Muni Route Nicknames

Photo by SlinkyDragon

The other day over drinks, my friend Blair told me all about her beloved/behated “Phantom Folsom” (the 12-Folsom). I hadn’t heard that one before, probably because I rarely ride that route.

But it got me thinking: Besides the infamous “Dirty 30,” what are some other good Muni nicknames?

The Kids Are All Right

Kids. They do the damnedest things.

A group of 11-17-year-old youth media producers from BAYCAT shot, edited, and produced the movie above. It’s all about SFMTA/Muni.

There’s some fun history from a cable car gripman, and then the movie takes a closer look at the business of getting around San Francisco, for better and for worse.

Kids. These are some of the same kids whose laptops were pathetically stolen last month. BAYCAT, the nonprofit that serves these kids, is hosting a fundraiser to help replace the lost equipment, tonight at Cigar Bar. Help out if you can. RSVP here.

Via Ariel at Mission Mission.

LiveSoma rides the E-Embarcadero

Photo by LiveSoma

Over the weekend, Muni began running the much-anticipated E-Embarcadero line that connects Fisherman’s Wharf and the Caltrain Depot at Fourth and King Streets. Service ran on Saturday and Sunday, mostly to ferry people to this weekend’s America’s Cup events on the northern waterfront.

LiveSoma took a ride on the newest Muni streetcar line, and wrote about their experience.

I sat at the very front of the car and found the driver, Angel, to be a friendly and great resource for how the waterfront has changed.  A longtime resident of San Francisco for over 30 years, he was able to share a magnificent history of San Francisco’s waterfront as we passed the different structures and attractions along the embarcadero.  The weather seemed perfect and an ocean breeze drifted into the open windows.  The scenic views from the streetcar were lovely and interesting. You could see ships on the bay and colorful and interesting people buzzing about outside.

Read the rest of this fun adventure at LiveSoma. And if you got a chance to ride the line, tell us about it here!

Analog Hipster Fashion Ideas on Muni

Photo by juicyrai

Hipster fashion has gone analog, and no cassette tape is safe from the hands of ironic fashionistas. From the @mundiaries Twitter wires, some questionable style ideas were born. At first, a CD was made into an accessory. Then…

We asked, what’s next?, and heard this:

“I once saw some girl wearing a CD on a necklace on the 22.” via @LSH

Then this:

“Floppy disk belt buckle?” via @SaraPantera

Which prompted this reply:

“not hipster enough. Needs more vinyl. :p” via @kwpianist

To which we come full circle and ask, what’s next?

Rules for Avoiding People on Public Transit

Photo by /\/\ichael Patric|{

Muni rider Charles alerted us to a recent study which lead Yale sociologist Esther Kim to establish the rules for avoiding strangers on public transportation. Color us intrigued.

Kim’s totally unsocial rules:

  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Lean against the window and stretch out your legs.
  • Sit on the aisle seat and listen to music to pretend not to hear people asking for the window seat.
  • Place a large bag or multiple items in the empty seat to make it time-consuming to move.
  • Look out the window with a blank stare to appear crazy.
  • Pretend to be asleep.
  • Put your coat on the seat to make it appear already taken.
  • If all else fails, lie: Say the seat has been taken by someone else.

While much of Kim’s research was done on long-distance bus rides, some of the same conditions apply to intra-city travel. And this rang all sorts of bells for us:

Kim found that the greatest unspoken rule of bus travel is that if other seats are available you shouldn’t sit next to someone else. As the passengers claimed, “It makes you look weird.”

Read more about Kim’s work, including what people tend to do when drivers announce a full bus, here.

How do you handle strangers on Muni and BART?

“My mother’s most memorable Muni story”

Photo by foggydave

100 Muni StoriesNot many (most?) of us can say that their mother took them around town on Muni when they were kids. Not so for one of our favorite Muni Diaries commenters, Dexter Wong. Take it away, Dexter:

My mother’s most memorable Muni story is that she was taking me to the doctor on the old B Geary streetcar (I was still a baby.) As we neared our stop, she picked me up (I was wrapped in a blanket) and walked toward the open door. A gust of wind came through it and blew the blanket open, revealing I was barefoot. An old lady noticed me and said loudly, “That baby must be cold!” My mother then covered me back up and got off, saying nothing, but feeling quite embarrassed.

Sweet stuff.

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