Manners — Muni vs. BART

Photo by Flickr user myelectricsheep

This post from BART and Muni rider “E” is cross-posted on Muni Diaries, which you should be reading also …

Because of a knee injury, this week I had to take the T line to Embarcadero BART station for my daily trans-Bay commute (rather than bike as I usually do because it’s faster, more convenien, and comfortable than riding Muni). While I’m thankful to have the public transportation option, I had to notice once again how incredibly rude Muni riders are in comparison to BART users.

1) Smoking marijuana right on the station platform
2) Spitting on the platform
3) Blocking the doorway
4) Talking extremely loudly on cell phones
5) Loudly telling offensive stories about drugs and sex
6) Urinating or otherwise soiling train
7) Putting feet on seats
8) Letting animals sit on seats
9) Calling me a “fucking bitch” and threatening to kick me when I asked the man to pick up his dog.

After the last incident, I walked up to a police officer in our car to ask for help and he just told me, “I’m getting off here”. Having to ride with the threatening dog owner after the police officer refused to help me was awkward, to say the least.

Why does riding Muni always feel like being taken hostage by rude, dirty, and threatening people while everyone else just looks the other way — including the police? BART doesn’t feel that way.

I’ll be glad to get back on my bike.


  • BART riders can be just as rude, but I think the commute crowd has a tendency to be tamer. I have seen people block doors, get in fights, a crazy dude hack up a garbage bag with a razor blade. I’ve seen guys drink open beer like the BART is a bar car, watch a non-deaf guy beg for money like he’s deaf. I’ve seen people urinate on the platform, attempt to spit water on the third rail until I stopped him. I ask myself “why?” on that one. Darwinism, yanno. People talk loudly on cell phones until we go under the bay and then there are the select few who continue talking even though it’s a dead zone. I was at the Bayfair station when someone boarding the train pushed another man down the stairs. The list goes on and one. Public transportation has a key word – public.

    As far as my dog sitting on the seat? I wouldn’t let her in a million years. The seats are nasty. I seldom sit on the seats. I wish someone from a lab would culture that black gak plastering the seats and find out what kind of bacteria it is and turn it into the CDC so we could condemn the cloth seats and get them outta there.

  • Basel

    Hi, the first seven (7) categories on your MUNI list occur on BART too. It depends upon the time and location. Imagine a wolf pack of high school kids in the afternoon in the Richmond or Hayward area. The activities we abhor are repeated daily; it’s just when and where we cross paths.

  • Regular Reader

    I respectfully submit this counter-comment, found on SFIst

    “Relevant Facebook Status of the Day, Via E.K.: ‘Dear BART a-holes: When you see a sweaty pregnant woman on a crowded train checking her bloodsugar while trying to balance her bags, standing up, it would be polite to offer her your seat.'”

    Manners lack on all forms of public transit. Frankly, they just lack these days, period.

    Oh and I have to add, my cube-mate – a BART regular – saw a lady “pop a squat” and pee on the seat directly in front of her during her weekday morning commute. At least MUNI seats can be hosed down!!

  • Roger A

    So much for “To Serve and Protect”…

    If it was a BART cop, he might as well have gone up and shot the rude rider you speak of, in the back….

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