Leaving San Francisco for parts north was no small decision for Katie Havercamp, mom of a Muni-riding cat named LeBron James, musician, and bigtime local transit and local history buff. Her experience runs the gamut of grief stages, but, thankfully for her and all of us, never settles into acceptance.
I find it stressful being the navigator in a regular car, clarifying GPS-delayed directions from the tiny machine—is it the next turn or is it the next next turn? I might as well be guiding us through the solar system.
Now imagine trying to do the same for a bus, driving through San Francisco, with strangers who definitely aren’t on a fun road trip with you.
Well, imagine no more because it happened to Hayden Miller, who joined the Muni Diaries Live stage for the first time (and hopefully not the last) in April 2022. He might be in high school, but his expertise was known to a n00b Muni operator, who leaned on that knowhow for driving directions (seriously). All ended up in some…uncharted territory.
Listen to (or watch on the ol’ Muni Diaries YouTube) Hayden’s story:
It’s been a while since we brought you a tale from the stage, so we are extra thrilled to share a podcast episode featuring a story from Muni Diaries Live on April 7, 2022. Today’s episode features Muni operator (and Muni Haiku Battle alum) MC “Mack” Allen live from Rickshaw Stop, our first show back after our long pandemic winter.
We knew him from the Twitters as a transit fan and poet, but his love for the city and its transit system went above and beyond when he decided to become a Muni operator during the pandemic.
He jumped through many hoops to become a Muni operator (we think you’ll really enjoy the behind-the-scenes look into the journey), but MC had no idea what was yet to come. In mere weeks, he’d be briefing the entire Twitter universe about the ins and outs of driving Muni via a viral thread about the blockbuster movie, Shang-Chi. His star rising, SFGate called him the most famous bus driver in San Francisco, and we’re proud to have known him when.
We are excited to introduce two awesome people who are joining the Muni Diaries crew to make this quirky diary of city living even more fun. If you are a part of the local Transit Twitter community, you are probably already familiar with their names: Kat Siegal and Sarah Katz-Hyman are joining the Muni Diaries Crew as our new editors!
We’ve always admired Kat and Sarah’s deep knowledge of public transit, their local activism, and their love for this city. I feel so fortunate that as Muni Diaries grows into its teenage years, we are keeping the storytelling strong by adding two incredibly thoughtful (and witty) San Franciscans to the crew.
Here’s more about Kat and Sarah, in their own words:
Our 14th (!) birthday is also a few days prior, and we can’t wait to celebrate another year of that transit life with all of you.
We’re forever changed from the last two years, and we don’t anticipate to cleanly pick up where we left off in 2020. Muni has always been a litmus test for what’s happening more broadly in San Francisco, and word in The San Francisco Chronicle is that ridership hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, it’s unclear when it will. But people are still moving and shaking around this most dynamic town, and we’re here to celebrate that.
Per San Francisco guidelines, show will be vaxxed only. As of now, masks are no longer required indoors, but there is absolutely no shame in the mask game.
And just like that, 2021 is nearly over, but we aren’t calling it done until we celebrate all of you who submitted a Muni Diaries entry this year! Despite this seemingly never-ending pandemic, you’ve tweeted your commute, sent us your stories on Facebook, and even came on our virtual podcast recording. We’re closing out the year with a vote for the best submission of the year.
We are celebrating these five submissions this year: