Introducing Muni Time Capsule

Today we’re unveiling a new addition to the Muni Diaries community: say hello to Muni Time Capsule, a digital archive of transit ephemera from days gone by. We know that public transportation is an essential experience in our urban life in San Francisco, so what was Muni like before the present time?

The idea for Muni Time Capsule started when one day, Jeff’s former co-worker walked into the office with a box of Muni memorabilia. Inside were old schedules, service change pamphlets (sometimes for service increases, if you can believe it), maps, photos, and various ephemera that we couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to see.

You’ll see some of the great items from the box on the site, but that’s not all. As with Muni Diaries, Muni Time Capsule is a collaborative process. This is a place where you can help build a digital time capsule of life on public transit in San Francisco, and a place for you to share your favorite images and stories of Muni from back in the day.

We’re celebrating Muni Time Capsule and our collective love for the city today at the Muni Diaries and I Live Here:SF Happy Hour at SOMArts, 5-8 p.m.. There will be food carts, drinks, amazing photography and art, and you can even write your own Muni story and caption your own Muni cartoons. So, please, meander over to Muni Time Capsule, take a look around, and we will see you this evening!


  • Ugh. i wish i could be there. DAM my shitty day job, dam it to hell!

  • Jerold

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  • Jerold

    I really wish I could go. This sounds like fun and a great idea. I’ve been riding Muni since I was in Kindergarten. I have plenty of stories to share.

    • eugenia

      Jerold, you can totally start sharing those stories already! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear them. we’re at muni.diaries.sf [at] gmail and also the submissions form. I saw a little kid on the bus the other day climbing up to a seat and thought, Muni must be a lot more fun for a kid — even reaching the seat is like scaling a mountain.

      • Jerold

        Well I used to like to ring the stop bell a lot as a kid riding Muni. It did not annoy the passengers as much as it did for the driver. I remember trying to do it secretly and fast, but the driver caught me. I used to get off at end of the 44 bus line on California with my grandfather, who lived on Lake Street. The bus driver basically scolded me and tells me not do it again. Did I really care? Not really, but I stopped doing it.

  • JC

    I would dig some of those service increase notices. Also anything pertaining to the 42 Downtown Loop (sniff, sniff – still miss that line). I’m going to have to scour the archives to see if I have anything worthy of inclusion.

    And, yes, I get that old transfers from the 90s that I still use as bookmarks probably don’t meet the threshold.

  • Dexter Wong

    I remember pictures like that well. The Boeing LRVs were the first new streetcars that Muni had received in about twenty years, so they were full of promise. Too bad they never lived up to that promise, producing the problems that were well known by everyone who rode them.

  • those old boeings were dirty, creaky, and had absolutely no air conditioning so when it was packed, it would be incredibly stuffy and hard to breathe. i also remember that you could sit on the steps, since one side had the steps come up but the other side didn’t.

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