Can riding Muni make you sick, or does it protect you?


It almost doesn’t matter whether you ride every day or just from time to time: Muni isn’t the cleanest place in the world. And the question then, for germophobes and non-germophobes alike, becomes: Is the risk of contagious diseases on public transit higher, the same, or lower than it is in other public places.

Buried somewhat in an article on the topic by the Public Transport page on, Christopher MacKechnie has this tidbit:

The risk appeared to be more focused on occasional transit users, with regular riders being somewhat less susceptible to falling ill. One theory is that regular riders may develop protective antibodies against the kind of infections likely to be found on public transit.

It’s a nice thought, and one that I more or less believe applies to everyday life, not just on public transit.

I stumbled upon the post thanks to Driver Doug. On Facebook, a few of Doug’s friends agree with me:

  • I ride Muni to get my flu shot.
  • Doctor’s orders: ride Muni one hour a day and take two aspirin and some lozenges.

That made me curious: Have you ever been sick and blamed Muni? If so, do you ride more or less daily, or do you dabble in it?

Photo by Tantek Çelik


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *