Thank You, Muni Hero of the 1-California

Photo by Brandon Doran

Riding on a nearly full 1-California last Thursday afternoon, I opened my eyes from my mini nap when I noticed that the bus wasn’t moving. It appeared that the bus driver was leaning over having a conversation with a passenger who wanted to board the bus.

I heard an older woman’s voice from the opened bus door: “Do you give change?” We all knew the answer.

Then I heard the same woman’s voice: “When’s the next bus coming?”

The bus stop happened to be one without the NextBus display, so nobody really had an answer for her.

Just as I was starting to feel a little bad for her, a young man got up from the first row, leaned over to the open door and said, “Ma’am? I’ll pay for you. Come on in.”

The woman got in the bus — she was a silver-haired lady wearing a blue quilted coat. The young man paid her fare, got up, and gave his seat to her, and we were on our way.

Thank you, young man in the black leather jacket, Levi 514s, black Adidas, and black messenger bag. There’s a big difference between feeling bad for someone and actually doing something about it. Your kindness made me realize we need to cross that line more often.

Saw a Muni model citizen? Give them praise here.

The Best Muni-Themed Wedding Ever?

When Jen F. and her husband Kevin told their friends that they were going to have a Muni-themed wedding, they were ridiculed to no end. I’m sure there were jokes about urine and body odor. But hey, if you’re reading this, you know that Muni is a big part of the life we love in San Francisco. Jen and Kevin really showed off their love for our city with their wedding. Jen tells us how and why they made Muni such a big part of their big day. There was even Muni-shaped chocolate!!!

I met Kevin on his front stoop through some mutual friends. Since we lived a stop away from each other on the 1 line, we bumped into each other all the time on our way to work. What I like to say is that we fake dated on the bus. For nearly six months, we rode the bus to work almost every day, he used the time as a way for me to get to know him, and for him to get to know me.

Muni was a huge aid in our falling in love. It gave us 30-40 minutes a day to talk to each other, which is why I call it fake dating.

On the way home from our engagement weekend we both came up with the idea that our table names could be the name of stops along the 1 route. And from there we decided that we were going to have a Muni-themed wedding.

We took our engagement pictures on Muni. Both of our save the date and wedding invitation stationery were custom-made for us with a Muni theme.

The table names were bus stops on the 1 route between California and Divisadero and Clay and Grant.

We gave our guests bus-shaped chocolate inside a box. On top of the box were Muni Fast Passes.

We even incorporated the Muni logo and graphics on the photobooth photo strips as well as our welcome brochures.

We were really happy how both the stationery and pictures on the bus turned out, and how they worked together. We got a lot of people really excited about our story and really excited about the city.

When I told everyone here in San Francisco that we were having a Muni-themed wedding, I got made fun of, or not taken seriously, and they couldn’t wrap their head around it or even fathom the idea. It was awesome to prove that a dirty, stinky bus (that is often times the bane of our existence) could be really classy and romantic.

Invitation Designer: Jack’s Master Design
Photographer: Quan D. Nguyen

Thanks, Jen! Bask in this couple’s happiness for a while before we return with more Muni stories, hopefully one from you!

I met you on the bus. Will you marry me?

Photo by Hello!Lucky

Christina (she of tweetsweet fame) alerted us to Cameron’s charming proposal story. Cameron proposed to “bus girl” via the rad paper book you see up there, which was made by Hello!Lucky. Here’s his story.

A few years ago I was waiting to catch the 1-California home from work when I saw a girl with glasses who immediately stood out in my mind. Looking back I have memories of thinking something like, “That’s a girl I could see standing next to me for the rest of my life.” Soon after that I noticed she also rode the same Golden Gate Transit bus I rode to San Rafael for work. Quite a few times we’d stand next to each other waiting for the 1, me trying to appear like I wasn’t paying attention to her. This tandem bus ride schedule went on for a couple weeks, but eventually I stopped seeing her on the bus.

A number of months and a relationship came and went. From time to time I’d wonder what happened to the bus girl. One day she appeared on my Golden Gate Transit bus. We began to smile at each other every now and then, but still we generally acted like we didn’t know the other was there. This game went on for a while, but eventually I decided it was time that I actually said hello to the bus girl. One day I sat down next to her on the bus. In my best I’m-not-trying-to-hit-on-you voice said, “Hi, I’m Cameron. I feel like we should know each other.”

I later learned that for that year and a half of talking about the “bus girl” with my friends, her friends had been calling me “bus boyfriend.” People like to give us a hard time for taking so long to say hello to one another, but we agree that we’re glad it took that long. We both changed a lot in that year and a half, every bit of it getting our personalities in just the right place for when we finally did meet.

Here are more images from his paper-proposal:

Photo by Hello!Lucky

Photo by Hello!Lucky

I’ve run out of ways to say “rad.” Congrats, Cameron and fiancée!

Criminal flatulence on the 1-California

Photo by davitydave

Here’s Muni rider Rachel’s contribution to Cute Week on Muni Diaries:

A typical packed 1-California on a Saturday … I’m standing in the aisle, turned toward a woman with her daughter sitting in her lap and her son sitting next to her. Both kids look to be 4 or 5 years old.

The mom and son are practicing the street names (“What comes after Larkin?”), when the mother suddenly looks at the girl and says, “Who stinks? Is that you who stinks?”

The little boy, squirming in his seat, says, “It was me!” His mom laughs, but tells him sternly, “Well, you need to say excuse me to all the people when you do that.” He says, “Excuse me,” and then, with a worried look on his face asks, “Will they throw me in jail?”

See? Farts can be cute.

Hot on Twitter: Best- and Worst-Dressed Muni Line?

Photo by Kelly Nicolaisen

The water cooler gossip happening this week on the Muni Diaries Twitter wires: What are the best- and worst-dressed Muni lines? We caught a few people on Twitter playing Fashion Police. @richdevin thinks the 1-California has to be the best-dressed. The jury’s out on the worst-dressed Muni line: @jnavin nominated the L, but @ginaespo tweeted that the riders on the 10-Townsend should be arrested for crimes against style.

We’ve featured fashionable Muni riders in the past, including some terrific photos of the fashion tribes of San Francisco. Is your line the best or worst dressed? Tell us about the fashionable people on your bus, or those who might deserve wrath from Joan Rivers.

Violence on Muni, and Reports of Violence on Muni

Old No. 7003
Photo by Brandon Doran

After last week’s stabbing of a teenager on the 14-Mission, Mission Local followed up with two reports. One said that teens who ride the 14 consider violence on that bus route to be normal. Another suggested that 14-Mission drivers agree with them.

Just last weekend, Tyler experienced first-hand an altercation on the 1-California. Also over the weekend, a man was punched and robbed on a bus (14? 49?) in the outer Mission.

Stories of violence on Muni can appear and jolt those of us who don’t experience it on an everyday basis. For some riders and some routes, violence is clearly more the norm than the exception. But we’d guess that the vast majority of Muni riders feel safe riding the system. The latest statistics of crime on Muni show that it’s trending downward, clearly a good thing.

So, we wanna know: Do you feel safe riding Muni?

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