(near) death by Muni

I’m wary of all Muni drivers, and you should be, too. Walking across Geary (yikes) the other day, I preferred to stand in the unguarded median than race an oncoming 38. While drivers of regular vehicles will usually stop for a pedestrian in an unlighted crosswalk (you know, it being the law and everything), Muni is clearly above this standard.

I’m not just bagging on our favorite local transit agency because of a continuing killing streak the buses seem to have been on the last few years. It’s highly cool to hate Muni, of course, but I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon.

I walk a lot. Alone, usually. I obey more traffic signals than most of my fellow pedestrians who, braver than I, will dart in front of a California Street cable car because it takes too long to wait for our light. So, I get really pissed off when Muni buses (to name names, the 10-Townsend when it’s on North Point and the 33-Stanyan when it’s on 18th Street) take the red light like it ain’t no thang. I follow the rules. Are you going to?

I see it happen a lot, in fact. The bus stops to pick up/drop off people near an intersection. Instead of stopping at that intersection (since their light has now turned red), they’ll speed through with little to no regard for us peds (whose light is actually green at this point) in order to get to that next stop on the other side of the intersection.

It begs the question of whether there’s some kind of stops-made quota the drivers have to fill before they can go home, get a raise, get a bonus, whatever. After all, they’re not regular 9-to-5-ers like the rest of us. Whatever the answer to this question, I implore the drivers to just fucking stop at the red light next time. Becoming Muni pizza is rather low on most of our to-do lists.

One comment

  • Shirley Anderson

    I just called 311 to complain about an incident on the N-Judah and I’m wondering how much good it will do, since it was MUNI I was talking to. Can anyone say if calling the complaint line helps?

    I was on an out-bound N-judah at around 11 am today(Feb 4, 2010) and an old woman got on the bus and sat opposite me next to the door. She got off at 27th & Judah and as she was making her way slowly down the steps the doors shut on her knocking her to the ground and partly under the car. I jumped up and held the door so the train wouldn’t move until she could safely get up. It took her some time to get up and she had hurt her knee and pulled up the leg of her slacks to look at it. The driver’s finally came out (there were two on board) to see what was going on. After asking the the lady if she was okay (she was swearing at them as was I) they started giving me attitude about holding the door open. The lady was upset and crying and didn’t really give them an answer to their question, as well as trying to communicate in English. It seemed like the drivers were more concerned that I had held the train by holding the door and no to zero concern that an eighty year old passenger had been knocked to the ground by the fast closing door. It seems that drivers can hold doors when they want to and sometimes they shut almost immediately. The drivers didn’t even ask the lady her name or ask her if she needed emergency services. When I called the 311 line and gave the information the operator said she would pass the info to Passenger services. How much good does that do? I gave details as to car#, time and stop so MUNI should be able to figure out who was driving.

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