Good Cheer Delivered at Fillmore and O’Farrell

Photo by prawnpie

100 Muni StoriesEd. Note: This is the 1,000th post on Muni Diaries! Hooray! We’re working on a brand-new look for the site in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! And keep sending us your stories, photos, videos, and comments, because your life on Muni makes the site what it is. Now, without further interruption, here’s Rachel’s story.

I was on an early morning 22-Fillmore, the same bus and same driver I have most days. This driver is usually quiet and serious, barely acknowledging passengers (regulars and otherwise). This guy is infamous for not stopping at the Fillmore and Geary stop to take on passengers, and all the regulars would tell you the same thing, as we’ve all been passed by at least once or twice.

Our bus stopped at O’Farrell and a woman got on. She had several bags with her, and she handed them one by one to the driver. Then she leaned over the plexiglass partition and gave him a hug and a kiss.

“You have a good day now,” she told him.

“All right, you too, see you later,” he replied.

She got off the bus and stood on the sidewalk, waved to him, then crossed the street.

I don’t know what was in the bags but I like to think they were full of snacks for him to enjoy throughout the day, and some bottles of water or juice, and a thermos of coffee, maybe some magazines or the newspaper for him to read on his break. I hope the visit by his wife (or girlfriend) made his day.

Sunday FAIL: 22-Fillmore Wheelchair Lift Busts Fire Hydrant

Sunday’s 22-Fillmore accident is like a really bad Rube Goldberg situation. We’ve got a customer falling out of the wheelchair lift, sustaining unknown injuries, then 20 minutes later the bus lurches forward and the wheelchair lift nails a fire hydrant, lifting it off the sidewalk, hitting a Muni inspector, and flooding the area.

From SFMTA’s official statement:

At approximately 5:45 p.m., a customer exiting a 22 Fillmore electric trolley bus fell from the extended wheelchair lift of the vehicle, which was stopped (pointed southbound) on Fillmore Street at Haight Street (the northwest corner).

The customer was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

At approximately 6:05 p.m., the Muni bus moved forward and the wheelchair lift hit a fire hydrant and sheared it from the sidewalk.  The cause of the bus’s movement is under investigation.

The fire hydrant reportedly struck a Muni Inspector who had responded to the incident.  The Inspector was treated at the scene.

Water from the hydrant reportedly caused flooding in at least one nearby building.

The intersection of Haight/Fillmore was closed by the SFPD and Muni buses serving the 6 Parnassus, 71 Haight-Noriega and 22 Fillmore were re-routed around the affected area.

Per normal procedure, the Muni Operator will be placed on non-driving status and tested for drugs and alcohol.

The scene cleared and regular Muni service was restored at 7:35 p.m.

Matt Baume and Eve Batey at SFAppeal put together a great report on the incident, complete with a slideshow (above). Someone from the city was handing out claim forms to people who own buildings or stores in the area, Matt reports.

POP Cops on the 22

POP Litter
Photo by Flickr user Transit Nerds

Ed. note: We received the following diary from Mike of Epic Road Trips, a recent regular contributor. Thanks, Mike. We want to point out that while we generally support the work of Muni fare inspectors, we realize there are bad apples in every bunch, as this story suggests. Mike’s story happened last October, and soon after that, we’ve had some lively discussion about this issue. Has your experience with fare inspectors changed in the last few months? Let us know in the comments section.

After a trek from downtown, over the hill through Chinatown, North Beach and up to Coit Tower I then made my way back down the Filbert Steps for the 2 mile walk past Washington Square then Filbert Street up and over the hill to Fillmore and Lombard, a now familiar bus stop to me. I boarded the next 22 and nearly dozed off a coupla times.

When the bus stopped at Market and Church Streets two uniformed officers boarded. One in green – a MUNI ” Proof of Payment” (POP) COP, and one in black – SFPD. The MUNI cop positioned herself in front of the back door, the SFPDer at the front. The POP cop whipped out her citation book and said she was here to check to make sure everyone had a pass or a transfer and to please have then out and ready for inspection.

The very first person she checked was an older lady. She presented the POP cop with a Senior pass. The POP cop asked the lady how old she was and she mumbled something I could not hear, but the POP cop obviously did.

The POP cop then went on to check every passenger and finding no violators went back to the old lady. She said that since she was not old enough to be using Senior pass three things were going to happen: She was going to confiscate the pass, which she did, she was going to issue the lady two citations, one for improper use of a Senior pass and one for non payment of fair. She spoke loudly so everyone on the bus could hear her.

The old lady looked up at the POP cop and said something I could not make out. The POP cop then said loudly and sarcastically: “Oh, now you don’t speak any English”.

She then asked the woman for some sort of ID as proof of her age. The old lady seemed to not understand and the POP cop said she did not speak Spanish. She then told the women if she produced ID, she would write the citation and then everyone could go on their way. If she didn’t, then the SFPD would search her purse for her ID.

About then the old lady got up to get off the bus. She did and the POP cop followed here. The POP cop stuck by her side and SFPD cop went out the front of the bus. As the bus pulled out of the stop I could see the little old lady standing there in middle of the sidewalk flanked on either side by the two cops. Then, they were gone.

How this all ended we will never know, but I thought it a rather pathetic use of public resources.

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