Great MUNI Rides : LUSENET : Transit First San Francisco : One Thread

MUNI gets trashed so often that I thought that it would be good to create a thread for people to add stories about the great rides the have had on MUNI. Some drivers are really making an extra effort to give exceptional service. In the Metro one of the drivers announced what was playing at the Symphony as we passed Van Ness. Every day in little ways drivers are making the city a better place to live with courtesies that make this city a great place to live. From opening the door to let a late passenger on. In trashing Muni for it's problems it is important to encourage the professionalism that many drivers have taken to exhibiting. The culture of an organization cannot change overnight but I hope that in time the great drivers will exert pressure so that the ones who do not care will not be welcome. I also invite drivers to be part of the dialogue about how MUNI can be improved.

-- richard (, December 29, 1997


In some ways I agree with you. I think that recently muni drivers have been more polite and aware of passenger needs. Passengers need to respect muni drivers as well - driving the same route day in day out through the maze of traffic must be a frustrating experience.

On the other hand, I don't want to lump all muni drivers into this category because not all of them are polite and aware. Quite often, though not daily, I experience drivers taking off before all passengers are ready, including elderly passengers; being rude to passengers, for example, grudgingly answering questions about how to get places, or not answering at all; and taking off from a busstop knowing that a person down the street is running to catch it. I'm not sure why this is so - it's not like muni runs on a set schedule anymore, so to wait a few seconds to allow passengers to sit down doesn't seem too difficult. Sadly, when I went overseas last summer, I met a Canadian who visited San Francisco and commented on how rude everyone was, including muni drivers. Maybe the fact that muni drivers have a reputation as being rude is actually just a reflection of our city as a whole.

Anyway, maybe we do need to express our gratitude to muni drivers when we receive good service. It may make a difference. At this point, though, I honestly consider a good muni experience is when I get to where I want to go within my timeframe.

-- Renee Anderson (, April 01, 1998.

A few comments on the previous answer: I drive the 22-Fillmore, and while I don't disagree that there are `bad' drivers, I think that most situations are avoidable by either or both the driver and the passenger(s). My comments address the situations that occur with non-`bad' drivers. premature take off: I don;t think this is what you are concerned with, but, if a person passes up available seats in the front, or is standing stationary, or gets out of my field of view, I will announce `Please Hold On!' and then take off. In general, ALWAYS Hold On, whether you are standing or moving, sudden stops/starts/direction changes are possible and sometimes unavoidable. If a driver says `Hold On!' out of the blue, please do so, something may be about to happen. rudeness: occurs, but in my experience, is usually provoked by someone doing something rude, offensive, stupid or dangerous. I would be a lot more pleasant and personable, if I know that I wouldn't be verbally assaulted for Doing My Job by riders who refuse to Do Their Job (at the least: be ready to board/pay/get off), as it is, I don't chat, I don't make eye contact, because I don't know what is going to set the next psycho off, and if anything happens, Muni will likely consider it my fault. questions: directions: I try to answer concisely, but I don't always know. Do listen to me, don't get mad if I don't know or don't give you the answer you want. operations: pay attention to the destination signs, listen when the driver makes announcements (see my post in Horror Stories here) In general, the questions I like best are the ones that can be answered `yes' or `no'. Ask the question you want answered, don't fight about the answer. Running for the bus: in one word: `DON'T' ``...investigation indicates that (she) was running alongside the bus in the roadway...fell and was struck by the rear tires.'' Drivers have schedules that they are expected to keep, personally, I am within 5 minutes of my schedule about 95% of the time. I don't like stopping and reopening the doors for a variety of reasons: Visibility-I may not see a runner, or I may not see them until they are running under my windshield or alongside the bus, which leads to: Safety-I will not pick up someone who has committed a major safety error, because someone who is a hazard on the street is likely to be a hazard on the bus. Delays-waiting for a runner costs me 30 seconds to a minute, more if a traffic light or traffic opening is missed. I have missed as many as 4 lights (6-7 minutes) waiting for runners at Church and Market. On a frequent line like the 22 (6 minute headway), this is the most frequent cause of `trains' as the first bus is delayed as above, and then delayed further as riders won't take the 2nd bus, and insist on boarding the packed lead bus. Given the choice between delaying one rider who didn't get to the stop on time, and delaying the 50 people who did, I would prefer to settle for the greater good. As headways lengthen in the evening, I am more likely to wait. However, you can save both yourself, the passengers and the driver frustration by either getting to the bus stop on time, or accepting that you missed the bus and waiting for the next one. Be happy if the driver waits, but don't get mad if the driver doesn't Good Experience-by your criteria, virtually all my riders get `Good Experiences', but I feel that I can produce maybe 1-3 REAL `Good Experiences' per day (not that I have EVER been commended for any of them, not even the ones that keep ME smiling for a couple days)

-- Robert Parks (, May 04, 1998.

My husband and I frequent The City about 4 to 6 times a year for the last 4 years. With the exception of our last trip we ALWAYS use and love MUNI. I guess coming from Los Angeles, where public transportation is a joke, (not to mention the reason why everyone needs a car in L.A.), using the public transportation in San Fransisco is a real joy. We look foward to using MUNI to it's full extent whenever we visit our friends in the Richmond District. We love the fact that we don't have to bother them with picking us up from the bus station or Oakland airport and instead take the ferry and transfer to the 31 Balboa or 38Geary to get to their place. As for the employees of the MUNI, there have only been a few times when we have had a display of rudeness on their part but usally they are more friendly than anyone we could hope to encounter in L.A. county. We understand that they are human too and have their bad days just like the rest of us do. We just take it in stride and remember to be thankful that it's not the same smelly, coakroach-filled, people-smoking-crack, drunks-puking-over-themselves, RTD (now know as the MTA) Los Angeles buses that we could be on instead. It has always been a pleasure to ride the MUNI and we alwsays look foward to it.

-- Milly Browne (, August 26, 1998.

I don't take the metro, only several of the bus lines. I find the drivers courteous. The busses are generally on time. I recently was at a stop before another woman showed up. When the bus came in less than 5 minutes she bitched to the driver that she had been waiting for a half hour. When I corrected her, she told screached at me, telling me to butt out.

One complaint is passengers who sit in the aisle seat and will not move to the window to allow others to sit down. This would be alright if they were polite enough to stand up and let the other person get to the window seat. This is rarely done -- usually they look quite put out that they have to move their knees a tad.

I wish that the press would stop ragging on Muni. If they were to take a bus occassionally they might get of their soapbox and see the real picture.

-- Beth Wells (, April 29, 1999.

This was my second time to San Francisco. I am from Montreal, Canada. The MUNI is really nice to use. I believe there will be good and bad bus drivers everywhere. I guess I was a lucky guy, having no trouble with the service. All were willing to answer my questions about directions. I guess it is important to keep the questions brief.

And what's this Late Night thing I've been hearing about? I think it has to do with ticket transfers?

-- Victor Ng (, September 12, 1999.

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