Muni gets a second Blackpool ‘boat tram’

The Market Street Railway blog breaks the news:

As our members learned first in their exclusive newsletter, Inside Track, Market Street Railway has acquired for Muni a second boat tram. We’ll have much more to say about this here in a few days, but for now, we just want to thank Michael Thoresen, the most generous donor who made the acquisition possible through the Thoresen Foundation, and FedEx Trade Networks, which arranged and helped underwrite the shipping of the tram from England to San Francisco. [link]

Now that we have two, can we race ‘em?

[via @ellingson]

Aww, Muni

Brittney Gilbert reports:

Climbing aboard I saw all seats full except for one beside a little girl who was splayed across her seat and the one empty next to her. I opted to stand. That is, until the bus became so full that it was better for all involved if I took the empty seat. So, I did.

That’s when the little girl looked up at me and let out a huge smile. “Hi,” she said.

I said hello back. I smiled down at her but planned to keep listening to the music on my headphones. That’s when she offered me her hot dog.

This sweet girl, all bangs and grins, hot dog bun stuck between each of her tiny teeth, wanted to share her food with me.

I politely declined, but pulled my headphones down around my neck.

“I’m four,” she told me.

Read on.

Ugh, Muni

SFist reports:

A Muni bus at 20th and Mission had a collision with car pulling out of a parking space Tuesday afternoon around 1 p.m. The crash sent three passengers aboard the bus to the hospital with non-serious injuries, and it’s unclear what happened to the driver of the car, or if he/she was injured.

Read on.

Open-air F-Market tattoo

[via Vic Wong on Instagram]

Retrofitting retired MUNI buses with showers for homeless people

Did you know that there are only 16 shower stalls for 3,000+ men, women, and children who makes the streets of SF their home?  Don’t worry, I didn’t either, but fortunately there are some dedicated individuals seeking to ameliorate this imbalance by utilizing everyone’s favorite form of transportation:

The buses will be gutted and retrofitted with two showers — each with its own private changing area — and two toilets. The bus will be driven by volunteer bus drivers and will traverse the city making stops at partner organizations serving the homeless. Our goal is to provide 100 – 125 showers per bus per day. In our third year, we’ll have a total of 4 buses providing 400 – 500 showers every day

Check out the Indiegogo campaign if you feel like helping out!

Now if we could only get the actual buses we ride on to take a shower too…

Muni bus vs. double-decker tour bus

(Photos by Jonathan H.; thanks, Jonathan!)

Random Muni drawing

This morning on the way to work I noticed this dude across the train looking up and back down at a notebook and figured he was drawing the train or something. A few minutes later he came up to me and handed me a piece of paper. “I drew a picture of you. Here.”

That was pretty cool. I mean, just a totally random thing to catch me off guard. I dug it, so I took a pic of him with a big grin and a thumbs up and when I got into the office I did a quick sketch. I didn’t have the disadvantage of a moving train though.

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Shining beacon in a Muni shit storm

Our pal Brittney shares a little positivity:

There is a man who rides the 12 with me most mornings, and every time I see him he makes me smile. Because he is always smiling. Always. Rain, shine, vagrant pissing in the corner–smiley bus guy is smiling.

He never takes a seat, even if one is available. He slides his backpack around to wear on the front, conscientious of space, and he always smells like Mountain Spring soap and cinnamon toothpaste.

Smiley bus guy is a shining beacon in Muni shit storm. [link]

My morning sardine run

Just another day on Muni.

I got mugged so you don’t have to (I hope)

On Friday evening, a man tried to steal my phone on the 14, ripped it out of my hands and ran off the bus. In some fit of animal instinct, I ran after him off the bus, fought him, and got it back. I will spare you most of the details here, but if you want to read my full account of it, redirect yourself here.

Here some quick thoughts:

  • Be vigilant, obviously. Keep aware of your surroundings, and avoid using your smartphone or tablet on public transportation, especially if you’re sitting near a door. I know that this is a big fat DOY but it’s also easy to forget.
  • If you must use your device, look around you and take note of who is around you. I am not asking you to profile anyone. Just be aware and remember faces.
  • If you see a person in distress, do something. I understand the impulse to ignore what is going on and not be nosy, to stay safe. But I am a 26-year-old woman barely over 100 pounds and I was screaming and fighting a man twice my size who had struck me in the face and thrown me to the ground, and between the 20 or so witnesses on the sidewalk and nearby, none intervened until it was over. Apparently, several people thought it was a domestic dispute, and thought, “wow, what an odd couple.” No.
  • I am not implying that what I did was the smartest or best thing to do, but I had no time to think and adrenaline is one hell of a drug. This worked out in my favor, but it could have gone terribly wrong.
  • If you are a victim of a crime, file a police report. If you are hurt, tell the paramedics and police everything. Shock can delay physical pain until later, and later might be too late for anyone to be held accountable. I was tempted to just get on with my day and get to whatever I was trying to go to, but I’m so glad I didn’t.
  • I don’t care how much you resent the new “techies” moving into the neighborhood, but this kind of crime (or any other kind of crime) is not justified. I do not work at a startup or tech company (and it really shouldn’t matter if I did), and I certainly don’t have the paycheck or means to justify buying a new phone if mine was stolen.
  • It is easy to forget that this neighborhood can still be a rough one, despite the price tag and all of the big white shuttles. Carry pepper spray, choose well-trafficked paths, don’t walk alone at night, etc. etc.

I don’t know what became of the mugger, and I’d like to think that my altercation with taught him a lesson and scared him enough to lay low for awhile (or, optimistically, to retire from mugging!), but the reality is that he is still out there and he may strike again. Stay safe, everyone.