Your 2020 commute in 10 memorable moments

Here at Muni Diaries HQ, we usually end the year with a fun and lighthearted “Top Most WTF Moments of the Year” type of countdown. But in 2020…where do we even start?

As shelter-in-place became a more permanent fixture of our lives, documenting life in San Francisco, especially via commute tales, took on a different meaning. We saw the uphill battle faced by so many small businesses and venues (like our beloved Rickshaw Stop), and the struggles of essential workers, particularly Muni operators and first responders—many of whom relied on Muni to get around. We’re grateful that we could help share those stories.

So here are some highly memorable moments from your commuter tales, in this Dumpster fire of a year.

Listen to the podcast episode:

Featured photo by @murkyvillagesf

10. Wishing for the days when the biggest etiquette question on Muni is: To eat or not eat the burrito on the bus? When you’re hella hangry, do you rip into that El Farolito burrito en route to your soft pants? Everyone had an opinion on this, ranging from, “Do you eat in the bathroom?” to “Guilty as charged.”

9. Singing the new bus anthem, “Stand the Fuck Up and Give Up Your Seat” by Jefferson Bergey. Nothing says “we’re in it together” more than this.

8. Cheering for the mask proponents on the 24-Divisadero where passengers rightly applied two tons of peer pressure on a man without a mask.

7. BART passengers exhibiting community power, with antibacterial wipes at the ready.

6. Realizing how much people miss the bus…even naming their pandemic pets after their commute, like this adorable pup named 22-Fillmore.

5. Let’s not forget pandemic kittens named after our transit systems!

4. We were somewhat surprised, and definitely delighted, by how much people missed their regular Muni lines as a sign of normalcy. @dalmatianlover tweeted “Every time I see the almost empty 48 or 66 in my neighborhood , I get a little sad. Cannot wait to see them full again……”

3. That brief, elated three days when the underground Metro was back in late August, but quickly halted by failure in the overhead splice and an employee in the Metro control center falling sick with COVID-19.

2. That infamous Twitter fight between the San Francisco Police Department and SFMTA when Muni said it wouldn’t transport police officers to anti-police-brutality protests.

1. For us, the best thing about this year was the amazing efforts to help one another, like the Colorfall of Hope project for San Francisco’s newest heart, painted by artists Kurt Schwartzmann and Deirdre Weinberg. We also loved talking to artists like Paul Madonna who are keeping the spirit of San Francisco alive (hear his interview here), and learning about the art collective Paint the Void.

As always, Muni Diaries is made entirely of your stories, photos, and observations. With or without a pandemic, our submissions inbox is always open: email us your stories at or tag us @munidiaries on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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