Muni Love/Hate: No more promotional signs on bus marquees


You cheered for “Equality for all!” You hissed, bitched, and whined for “Go Giants!

Now we can just go back to not giving much of a damn about what’s on our bus marquees. Oh well, that was fun.

SF Appeal reports that SFMTA/Muni will cease its practice of promotional messages. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY DO SUCH A THING? you ask.

“The transit agency’s decision to terminate the program is the apparent result of increasing complaints from riders — some of whom are developmentally disabled — claiming that the messages distract from reading Muni route information, officials said.”

So, so practical, Muni. Thanks for that.

Read the rest of the article at SF Appeal.

For the record, we were big fans of “Equality for all!” We suspect you might’ve been, too.


  • I’m kind of okay with this, because sometimes I can’t tell what bus is coming when the messages are on the display instead of the bus numbers.
    That said, it was nice to see the ‘Equality for All’, ‘We Stand With Boston’ and the seasonally appropriate sports teams.

  • On the contrary promotional messages in the right context could be used to help rather than hinder: On game days having southbound 30/45 busses adding “Go Giants” to the scroll would actually be more helpful that simply “Caltrain Depot”.

  • Dexter Wong

    What’s next? A ban on Car One displaying “Nowhere in Particular” on its destination sign?

  • A Vuncular

    I’m not developmentally disabled, and it was annoying when a bus would start displaying an irrelevant promotional message just as the sign finally got near enough to read. Even at bus stops that serve only a single Muni line, sometimes the signs have important info about early turnbacks. The messages were cute, but they took up too much read-time. Glad to see them go.

  • Well “Nowhere in particular” is destination sign instead of a promotion, and not an inaccurate one since the streetcars showing it are normally wandering down Market Street toward the Embarcadero to run as a shuttle.

  • Riley

    The most recent example of why I think “inspirational” signs are annoying even if one isn’t developmentally disabled.

    Today I was waiting at Bryant at 10th for the outbound 47. The stop is served by both the 47 and the 27. A bus pulled up with its sign proclaiming We Stand With Boston. I had to stand there waiting for the damn sign to get around to identifying the bus before I could board through the rear door.

    I for one will be delighted when Muni gets out of the inspirational messages business and re-dedicates itself to providing (ahem) the world’s best public transit services…

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