Muni Diaries Podcast

The Muni Diaries Podcast features stories told at Muni Diaries Live, as well as stories recorded in-studio for our spinoff project, San Francisco Diaries. To subscribe, find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or use this RSS link.

Like our theme song? Our podcast theme music is by J. W. Friedman, whose talents know no bounds. Take a listen to the full version of “I’m on the Bus” and the San Francisco Diaries theme song.

If you have your own San Francisco story you’d like to share, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And remember to rate us on iTunes if you like what you hear.

Subscribe

Newest Episode

Ep. 111: What every transit rider should know about this year’s ballot

San Francisco Examiner transit reporter Carly Graf to talk about this year’s ballot measures that can change the landscape of public transportation as we know it today.


Browse Recent Episodes

Ep. 110: Chronicle reporter shares BART busker afterstory

Swan describes the aftermath of what happened after her coverage of the anti-panhandling proposal on BART put rapper Tone Oliver in the limelight.

Listen to her story:


Ep. 109: Bailing out a rookie Muni driver

Muni operator Ricardo sheds some light on why way-too-crowded bus is sometimes followed by a nearly empty bus right behind it, and how he tried to bail out a rookie Muni driver in this predicament.


Ep. 108: Playing Muni driver, if only for a few minutes

Hear a throwback tale of simpler times when the highlight of your year is when the Muni driver let you in on a few secrets. 


Ep. 107: Painting the pandemic void, one storefront at a time

Lisa Vortman, the Co-Founder, Director of Photography, Media and Storytelling of Paint the Void, shares the story of the first mural she photographed for the project. The nonprofit has matches mural artists with over 84 shuttered storefronts.


Ep. 106: Why the SFMTA head says riding Muni is “the right thing to do”

Jeffrey Tumlin, the Director of Transportation at the SFMTA, joined us to provide his take on the upcoming Muni service expansion, and some personal insight into the more human side of our municipal transit system.


Ep. 105: SF Neon historians in search of an iconic sign

Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan are the creators of San Francisco Neon, an organization that advocates for our city’s vintage neon signs. Here’s their story:


Ep. 104: Missing the Muni madness that connected us all

Amanda Staight, stalwart San Franciscan and Muni fan, put her thoughts on Muni in the pandemic into verse for our podcast.


Ep 103: One day, I found you on Muni

How often do you let a moment of connection pass you by? Rider Wil shares a conversation with a stranger on the bus.


Ep 102: how one Bernal shop survived through the decade

Secession Art and Design’s Eden Stein tells a story about one evening when a man walked in, intending to rob her store.


Ep 101: Discovering the Secret Alley

It all started when a couple of friends found themselves at a quirky sci-fi film set. Cofounder Noel von Joo shares how the Secret Alley became a surprising gathering place.


Ep 100: A new anthem for Muni riders

Oakland-based songwriter Jefferson Bergey wrote a new song called “Give Up Your Seat” just for Muni Diaries.


Ep 99: “My little hat” on multicultural Muni

Rider Timo shares a story about the time when someone on the bus asked him why he was wearing his yarmulke.


Ep 98: When the entire bus stood up for you

Rider Teresa submitted a story of how a group of women banded together when they saw another woman in a bad situation. 


Ep 97: Walking San Francisco’s 49 Miles Scenic Drive

Kristine Poggioli and coauthor Carolyn Eidson became the first people known to have walked San Francisco’s historic 49 Mile Scenic Drive over the course of a year.


Ep 96: San Francisco Diaries: New year, new way to practice kindness 

Two years ago Andrea Carla Michaels found her calling as “Pizza Lady” and you can find her daily in the alleys off lower Polk Street.


Ep 95: Of ‘ladyspreading’ and leggings on BART 

Comic Annette Mullaney shares a BART story that took a long time to see the light of day.


Ep 94: Making my own crime scene on Muni

On her way home from a baby shower, storyteller Maureen Bogues encountered what most of us hope we wouldn’t on Muni.


Ep 93: Exploratorium After Dark: Journey to Big Lots

Storyteller Dhaya Lakshminarayana is a stand-up comedian. She’s also the subject of the documentary “NerdCool.”


Ep 92: San Francisco Diaries: Fighting the power from WA to CA

Local activist and retired tradeswoman Molly Martin shares the story of her community, starting in her revolution-minded college years in Washington state through the middle of the AIDS crisis in 1980s San Francisco.


Ep 91: San Francisco Diaries: DJ Steve Fabus and the surprise farewell for disco legend Sylvester

DJ Steve Fabus has been called “one of the founding fathers of San Francisco’s gay disco scene.”


Ep. 90: Live from Clarion Alley

Storyteller Jesse James shares a story about his days working at the now-closed Nob Hill Theater, the famed all-male adult theater.


Ep. 89: The city gardener’s family shares the tale of the AIDS Memorial Grove

Leef Smith shares the story of his father, a city gardener who tended to the beautiful garden that later became the AIDS Memorial Grove.


Ep. 88: Need a place to find yourself? Try Muni (really).

Simone Herko Felton, a senior at Lowell High School in San Francisco. Simone has lived here all her life and takes the 23-Monterey to go to school daily. She shares why this line is emblematic to being in high school in the city.


Ep. 87: San Francisco Diaries: Leaving your assumptions at the checkout line

Justina Wu of  Beyond Borders Storytelling shares a story of an encounter when she spoke her mind, but almost too soon.


Ep 86. San Francisco Diaries: Listeners weigh in on the city’s existential crisis

Listeners have lots of thoughts about the episode from Smiley Poswolsky, a self-described Millennial workplace expert.


Ep 85: A “Millennial Expert” on how we define San Francisco

Smiley Poswolsky left his suit-wearing days behind in Washington, D.C. to start a new life as a writer in San Francisco. In this story, he asks: Who has the right to define a city and what it is (or should be) all about?

Listen to his story:


Ep. 84: Artist Kurt Schwartzmann tips his cap to Muni, a refuge for tougher times

Artist Kurt Schwartzmann shares how Muni drivers helped him survive a time when he was homeless and had lost vision of one eye due to complications from AIDS.


Ep. 83: Ady Lady on how one Muni ride went from “piss to bliss”

Muni is probably our longest love-hate relationship, a widespread phenomenon that became the focus of Ady Lady’s one-woman play.


Ep. 82: “Camp Folsom” shares tale of their own chosen family

musician Colin Daly stopped by the studio to share a timely retelling and ode to his time at Camp Folsom: back to a time when a room in the Mission went for $300, with life lessons about community and love included.


Ep. 81: Toeing the thin red-blue line on the 49

Storyteller Kathleen Auterio  was caught in the crosshairs of a potential firefight on the 49-Mission/Van Ness.


Ep. 80: Chronicle artist finds his muse on Muni

Artist George McCalman shares why he founds Muni riders so fascinating, and how this resulted in his Observed column in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Ep. 79: Dropping the ‘hard R’ to strangers on BART

Storyteller Sureni Weerasekera contrasts the magic of a feel-good experience on BART with a passive aggressive Bay Area brand of racism and othering.


Ep. 78: San Francisco Diaries: A surprising reunion at the Castro Safeway

Storyteller Dhaya Lakshminarayanan reunites with a high school friend and embarks on a new friendship that involves an urban rodeo and other very San Francisco experiences.


Ep. 77: Taking Muni all day leads to falling in love with San Francisco again

Chronicle reporter Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight rode every Muni line for an entire day and lived to tell the tale.


Ep. 76: Finding Satan’s jacket at the Elbo Room

Elbo Room owner Matt Shapiro shares a behind-the-scenes story about the lengths that club owners will go to keep a promise.


Ep. 75: Gwen Carmen on taking BART to see Aretha Franklin’s last concert in Oakland

On her way home on BART, former teacher Gwen Carmen finds herself in the middle of a crime scene. Fortunately some former students came to her rescue.


Ep. 74: Meaghan Mitchell runs into a familiar face when she took Muni to skip school

Native San Franciscan Meaghan Mitchell recalls a learning experience on Muni.


Ep. 73: Pete Mulvihill on how he went from store clerk to the owner of Green Apple Books

Pete Mulvihill is living every book lover’s dream: owning the book store he loves.


Ep 72: Nuala Sawyer on the worst year in San Francisco

Storyteller Nuala Sawyer was having a terrible year. Then, a man on Muni shared a vulnerable moment with her that changed her perspective.


Ep. 71: How do you take up personal space on public transit

Storyteller Irene McCalphin has often experienced the invasion of personal space on public transit, but this one time she decided enough was enough, and she was going to take up the space she deserves.


Ep. 70: One bear bar helped a visitor give SF a second chance

Storyteller Baruch Porras-Hernandez shares an exchange that he had with a visitor while working at one of the longest-running gay sex clubs in San Francisco.


Ep. 68: BFF.FM radio hosts brought Herb Caen to Market Street

 Rollover Easy hosts Luke and Chris share how their mutual love for Herb Caen led to an installation on Market Street. With little construction experience, these two San Franciscans were determined to make Herb Caen come alive to fellow pedestrians.


Ep. 67: A Muni-themed poetry throwdown

A Muni-themed poetry throwdown featuring Alexandria Love and Jessica Cohen. Get ready for some intense 5-7-5 syllable battles onstage.