Is ‘Muni Operator’ the worst job in SF?

It sure seems so.

From the short-tempered 31-Balboa driver this morning, who apparently doesn’t field questions, to the downright defensive lady who I have to assume was training my 49-Van Ness driver just now, Muni drivers give the impression that they’d rather be mopping floors and flipping burgers.

In my latest incident, I watched as we approached the stop before mine as an elderly man kept yanking the stop-request cord. I almost asked him politely to stop, but then I noticed why he was so aggressive: The stop-requested indicator wasn’t lighting up. The trainee driver, despite seeing the man and his friends stand up in anticipation of the stop, breezed on by 19th Street at a moderate clip. It was only when the cadre of senior citizens raised their voices that she stopped, just past the striped-off bus stop.

Not wanting to take any chances, I stood up as soon as she started going again, knowing that my stop was a mere block away. I pressed the red stop button located on that bar by the doors, to no avail. I tried pulling the cord on the side opposite where the old guy pulled his. Again, nothing. But this time the driver stopped at the actual stop, to my relief.

Still, a faulty stop-request system is something perfectly reasonable to make the operators aware of. So as we stopped, I told both the trainer and the trainee that the cords on both sides weren’t working, and neither was the button. Boy, was I in for it.

“WE KNOW ABOUT IT UP HERE, THAT’S OUR JOB. BLAH BLAH BLAH, YADDA YADDA.”

All I could do in the face of such angry defensiveness was simply say, “Okay, thank you. Have a good day,” and of course, deboard.

2 comments

  • If I’m correct, and I think I am, there’s always this driver who purposely \disables\ the cord system so no one can get off.

  • Annoymous

    “Muni drivers give the impression that they’d rather be mopping floors and flipping burgers.”
    Yes, it’s true. The job is not easy. You deal with a lot of crazy people in the city who do crazy stuff around the bus and the drivers were trained to avoid collision at all cost, the stress came from impatient drivers do crazy moves around the bus.

    -Current Muni Driver

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