Not-Banksy on Muni


Ed note: I know, it’s not exactly weirdness on Muni, especially on a 49-Van Ness/Mission. But it’s pretty squarely WTF with a side of, “Really? Really.” Muni rider Chaz draws a distinction between beloved street art and your everyday tagger drawing on the bus:

I watched this shitstain and his crew get on the 49 northbound at Turk or so and proceed to very obviously and obnoxiously scrawl his handle on the ceiling of the bus. I was a few seconds too late to capture him in the act, but you can see the purple marker in his hand and the matching color of illegible text above his head. If the bus had played the “if you see graffiti in progress…” announcement or I just remembered the number I would have notified the authorities; instead in my powerlessness I turn to the internet hive.

Look, I love actual street art as much as the next fella about town, but I have a low tolerance for idiot kids with art-supply-store markers writing their made up name poorly in public spaces. Maybe if people start taking notice of taggers, taking their picture or even just speaking up if they see it happening, removing their cloak of anonymity (or pseudonymity, I suppose), kids might start thinking twice about defiling the commons that we all enjoy.

So, what should we do about it, Muni riders?


  • andrew

    Don’t obscure his face, for one thing! Shame the asshole.

  • Rachael

    I agree with Andrew, don’t blur the face. The bus has a warning when they enter the vehicle stating they may be recorded or have their photo taken at any time on the bus.

  • Vigilante

    Why blur the loser’s face? Let’s identify him and throw paint on his property. Vandalism for vandalism.

  • We always blur faces for legal reasons. He could easily come back to us and say (not that we agree) that submitter Chaz is a liar and an idiot, and he did no such thing.

    Other than un-blurring his face, we’re curious to know what else riders think we should do when taggers are caught with pen in hand.

    • Anabel

      Sometimes, they can be clever. Once, I idly watched a marker roll by me on the bus. A guy comes up to stand by the door. As the bus begins to stop, he casually leaned down, picked up the marker, and scrawled on the bus while keeping his hand at waist level. Then he strolled off the bus. I always wondered if he was the one to drop the marker (likely) because the timing was perfect.

      To answer the question, I have no idea. Like everything else that happens on the bus, I keep my head down and don’t make eye contact.

  • patricia

    remember for a while there were those announcements in multiple languages about the number to text if you witnessed graffiti in progress? Maybe those are still running; I’ve been using light-rail more than bus lately. My reaction was always, “yeah, like I’m gonna remember that when I need it…” And, seriously, what would the Muni real-time response have been to “some guy’s tagging the 49 bus RIGHT NOW”? Now that I think of it, I should text them just to see what, if anything, happens.

  • Paul J. Lucas

    Can’t remember the number to text if you see graffiti in progress? Put it in your phone’s address book under “Muni Grafitti”: (415) 710-4455.

  • julian

    grew up in this city used to be a daily thing

  • Henry Larry

    We need to actively discourage this behavior by speaking up and documenting it whenever we see it happening. It is about reclaiming our shared spaces from vandalism.
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