Grandparents are the best, especially when they bust out some serious vintage goodies like these amazing Fast Passes. Over on Reddit, we found this collection of 1970s Fast Passes given as a gift from some seriously awesome grandparents.
I mean, just look at these designs. Somehow I think our grandchildren aren’t going to be too excited when we dig up our Clipper cards to pass onto them.
Here’s the whole lot:
We love people who hang onto cool vintage stuff like this. Here are even more old Fast Passes through the years.
Got a story or vintage Muni goods from your time capsule? Muni Diaries only exists on your submissions! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox firstname.lastname@example.org is always open!
As we head into
Festivus Christmas, we’d like to share a recent Instagram from the SF Public Library, showing a variety of holiday-themed Fast Passes from the past. Past Fast Passes.
For those too young to remember, Muni used to issue monthly paper passes that you had to take out of your wallet and show your operator to be allowed on board. We had to climb uphill in the snow (BOTH WAYS!) to get to school, also.
Seen in the image above, Fast Passes for December of 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1996.
Image courtesy samsast
Before Clipper cards came into your life (“Translink” for you transit OGs), we marked our calendars by the monthly unveiling of the colorful paper Fast Pass. The paper Fast Pass was discontinued in 2011, and today we’re bringing back some of our favorite old Muni passes through the years. From the Muni Diaries vault:
- Ken Schmier is the man who came up with the concept of the Fast Pass. He’s also the mind behind NextBus. Strange, right? But also, not. This happened around 37 years ago, to the best of our knowledge. The first passes went on sale sometime in 1974. The earliest we could find an image of (below) is October 1976.
- In a blog post from Chronicle Books, designers for the book publisher lamented the lameness of the Clipper Card look, and paid homage to the beauty of the paper pass.
- In 2009, local artist John Kuzich opened his Fast Pass exhibit at the de Young Museum. Kuzich asked for people’s passes on Craigslist, then assembled them on panels in really interesting and beautiful ways.
Photo by Cranky Old Mission Guy
You can see lots more photos in this post. Here are some of our favs:
Photo by Steve Rhodes
Photo by cbcastro
We’ve come across our fair share of people who totally adore all things Muni over the years. We’re basically no longer surprised to see such folks expressing that emotion in real-world things like a lamp made of Muni Fast Passes. Just another notch in the San Francisco Is Awesome and Muni Is a Big Part of That belt. And that’s a mighty big belt.
Other expressions of Muni love we’ve seen include a Muni rug, Muni transfer art, a Fast Pass sofa pillow, and of course, no San Francisco home would be complete without a Muni toilet seat.
You guys are the best. You knew that, right?
h/t Muni rider Sara: “I need this lamp in my life”
Image via John Kuzich’s Fast Pass Nostalgia
You might have read about the all-but-extinct Muni Fast Pass in your history classes. Maybe not. Maybe you’re old* enough to remember the once-fancy paper free-ride passes. Or maybe you’ve seen people dressed up as Fast Passes on stages in San Francisco.
Whatever the case might be for you, John Kuzich has gone and made a website for those who miss the old colorful paper Fast Passes. We caught up with John after he alerted us to his new site.
Muni Diaries: Can you tell us little about you and your background. Are you an SF native?
John Kuzich: I’m from Detroit, Michigan. Took up fine art in high school and won the Regional and the National Scholastic Art Awards Competition with four gold medals and a scholarship. Trained to be a graphic designer in Los Angeles and came to the Bay Area in 1969 where I worked at a design studio before going out on my own and serviced clients like Del Monte/Chevron/SF Symphony, and many others. All design work from my 30-year career can be seen on my site called IN RETROSPECT. I’m retired now and began to devote my life to fine art in 1999.
Basically my whole life has been about color and design. I see it everywhere and in everything and it makes for a rich life. I consider it a blessing.
It’s no secret that everyone loves those colorful paper Fast Passes. It’s been a few years since they were taken out of regular use, but we found these great Muni posters by designer Brian Toth, who honors his favorite San Francisco neighborhoods in Fast Pass format.
We caught up with Brian to ask him why he created these posters.
The reason I created these was that, like most designers, I’m a huge fan of those old Muni passes. They are iconic, something I will always associate with San Francisco. I currently have a set of Muni Fast Passes from January, 2006, to January, 2011 hanging from my door in my apartment. I thought it would be interesting to use that familiar structure in the passes as a way to highlight some of the many neighborhoods in San Francisco
One of my favorite Muni lines has to be the 22-Fillmore. From Dogpatch to the Marina and all that’s in between, this line is one of my favorites. If you take the time to ride it from one end to the other you really get to see the many aspects of the city we all live in.
The last time the Adult paper Fast Passes were in use was in 2011. Take a look at all the different incarnations that the paper Fast Passes through the years!
You can get one of Brian’s prints at Society6.