. Muni requires moms to fold up strollers for safety of passengers and children alike, but some have balked at the regulation.

There are over 110 comments on the original Chronicle story, “SF: Strollers must be folded up on Muni.” I, for one, think the rule is fantastic and wish Muni would add a couple more etiquette rules like, bring a couple of extra pacifiers to put in your child’s mouth if he starts crying. Please don’t pretend you don’t hear it because the rest of us certainly can hear the wailing all the way from the back of the bus. I would like the parents with monster strollers to fold up their baby SUVs on the sidewalks of Noe Valley and Pac Heights as well, just my personal request.

What do you think, should people be required to fold up their baby strollers on Muni?

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