Rude Surprise for Tourists on Muni

Photo by Aaron

Renee over at KFOG had quite a surprise when she took some visitors on the F over the weekend.

It was a beautiful day in San Francisco last Saturday. I had been showing my relatives from Vienna, Austria around and we hopped on the F Line. We took the back row and there were a few Swiss kids sitting near us when a man took a seat, a little to close to me and started showing us a small bulb-like thing that looked like a Christmas ornament.

He said, “This is a crackpipe. Look.” and proceeded to light the thing and smoke the residue on the F-Line.


Needless to say I lost my shit with him. When I did, the man said, “Why are you even talking to me if you don’t have money to give me?”

Whoa. Sassy crack guy. How do you explain this to tourists (or kids, for that matter) on Muni? Comment away, or tell us your Muni story.


  • Why there are no beat cops on MUNI is inexplicable. It’s a known hotbed of crime, but the only time I see cops is when they’re on, briefly, to cite people for lack of proof of payment. They write tickets and leave. If there are undercover cops, I’ve never seen one do anything. It’s as though the Police Department hates riding MUNI as much as average San Franciscans, who ALL have stories to tell about weird and/or criminal behavior on the “Public” transportation system.

  • jayne

    This is what you call “the san francisco experience”……

  • AlexJB

    Why would you try to talk to someone right after they took a hit off a crack pipe?

  • A guy like that doesn’t care anymore. Go off on him? meh. Call the cops? meh. Shoot him? No big deal. He doesn’t care what you do and the previous commenter is right, why talk to someone who just took a hit? They have a lot of instant bravado. Unless you’re putting on a show of your own bravado for visiting relatives, which I’m not saying is bad, just be careful. That guy wouldn’t have any problem stabbing you in the eye, taking another hit and then sauntering off to go panhandle someone else.

  • William

    My great grandfather worked for Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles up to the time the tracks were torn up. He told me some operators on the cars would throw dis orderly people off (stopped of course) for unruly behavior if the passengers objected.

  • Donna

    I have a difficult time understanding why the Muni cops are hassling tourists for proof of fare payment at the Powell Street Station when this kind of stuff is commonplace on the buses and streetcars.

    The presence at Powell Street seems misplaced.

  • jayne

    So, what is the problem….remember last year during and after the World Series, many Giants fan were wearing the T-Shirt “Let Tim Smoke.”…
    this is what you call a real SF experience…….

  • I can answer you on that, Donna..

    Because the “Muni cops” are not cops, they’re
    fare inspectors. All they are supposed to do is check proof of fare payment. The don’t bust thugs. They’re not trained for it and they are not POST certified, meaning they aren’t cops at all. They’re not even security guards. They check fares.

    All of this stuff lately with BART protests centers around BART cops not being sufficiently trained to handle certain situations, and they’re actual cops. Can you imagine if Muni Fare Inspectors got involved with crack-heads and other nefarious types? General procedure now is that if they happen to be on a line where they observe criminal activity, they call SFPD just as a driver would. They are not armed and not trained and equipped for detaining and questioning suspects.

    Also, they check everyone at Powell and the other stations, not just tourists. I’ve been checked many times. It’s a central hub that’s the most likely place to get fare violations. They occasionally ride the trains and buses, but more often the trains because they are the most likely to have violations.

  • Henry Larry

    That sounds like a really unfortunate experience especially when you are trying to show visitors around. It is a shame that such incidents can tarnish the experience of exploring a new city.
    Versatile Group in Los Angeles CA

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