How courteous

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but on both of my buses this morning, the driver announced next stops, and gave connecting routes, over their bus’s PA. Not only that, but you could also make out what they were saying.

Is this a new attempt at better transit? Anyone else notice this lately?

Bus tourism: The little idea that could

This bus-tourism article from The New York Times Travel section just tickles me. I’m a big proponent of buses (yes, really), especially as a way for visitors to get a quick-and-dirty look at local life. The NYT story claims that by using one of their suggested $7.50-per-day city bus tours – an idea likely borne out of the dismal economy – you can see most of Manhattan in 3.5 hours of bus time, plus a few short walks and/or Subway rides.

Since it takes an hour, roughly, to get between any given Point A and B in San Francisco on Muni, bus tourism is a tragically laughable concept once you translate the idea for our fair city. For comparison’s sake, based on square-footage, Manhattan Island is a little less than one-half the size of San Francisco.

San Francisco has an identity crisis. This manifests itself in a number of ways, including copious, self-conscious references to it being a “world-class” city with “world-class” stuff. You can find such references in everything from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2008 inaugural address to his endorsement of a contemporary art museum in the Presidio to just about any time someone official talks about San Francisco International Airport. Sadly, the world-class city with world-class stuff doesn’t have world-class transportation, effectively disqualifying it from consideration to host the 2012 Olympic games.

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Self-conscious realization gone wrong

Is this you? Please don’t talk on the phone so loudly next time.

I realize you were lost on your way to meet friends and Muni did you some horrible injustice (welcome to the club). But once you say “Wait, I’m bothering people on the bus” to whoever you’re talking to, you basically have about 30 seconds to get off the phone before you become the biggest asshole on the bus. FAIL. Visit Muni Manners for more helpful hints!


Ride Muni, Especially During the Recession

Photo: Flickr user Lola Blue

Unless you live under a rock, you know that the U.S. economy is sucking hard lately. In fact, things are so bad, we wouldn’t be surprised if you are living under a rock, or in a box, after having been evicted after having lost your job. We’re sorry about all that.

What does this have to do with public transportation?

Well, whether you own a car or not, you may have also noticed another funny thing happening lately — gas prices, once the source of so much political and social rancor, have dropped back more or less to where they were a year or two ago. Almost everywhere in the Bay Area, gasoline in less than $2 a gallon. If you do own a car, and if you’re also lucky enough to have money to keep buying stuff, you might lately have been tempted to drive, say, to downtown San Francisco, to do some shopping, see a movie, get something to eat.

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