One Muni driver’s plea about your phone habit
Muni driver Tammy has a very reasonable request: could we please look up from our phones as we get ready to board the bus?
I wanted to ask you if you could start a dialogue with your followers regarding “Passengers waiting for the bus while distracted by [their] cell phones.” It has become increasingly frustrating to provide great customer service when my passengers are not prepared to board the bus…Muni Driver Tammy
In case you’re wondering: the bus doesn’t stop at every stop by default: Tammy says that drivers pay attention to body language, especially when it’s a multiple-line bus stop. “In order to keep the service going, we look at the potential passengers standing at the bus stop to see if they want the bus, and then if we see that they do, we stop.”
Tammy says that passengers are looking down at their phones, or worse, with earbuds in their ears. As the driver approaches the stop, often nobody is looking up. “It’s not until you get ready to pull off, they look up and then all of a sudden they start waving” when the bus is already in motion.
Yikes. That sounds about as annoying to the drivers as it is for the riders. You might remember Tammy as the Muni driver who threw a surprise party on the 33-Stanyan for her riders when she was switching routes. Years later, she continues to brighten days for riders, even inspiring two visiting travelers to write to us recounting their experience with Tammy. We still get occasional dispatches about Tammy sightings, which are always a delight.
We have to admit that we’re also guilty of feeding the phone addiction at the bus stop while we wait. It sounds like it would make everybody’s lives easier if we looked up every once in a while with our Clipper card or fare in hand, and make some kind of motion to the bus driver to stop. What do you think?
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33-Ashbury/18th! It’s my nearly-daily route. And rarely busy. A favorite bus line to ride. Hope I get Tammy someday!
Hear hear! I was on a bus last week where the driver stopped at least 4 times not knowing whether the person wanted to get on or not because they were on their phone. It’s simple. Stand back from the kerb if you are on your phone. When you see your bus approaching – put your phone away, and whilst continuing to look at the driver, step forward, and indicate with your hand that you want them to stop for you. If the bus sails past you, then too bad, so sad, you weren’t paying attention. Bus drivers are not mind-readers.