When fellow women are your first line of defense on Muni

In these #MeToo times, it’s inspiring to see women speaking up for themselves and standing up, sometimes literally, for one another. Here’s Muni rider Teresa with a disturbing but empowering commuter tale from the 1-California.

I take the 1 home from work every day around 6 p.m.

I’m usually pretty aware of my surroundings, but I had a particularly rough day at work, so I had my headphones in and I was seriously zoning out.

As I’m almost falling asleep, I hear this particularly loud voice above my music, and it starts to wake me up. I take off my headphones to find the source of the angry voice.

I looked toward the front of the bus and quickly realized that a man was yelling something at a woman. I listened a little harder, and I start hearing what he’s saying to her. I’m not going to repeat it, but it was some horrible stuff.

I’m no stranger to catcalling or street harassment, but this was on another level.

This is something that I can’t stand for. Any time I see some asshole intimidating a woman on the street or on Muni, I have to step in. It’s gotten me into a lot trouble, but I cannot just walk away. Most of the time, I’m the only one. I’ve never been helped when some dude is harassing me, and there are very few times when I’ve seen another person step in.

So, I put my phone in my backpack and zip it up thinking “OK, here we go again.” And my brain starts running through all the possible scenarios: “What if he attacks me? Does he have a weapon? What if he goes after someone else?”

As I’m about to get up and confront him, another woman pushes past me, walks directly up to the woman being harassed, and simply says “Do you feel safe?”

At this point, the woman at the front of the bus is shaking so hard she can’t even speak. So the other woman put her hand on the lady’s shoulder and said “Come to the back of the bus with me, we can sit together.”

As the two women are walking to the back of the bus, that guy gets up and tries to follow them, yelling vile comments the whole time. But as he’s trying to get to them, a few other women stand up, and they block his path. Then, I got up and stood with them. And before I knew it there were six or seven women creating this barrier.

That man looked at us, yelled one last shitty thing, and got off at the next stop. Because he realized there was no way he could win against all of us.

Immediately after he leaves, the woman he was harassing bursts into tears. He had been following her for 10 blocks. She didn’t know what to do, so she got on the bus. She was five months pregnant. We all just listened to her and after she stopped crying, she thanked us. The woman who came to her rescue sat down next to me. My stop was the next one. As I left, the only thing I could do was look at her and say thank you. After I got off the bus, I started crying. I was sad because we have to deal with situations like this ALL the time, but I was crying happy tears because, for once, I felt like I wasn’t alone, and I felt how powerful we are when we stand together.

Props to these women for being the first and only line of defense during this scary encounter.

Got other important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox, muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, is always open!

Pic by Thomas Hawk on Flickr

The day my Muni driver stopped the bus

muni stop by oopu

Jay is an Australian living in San Francisco. After hearing Jay’s Muni story, his friends and family in Australia might think that San Francisco is an even more awesome place than they previously realized.

Last Sunday afternoon I was on an almost full to capacity #1 California bus on its route to Van Ness and beyond. The bus stopped, which was not unusual, but then the bus driver got out and went around to the front. I thought that he might be checking the bicycle rack or that there was some mechanical fault he was investigating.

Eventually a lady standing near the front of the bus took a few steps forward to peer out the front window and announced, “Ahhh…there’s a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest and he’s scooting it off the road from in front of the bus and onto the grass!”

That was amazing enough but what really told me I was in San Francisco was when the bus driver hurriedly scampered through the door and back onto his seat. The entire bus, me included, spontaneously started applauding and cheering! You would have had to have been there to really appreciate the genuine warmth of the moment but I assure you it was an authentic instance of two random acts of kindness that I will never forget.

Got your own slice of life on the bus? Help us document what it’s like to live in San Francisco and send your stories to muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com!

Photo by @oopu22

Shell the pet snail rides Muni


Earlier this month, we told you about a snail who, we assumed, got on Muni by accident. Snails often have time for that, you know?

Now, not to be outdone by the Accidental Snail, Shell the pet snail (you read that right) has convinced his human to pack him in his little box and take him out for a day on the town.

Also, this snail’s name is Shell. Amazing.

Via Muni rider Michelle Marie King: “on the #1 this AM – met super pet rider named Shell.”

Updates: Man disrobes, reenacts Red Hot Chili Peppers photo on the 1-California

Image by KTVU via SF Weekly

Update (6:21 p.m., Friday): Dude didn’t limit himself to the 1-California. He appears to be on a mission, expanding to the 47-Van Ness and 38-Geary, at least. He appears to be on a mission, however ballsy (literally!):

Muni rider Rebecca: “Never a dull moment #living in #SF. My morning #treat on #SFMUNI #BusLine47 Van Ness. All he had was a #sock on his #penis and #shoes!”

And Muni driver Josh says, “This dude rode on my 38 Geary bus yesterday…”

Original: Riders on the 1-California bus yesterday afternoon got to know one of their fellow passengers far better than they wanted to when the man stripped naked and put a sock over his penis.

According to SF Weekly’s The Snitch, the Muni driver stopped the bus and demanded that the man put his clothes back. The man refused, and police were called. Passengers boarded another bus after a delay of about an hour. The 19-year-old man eventually put his clothes back on and was not arrested.

KTVU has NSFW footage of the incident showing the scantily clad fellow waving, posing for onlookers and explaining why nothing he did was illegal. It’s true what they say: The best-looking Muni riders, ponytail and penis socks included, can be found on the 1-California.

Muni rider falls, injures herself on the bus floor

30 muni by analogskirt
Photo by analogskirt

Muni rider Chandra saw a rider fall so badly that she was knocked unconscious. Here’s Chandra’s story.

“It happened this Tuesday on the 1-California Muni line at about 2:30 p.m. The bus was headed up Sacramento Street toward Divisadero in the medical neighborhood. I was on my way to a medical appointment on this sunny day, dreaming and enjoying watching the street. A seat was empty next to the left of me. Maybe she was about to sit down. The bus was stopped at about midway between the Embarcadero and Divisadero, as I was gazing out the window on my right.

“Then the bus lurched forward, simultaneously I sensed a shadow fly faster than a bat. CRACK! I heard as the shadow shot faster than a bullet, a heavy, sickeningly fast BAM!

“At first I couldn’t look. I heard someone close to my feet say, ‘She has a pulse, but just barely. She cracked her head bad.’

“Two medics arrived in turquoise scrubs. She looked like she was trying to gain consciousness, maybe seizing, hopefully not dying. She was Asian, perhaps 50, well-dressed. I asked if anyone had called 911 emergency. At first, everyone in shock, no one answered. The bus driver said, ‘I’m handling it, I’m calling Central Headquarters.’ I asked again if anyone had called 911. Finally a lady behind me said her husband had called emergency, and that help was on the way. I thanked the medics at my feet. I began to cry, quietly. Then the bus-driver told us all to get off the bus. I begged the medics to stay by the woman’s side until the ambulance came.

“I wonder: Why weren’t we kept there as witnesses to an accident? Why did we all comply, getting off the bus, when the driver responsible for the accident was the one ordering us away? Did she live? How much damage was there?”

Do you know anything about terrible-sounding incident? We of course hope the woman is okay. Careful out there, you guys!

Elvis on the 1-California

Photo by mediaboytodd

Most of the time when a stranger talks to you on Muni, your first reaction is probably to gaze at your shoes and pretend you didn’t hear them, right? But sometimes you meet someone with a pretty good heart. Muni rider D submitted their own encounter of meeting someone cool on the bus:

I was minding my own business along with everyone else on an inbound 1 California the other day. After stopping at Laure St. I heard a man loudly saying, “GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY WAY I’M A CALIFORNIAN!!!”
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