Three Things You Should Know Before You Bitch About Muni

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We love your creative, hilarious ways of talking about all things good or bad on Muni. But as responsible transit riders, what can we actually do? Our city is facing new transit alternatives (like these new ride-share buses) that can really change what life on Muni looks like. So we talked to some transit experts about what every rider can do to improve our public transportation system.

1. Why is my bus crowded and not on-time?
“One reason buses are overcrowded and not on time is because San Francisco has the oldest fleet in the country. When we should have replaced our buses, we passed, which put us in the position of holding buses together with duct tape and garbage bags,” says Ilyse Magy at the San Francisco Transit Rider Union. She says that old buses mean broken-down buses, which lead to a loss of reliability and overcrowding. San Francisco is growing faster than expected, and Muni ridership is expected to grow, too. SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose says that it takes $1 million to operate and maintain each bus every year.

2. What are we doing about crowded buses?
The passage of Prop A and Prop B means that the city has more funds for Muni. SFMTA says that 112 new buses have already been added, and 121 new buses are being added this spring. In April, the SFMTA will be providing more service for over 100,000 customers on the 5L, 8X, 30X and 38L lines, according to Rose. This includes areas serviced by ride-share buses like Leap and Chariot. See our post about Muni service increases and route name changes.

But that may not be enough. Magy says that even with the passage of the $500 million bond (Prop A), “we are BILLIONS of dollars shy of the funds we need to have a truly excellent Muni.”

3. What should responsible Muni riders do to help make sure we have a public transit system that meets our needs?
Ride the bus (yay, you!). Educate yourself on transit-related issues when you vote. Geek out at Streetsblog SF‘s Muni page, our news section, or read everything Joe Eskenazi wrote about Muni. Or take a step further and join the San Francisco Transit Riders Union.

Transit issues are complicated enough to write a tome, and sometimes just bitching about it is not enough. We can all help make Muni better!

Photo by Sonny Abesamis

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