Meet Heidy, Muni hero

“She faced the man squarely, looking directly into his eyes and telling him firmly, ‘You have no reason to threaten this woman.'”

Rider Ramona watched a brave woman defend another rider from a verbal attack; here’s her eyewitness account:

Down in the spookiness of the Forest Hill station, a man in a trench coat suddenly loomed up and started shouting at an older woman waiting for an inbound train. As he lunged toward her, hurling threats, Heidy suddenly appeared. 

Heidy quickly stepped in between them, turning first to the woman, looking her in the eye and asking, “Are you OK?” The woman nodded and stepped back. 

Keeping her body between the woman and the agitated man, Heidy now turned her attention to him. She faced the man squarely, looking directly into his eyes and telling him firmly, “You have no reason to threaten this woman.” 

The man’s anger was now focused on Heidy. She held her ground, not moving. Whenever he shouted something, she spoke back to him firmly but respectfully. 

Eventually he backed off and sat down on a bench. He was still shouting, but as he lay down, his anger got more specific: “I have no money! And I’m hungry!” 

Pause.

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir,” said Heidy. “I don’t have any food. But would you like the last of my coffee? It’s just cold coffee, but you can have it.”

“I don’t want coffee. I need food!”

Pause.

“I’m sorry, sir.”

Pause. 

“I hope you get it.”

The train rolled into the station, and the man was now calm enough to board without threatening others.

There is food to be had, and he was headed down to get some. But, as I saw it, Heidy had given him something much greater: she SAW him. She showed him respect despite his outrageous behavior, but she wouldn’t let him get away with victimizing an innocent person. She held him to a higher standard, and this eventually caused him (despite his fragile mental state) to focus back on his real needs.

I approached her on the train and told her, “Thank you for what you did. That was a textbook example of how to handle that situation.”

“Oh, thank you,” she said. “I try. I figure if you live in the city, you can’t leave your house and be afraid. These are valuable skills to have.”

Indeed. 

And…I want to be her when I grow up. 

On the Muni Diaries Twitter feed and inbox, we’ve seen many stories of riders standing up for one another, including when an entire group of women formed a line of defense, and when fellow riders refused to tolerate body shaming. But it takes something special to truly see people, even at their worst. Kind of gives you hope for humanity, doesn’t it?

If you have a story to share or a Muni hero that deserves a shout, we want to know! Tag us @munidiaries on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

If Taco Bell Built BART

Every transit system starts with a dream, and over there in Reddit-land, the catalyst for the dream was the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. Reader Kini S. sent over this tip: A super fan of the fast food chain created a Taco Bell transit map on Reddit to visualize what it’d be like if we had a transit system that connected all the Taco Bell locations in the Bay Area.

This map includes the Most Beautiful Taco Bell location in the country in Pacifica just off of the Linda Mar stop, where rumor has it that you can get a beer or a slushy fortified with booze along with your Taco Bell Chalupa or Gordita. Reddit commenters noted the lack of Taco Bell locations in poor, poor Marin, with only three locations before you get up to Petaluma. Though, as one commenter says, just seeing BART up in the North Bay is indeed enough to bring tears to your eyes.

BART maps seem to inspire all kinds of day dreaming. Once upon a time someone mashed up Mario Kart with BART, dreamed up a complete North Bay BART system, and renamed BART stations based on Hamilton, the musical. If you’re still in the fast food frame of mind, check out “subwaysubway” on Reddit, where folks have created subway maps that connect locations of the sandwich chain. We see what you did there.

Got a hot tip for your fellow transit riders? Tag us @munidiaries on InstagramTwitterFacebook, or email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

You can support the city’s original online transit journal by subscribing to our podcast or helping us on Patreon or our Etsy store where you can find our super-SF Fast Pass goodies on sale right now.

A most Muni Black Friday sale: Show your SF pride!

Nothing boosts your SF cred (or at least sparks conversation with a n00b) like an ode to the dearly departed Muni Fast Pass. Fellow San Franciscans, no matter the cut of your jib, head on over to our Black Friday sale in the Muni Diaries Etsy shop, where everything is 20% off!

You’ll find tote bags, tees, baby onesies, and Muni Diaries 10th anniversary posters designed by local graphic designer Craig Fowler.

Aren’t the posters sweet?

Thanks, as always, for supporting our project. Here’s what we’re most thankful for this year at Muni Diaries HQ.

Free Muni Friday, because bad air quality

The air quality went from red (bad) to purple (even worse) today due to the wild fires up north, and the SFMTA announced that Muni will be free Friday, per the mayor’s request. You won’t need to tag your Clipper cards or use a transfer tomorrow, according to the SFMTA’s announcement. Hopefully this limits your traveling outdoors, and please keep those windows closed when you board.

All schools within the San Francisco Unified School District are closed, as is with most colleges in the city.

Stay safe out there, everybody.

Photo by @SanFranciscoCityandCounty.

‘Squeeze the chicken’: One ingenious solution to broken transit

Not that chicken.

A tip via reader Marcin W., Jannina Uribe tweeted this ingenious solution to a broken stop request from a bus in Mexico. She reports that the written message translates to: “Bell out of order. Squeeze the chicken.”

Insert any number of chicken/Muni/and choke-the-chicken jokes here.

In the spirit of international cooperation, we occasionally have a look-see at what’s happening on transit around the world, including a most Pride-ready tram in Amsterdam, these dope bus shelters in Austria, and transit etiquette guidelines from Taipei, hometown of Muni Diaries cofounder Eugenia.

Hey, important news: Muni Diaries Live is back this Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Elbo Room, which is closing in Jan! We’re selling out fast so get your tickets right this way.

The boat is back for Muni Heritage Weekend

Muni heritage is this weekend, when you’ll be able to ride vintage Muni cars including the Boat Tram. On Saturday and Sunday, you can ride vintage streetcars like Streetcar 1, dating back to Muni’s opening day in 1912.

You might also see “Dinky,” or Streetcar 578, built in 1896 in San Francisco and the oldest operating streetcar in the United States.

More from the SFMTA:

Other free vintage vehicle rides departing from the museum include Muni Trolley Coach 776 dating from 1950, and 1975 Muni Trolley Coach 5300 in the classic “Sunset” orange colors created by San Francisco designer Walter Landor. The recently renovated 1956 Mack Motor Coach 2230, 1938 Motor Coach 042 and 1969 Motor Coach 3287 will also be offering free rides.

There’s also a cable car bell ringing demo at noon! Find out more about Muni Heritage Weekend.

It’s all happening this weekend 12-5pm at the San Francisco Railway Museum on 77 Steuart Street (just across from the Ferry Building). If you are lucky enough to get on one of these vintage cars, tag us #munidiaries on Instagram to submit your Muni Heritage Weekend diary!

Photo by @sfmtaphoto

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