I’m not one to complain about public transportation, especially when talking about San Francisco’s public trans system. Hey, it could be much worse. There are some cities where the bus fare costs more and doesn’t ever come (*cough, L.A). But recently I’ve run into some uncomfortable, frustrating, agonizingly slow, and nauseating moments on this city’s greatest beast:
The name sounds harmless enough, but many of the traumatizing experiences one has riding on the MUNI are not so innocuous. They say that the people make the city. Well, if the people that make up the MUNI actually make the MUNI what it is, there’s no reason why anyone would ride the bus. I’m not saying that normal/cordial people don’t ride the MUNI. All I’m saying is that there’s no reason to take the Muni (i’m already get tired of capitalizing the whole thing) unless you have to. Considering that the bus actually comes when it’s suppose to, you’ll see one or more of these types of people on any given line.
Garbed in dark khaki collared shirts, these guys are guaranteed to brighten your day (or make it a living hell).
Homeless or Hipsters
Somewhere between homeless and hip is a new breed of people who ride the Muni everyday. Whether there going to work at Urban Outfitters or trying to find a nice tree to sleep under, one has to use acute discretion in distinguishing the vagabonds from the v-necked, Arcade Fire loving, financially-dependent-but otherwise-free-spirited hipster homies.
Normally found riding the 5, 1, 31, or any bus going down town or to the Embarcadero, business people have business to take care of, or something like that. These guys will often be on their phone, talking to clients, or too busy to notice that they’re holding up the bus with their 3-piece suites and fiery bravado. Don’t try talking to them. They don’t have the time. Besides, you can’t just take off an air of entitlement and extreme self-worth. That kind of narcissism is earned and treasured.
This kind of person can include all of the above. But there’s always a place on the Muni for some overly-intoxicated fool who can’t figure out how to stop the bus, or how to walk home from the bus stop. The Inebriated are often overlooked for their blood-shot eyes, disheveled hair, crooked smile, and missing teeth, but it isn’t fair to judge someone based on their looks or their belligerent gait. Instead, try to reach a level of understanding based on the different kinds of drugs in their system. Whether it’s acid, or heroine, or even marijuana, be sure to be aware of their movements. These guys can be quite unpredictable, so stay clear or join in.
There’s nothing more frustrating for a daily commuter than a massive group of newbies holding up the bus while trying to figure out how to get to the Golden Gate Park. We all know where you’re going. Just go down to Fisherman’s Wharf and stay there. Usually found face-deep in a cartoon map of the city obtained from some hotel’s promotional service, tourists roam the city looking for sights but normally get lost in the midst of the drug-induced splendor of Haight Ashbury and Ben and Jerry waffle cones. Who gave them maps anyways? Dear tourist, don’t waste your time trying to figure out the Muni if you’re only visiting. Take your hard earned cash and hop on a hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus and enjoy the sights of the city from two stories up. You can see what you want to see better up high while also avoiding interacting with the natives.
That’s it for the types of folks on the Muni. We’ve covered the basic six by overlooking the stereotypical bunch (i.e. Hippies, old people, flamboyant and non-flamboyant gays, and then all the jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, etc). Hmm this is starting to sound like high school. Anyways, thank you Muni for introducing me to this eclectic and diverse mix of nuts and fruits!
But, one more thing. BART, otherwise known as MUNI’s retarded cousin, you’re just as fun. Like your cousin, you often break down and come late. Now you’re talking about another strike? Was the first attempt not fruitful enough? S.F public transport drivers and conductors alike, you get paid too much to complain. Your perverse tantrums are not going to ameliorate your situation. There has got to be a better way to ask for pay-increases other than punishing thousands of innocent commuters. By refusing service to us, your one and only fans, you’re thwarting your own cause while simultaneously damaging the commuter/conductor relationship. I understand where you’re coming from, but just because you’re not going to work doesn’t mean that no one else is.