Tag Archives: muni

Social Justice Vigilante

I was taking the train to work this morning. It was one of those new SF Muni trains, the ones with a long bench-like seat along the side of the car and another long bench-like seat mirroring it on the other side. It was the morning commute and it was fairly crowded. This older man, probably in his mid sixties, got on the train and looked around for a seat. He gestured at a mid-thirties business man sitting close by to me, and asked him to move his bag so he could have a seat. The businessman slowly pulled off his headphones, gazed up from the MacBook on his lap, looked the old man in the eyes and said “No.”

The old guy looked back incredulously and asked again to make sure he was hearing this correctly. “You won’t move your bag so I can have a seat?”

And the businessman repeated himself. “No, I’m not going to move my bag. It has important things in it.”

And this is the moment that I got myself involved. I pride myself of being a social justice vigilante. I looked over at the businessman and said “You’re really not going to move your bag?”

He shook his head and repeated “No.”

Keep in mind: this is during morning rush hour. There are a bunch of people standing up without seats, and this jackass is taking up two seats unapologetically and proudly. So I went off on him. “What makes you so special? I really want to know. Your bag is more important than other people? Do you want your own train car too? You are an asshole.”

I have to mention that I didn’t yell any of this. This was me calmly telling an asshole that he is an asshole, and the people nodding in agreement with me made him realize that he is in fact an asshole.

The older guy jumped back in: “You can’t be take up a seat for your bag. You’re also manspreading quite a bit!”

This younger street kid got up and offered his seat to the older guy. The older guy took it, and wouldn’t you know it, now the older guy and the businessman were on opposite benches facing each other. Older guy kept glaring at the businessman, things seemed to settle down, I went back to staring at my phone, and a few stops later I noticed the businessman slowly pick up his bag and place it under his seat by his feet. And that my friends, is what we call character development.

It was one of my finer Muni moments.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Muni Sucks

Muni sucks. I’m writing this as I wait at the bus stop for the 47 line. The app and the website both assure me that my bus is two minutes away, one minute away, and arriving. It’s been twenty-five, now, twenty-six minutes, and I’m still waiting for a phantom bus. It’s fucking ridiculous. I pay money for my Muni pass every month for a service that doesn’t deliver like it says it will. They should reimburse me the cost of a fare for every failed arrival. Netflix would reimburse me. Public transportation should too. Muni sucks.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Seat Scurry

I was waiting for my train at a busy stop, jostling against the other commuters and vying for a position that would best ensure me a seat. The train pulled up slowly, the doors opened, a few people got off, and then the seat scurry began. A seat scurry is a frenzy of angry commuters looking for a spot to sit. You’ll mostly witness it during rush hour, but it could also happen whenever there are too many people waiting at one spot. Everyone feels like they are the ones who are most entitled to a seat and they will shove other people out of the way to get one. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant, disabled, or old. If you can’t get to a seat, you aren’t getting one unless somebody takes pity on you. And people are assholes so nobody will take pity on you. Common courtesy is long gone. Chivalry is dead. Manners are extinct. Nowhere is that more apparent than during a seat scurry.

Critically at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Riders board through the back door of 38 Geary bus during afternoon rush hour. 05/08/12, Market and Post

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Bus Transfer

A bus transfer is proof of payment that you paid for public transportation. It’s usually good for 90 minutes or for a couple of hours, so you can get on and off the bus and jump onto different routes to get to where you need to go. A bus transfer is also a memento. It’s a reminder that you went somewhere. You might not remember where you went or who you went with, but you know that you went somewhere and you know when you went there. If you ride the bus, you should always hold onto your transfers. You don’t want to get a ticket from the transit authority. They won’t believe you if you lost your transfer. They will assume that you’re just another cheap asshole trying to get a free ride across town. They hear lame excuses for why people don’t have transfers all day long. Your valid excuse will fall upon deaf ears. They don’t want to hear your sob story. They don’t care. It’s up to you to prove that you paid.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Muni

Muni is the nickname for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, the public transportation system for San Francisco. It sucks. It can’t run on time. They say your train is three minutes away, two minutes away, a minute away, arriving… but then there’s no train and then it says its coming in three minutes, two minutes, a minute, arriving, and then that one disappears too. That’s not bad service. That’s fucking lying. You said the train was coming and it didn’t. It’s like that friend who said he would give you a ride to work and then he doesn’t show up when he said he would, so you call him and he says that he’s five minutes away. Five minutes come and go and so you call him so see how far away he is, and he tells you he’ll be there in five minutes. And those five minutes comes and goes, and then another five minutes, and you call him again and he says that he’s four minutes away. And you don’t believe him, but you have to wait for him because he’s your ride. Muni is that asshole friend that has no concept of time.

Wikipedia says that Muni is the 7th largest fleet in the US and is dead last in commute time. That’s not something to be proud of. When your average speed is only 8.1 mph and the city you serve is only 7 miles by 7 miles, you’ve pretty much failed. Muni sucks because it is unreliable and it treats their customers like they are scum. One time I missed the last bus to my house but they refused to give me back my two dollars. They can’t just refund your money; you have to fill out paper work. That’s the exact opposite of customer service. If you pay for a service and they don’t deliver, you shouldn’t have to pay. Muni is like a vampire, it will suck you dry. First they take your soul, then they take your money. The best way to fix Muni? Make the people that run it have to rely on it. Then marvel as the shit finally runs on time.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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