Information Gladly Given

On Muni Diaries, Riders Tell All

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Have you ever found yourself on Muni or at a stop overhearing a juicy conversation? Or sitting on a vehicle across from a person with a blue and yellow macaw resting on their shoulder? How about riding on a bus on an empty stomach while the aroma of take-out food wafts through the bus tempting you?                      

As most seasoned Muni patrons know, riding our city's transit on any given day will present you with a host of sights, sounds and smells. Some so interesting that you find yourself wanting to share the experience with others. Thankfully there is a place where people can come together to speak about their joys, frustrations, insights and observations on what it is like to ride Muni: one of our favorite sites, Muni Diaries.

Open to all, Muni Diaries has become that favorite watering-hole, the after work gathering spot where people can connect, share their stories, and trade bizarre experiences.  A growing and enthusiastic community, it has become much more than just an online forum, Muni Diaries also brings Muni riders together through its open mic events, “Muni Diaries Live.”

This popular event gathers a wide cross section of the Muni Diaries community, ranging from Muni novices to savvy transit veterans, providing them with the opportunity to walk up on a stage, stand behind a microphone, and tell their Muni stories to a live audience.  Whether it’s a local journalist talking about the 12 Folsom-Pacific bus that battled power gremlins or a native San Franciscan sharing a childhood memory from when she was seven years old, these stories remind us that everyone on a bus or train has a story to tell including the operator.

A veteran of the 49 Mission-Van Ness Route, “Driver Doug” decodes some of the hand signal operators may use to communicate with riders, explains how to wait for a bus at a stop, and imparts a pearl of wisdom upon the audience, which is simply that “it’s not just a bus, it’s a person driving a bus.”

Whether it’s an operator or passenger, a trip on Muni isn’t just a solitary ride; it is a shared, communal experience. So the next time you board a Muni vehicle, stay alert and observe all that’s around you because you may discover that there is a fascinating tale to tell.

"Muni Diaries, Your Place to Share Transit Stories" over a photo of a 2 Clement Muni sign pole, promoting a story, "Here's the Most Compact DIY Muni Shelter Ever."