One Muni driver’s plea about your phone habit

tammy

Muni driver Tammy has a very reasonable request: could we please look up from our phones as we get ready to board the bus?

From Tammy:

I wanted to ask you if you could start a dialogue with your followers regarding “Passengers waiting for the bus while distracted by [their] cell phones.” It has become increasingly frustrating to provide great customer service when my passengers are not prepared to board the bus…

Muni Driver Tammy

In case you’re wondering: the bus doesn’t stop at every stop by default: Tammy says that drivers pay attention to body language, especially when it’s a multiple-line bus stop. “In order to keep the service going, we look at the potential passengers standing at the bus stop to see if they want the bus, and then if we see that they do, we stop.”

Tammy says that passengers are looking down at their phones, or worse, with earbuds in their ears. As the driver approaches the stop, often nobody is looking up. “It’s not until you get ready to pull off, they look up and then all of a sudden they start waving” when the bus is already in motion.

Yikes. That sounds about as annoying to the drivers as it is for the riders. You might remember Tammy as the Muni driver who threw a surprise party on the 33-Stanyan for her riders when she was switching routes. Years later, she continues to brighten days for riders, even inspiring two visiting travelers to write to us recounting their experience with Tammy. We still get occasional dispatches about Tammy sightings, which are always a delight.

We have to admit that we’re also guilty of feeding the phone addiction at the bus stop while we wait. It sounds like it would make everybody’s lives easier if we looked up every once in a while with our Clipper card or fare in hand, and make some kind of motion to the bus driver to stop. What do you think?

Got other Muni-riding tips? Tag us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter, or email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com

How a Muni ride went from piss to bliss

Muni is probably our longest love-hate relationship, a widespread phenomenon that became the focus of one bus rider’s one-woman play. That woman, Ady Lady, is a writer and performer. She’s written and performed two solo shows: Sara Jane Tried to Shoot the President and From Piss to Bliss, the latter of which was about her desperate attempt to lead with love while riding Muni.

Update: She’s still working on it.

Ady Lady told her story at Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop earlier this spring. For everyone who missed it (or can’t wait for the encore), here’s her story:

If you have your own Muni story to pitch to our podcast, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And remember to rate us on iTunes if you like what you hear.

Photo by Right Angle Images

Muni fare goes up to $3 starting July 1

Another good reason to get a Clipper card: Muni cash single fare is going up again this July from $2.75 to $3. According to the SFMTA, pre-paid fares (a la Clipper or Muni Mobile) is still $2.50.

The upcoming fare increase applies to cash fares, which critics are saying is a “back door poverty tax.” (Updated with this Hoodline story for more details on the criticism).

The monthly M and A passes are also going up. Here are the main changes:

Single Ride FaresCurrentJuly 1, 2019
Regular Adult: Cash (Clipper card fare remains the same)$2.75$3
Discount single ride*: Cash and Limited-Use Tickets$1.35$1.50
Monthly PassesCurrentJuly 1, 2019
Monthly M pass (Muni only)$78$81
Monthly A pass (Muni + BART within SF)$94$98
Discount monthly* and Lifeline Pass$39$40

* Youth (ages 5-18), Seniors (65+), People with Disabilities

So there you have it: remember, everybody must pay fare, lizard people or not!

Photo by @sfstreets415

Glamorous Farrah Fawcett dog wins Muni ride

It took me a minute to parse this one.

Rider Jack, who shared on the Muni Diaries Facebook Page, says: “After a long day of being cute, someone needed a nap on the 14.”

That hair, tho—Farrah would’ve been proud.

Check out (and submit) more cute on Muni: we’ve entered official BART cuddle zones, received fur friend dispatches from our fuzziest riders, and cuddled the most precious cargo. Take us to the next level in cute by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or hitting up our email inbox, muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

That time when a Muni driver let me take the N-Judah for a spin

Rider Adrian Covert casually mentioned on Twitter the other day that he “drove the N-Judah once.” The driver actually invited him into the cockpit, he says. So, of course, we chased him down for the story.

Here’s Adrian’s tale:

I was about a block away from the N-Judah stop at 9th/Irving when I saw that I just missed the train. I was bummed at first, until I heard another train pulling behind it (as often happens with the N). I started running…

The train pulled to a stop just as I was running across the street. The driver, however, refused to open the door. Following a nightmare week of nightmare Muni service, I stepped in front of the train, and told the driver I wouldn’t budge until he opened the door.

He opened the door and I sat right next to him so that I could vent. He then asked, “Sir, what train is this?” I replied this was the N-Judah, and that I hated Muni. He asked again, and pointed to the sign, which read “Train out of service. Sorry, No Passengers.”

I looked around and noticed I was the only person on the train. I accepted that this was my bad, and apologized for being an ass. He said that what most worried him most was how I ran in front of the train at the intersection. He talked about how long it took trains to stop.

When we arrived at the entrance of the Carl & Cole Tunnel, he stopped the train, stepped out of the driver area (cockpit?) and asked if I wanted to drive the train. “Are you serious?” I asked. “F*ck yeah I want to drive the train.”

I sat in the driver seat, and he showed me the kill switches and levers. He said, “I want you to take the train to top speed, and then slam the brakes so you can see how long it takes to stop.” He mentioned this tunnel was safe, in that it was straight without any switches.

I took it to about 40 mph, and slammed the brakes. Took about a hundred yards to come to a complete stop, still in the tunnel. His point made, he then retook the “wheel” and let me sit in the control room with him until I got off at my stop.

We’re so glad Adrian took the driver up on his offer.

Underground (not literally but figuratively) Muni? Muni after dark? Whatever you call this genre, we want to know about it. In the same vein, Muni Diaries’ own Tara once got a private ride on an off-duty 49, straight-chillin’, cigarette-smoking operator and all. If anyone deserved it, this person did. (More than a decade later, she’s still not naming names.)

Muni Diaries is made of your stories, whether you’re in the driver’s seat or not! Submit your own tale on the bus by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook @munidiaries.

Photo by @captum.cdxv

Stilt-walking Muni transfers at Carnaval = antidote for SF ennui

Carnaval this weekend offered up plenty of antidote for those of us tired of the “San Francisco is doomed/losing its soul/breaking your heartmeme. Our favorite is this group of young people who decided to turn their love for San Francisco up to 11. Not only did they dress up as old-school Muni transfers, they are also walking on stilts because, why not?

From the video, it looks like there is also a 14-Mission bus in costume at the parade. We would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the planning of this costume idea.

Thank you Rene and Cara on Twitter for pointing us to this latest ode to public transit! It’s certainly not the first bit of Muni transfer love we’ve gotten over the years. Alongside its Fast Pass cousin, the transfer is a well-established piece of transit ephemera, tattoo subject (the barometer for truly making it into the cultural canon around here), and source of existential outrage when news came about its environmentally necessary end.

Got other important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox, muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, is always open, too.

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