Surprise! Rare bacteria found on Muni

muni seat handle

Researchers from San Francisco State University have found a “rare” bacteria on Muni seats, which previously had only been found in waste water from South Korea, the South China Sea, reports SFGate. The bacteria, called, “Pigmentiphaga,” was found on the 28-19th Ave. bus line. Researchers aren’t sure whether the bacteria is actually harmful to riders. SFMTA says that San Francisco’s Health Department has found the bacteria to be “non-pathological” and that the bus is safe to ride.

What can we say … we all know that’s not water on the seat.

The researchers are the same group that found fecal bacteria on those yucky fabric BART seats. But this time around they have better news for us: No fecal bacteria were found on BART seats this time around. So, believe it or not, BART seats are now possibly cleaner than Muni? All the same, we recommend: Touch nothing!

Impromptu Haiku as Muni Fare?


We know Muni inspires some pretty damn good haikus, but we didn’t expect these haikus to be used as bargaining chips on the bus! Muni rider Lisa M. tried to trade her haiku for a ride on the 28, and the Muni operator said no (and rightly so). But another rider, “Larry the football fan,” was charmed enough by Lisa’s impromptu ingenuity that he paid her fare for her. And here’s a photo of her ride-winning haiku, worth at least $2.25.

Transformer face-tattoo guy amuses, creeps out Muni riders

Photo by mrtruffle (not the person depicted in this post)

From the sounds of these tweets, he’s either the actual World’s Most Interesting Man, or just your average dime store jerk. Who are we to decide?

First, Muni rider Shelby caught our eye:

Then, friend of Muni Diaries, Katie, chimed in:

Read more

Ninja salesman delights Muni passengers

Photo by Paul Sullivan

Muni rider Sherlock sent us the following story. And with it, the clock on “random things seen in San Francisco/on Muni” has been reset.

“The other day, I was riding the 28 to the Presidio Parkway when it stopped at the intersection with Marina Bvld [sic] for a red light. During our brief wait before we got on the freeway, a man dressed up as a ninja scrambled onto Presidio Pkwy and started showing brochures for a car wash. Many people opened the bus windows to grab some of them. I just sat there taking in the most random thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

Would you take a brochure from a ninja? I’d be a little scared of what I’d unknowingly have to give up, to be honest. Sneaky ninja!

28-19th Avenue passenger rides the bus hard


Helen describes the scene above.

This guy was listening to his boombox with headphones on the 28. And jamming out. Hard.

Boombox and headphones. Boombox and headphones … maybe his jams were so loud, like a helicopter passenger, he had to cover his ears to protect them and be able to communicate with fellow passengers …

Ah, never mind. I give up.

Helen dropped this one into our Diaries submission box. Now it’s your turn to share!

Should You Pay When the Clipper Card Reader Is Broken? (update from MTA)

New Clipper Card and Carrying Case
Photo by AgentAkit

Update (12:45 p.m.): We just heard back from SFMTA. Apparently, when the machines are broken, drivers are not supposed to make cardholders pay, regardless of whether the rider has his/her Fast Pass loaded on the card. Here’s a document SFMTA says they sent to operators notifying them of this change in procedure:

So, in Lisa’s case (see “Original post,” below), the driver was wrong to ask her to pay. Maybe that driver didn’t get the memo, literally. It’s dated June 29, which was Tuesday, the day before Lisa’s incident.

Original post: What do Fast Pass holders do when Clipper readers don’t work? You’ve paid $70 or so for the Fast Pass, but should you still pay the $2 if the Clipper reader can’t read your card?

Muni rider and Clipper Card holder Lisa shares this story (excerpted):

I was trying to catch the 28 [Wednesday] morning around 6:30 a.m. at 19th Ave and Holloway and the translink readers on the bus were down. The driver tells me I have to pay cash fare when the reader is down and that’s policy. I tried to explain to her that that made no sense as I had a monthly pass and, therefore, had already paid regardless of the reader.She said no, it’s policy, that I had a translink card and not a pass. I said, I paid for a pass, your readers are always down, I ride everyday and no one has ever said this to me before. But she still said I had to pay. So, in the end, I refused to pay on principle, and the driver would not allow me to ride, despite having paid my $70 for my monthly pass. I was 20 minutes late to work. I should have just gotten on the back with the rest the fare dodgers.

We don’t see any information on the Clipper site about this situation (neither the FAQ page nor Clipper with specific transit agencies pages). And we can easily envision this situation happening with increasing frequency as more and more riders use Clipper with their Fast Pass loaded onto the card.

What do you think? How do you think this situation should be handled? Even better, has Clipper considered this situation and devised a fix for it?

We asked SFMTA and will update you as soon as we hear back.

Related: Akit has a post up today about Clipper/Fast Pass holders whose passes aren’t loading by the first of the month, and aren’t being given the 3-day “grace period.” Kinks, they abound!

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