Rocket Shoes

An Open Letter To SF Muni

Dear SF Muni,

Fuck you.

Let me start over.

Fuck you.

You are the public transportation system. Say that out loud. You are, supposedly, the way I should transport myself. You know, to places like "everywhere" and "anywhere". So let me just say I'm a little bit confused.

I like to think of you like someone I'm dating (I know, a truly novel and original metaphor for me). And a few months ago, you basically told me you were exhausted. A lot of people were complaining about you, and you felt like you needed a little space. Just a little more time to yourself, because we'd been hanging out too often. I was frustrated when you said this, but I'm a good boyfriend, so I listened. I was like, "Hey, sure, if that's what's going to make this work a little better, you change your routes up. I'm even cool if you come by less often than you used to...if that's what you need..." When you told me you needed a little more money to cover the rent...I figured it was cool. You weren't a deadbeat significant other, and when times got better you'd pay me back.

I'm done with your lies.

You show up late. When you do show up, you're a total asshole. Your driver acts like it's a serious inconvenience that I've burdened him with the "driving people around in a bus" part of his "driving people around in a bus" part of his job. I mean, I wouldn't take a job at the ice cream store and sigh when people asked for a goddamn sugar cone. Also, I would like to figure out where you are training your drivers. Have they used brakes on a bicycle before? Same theory. Just ease up a bit. If you push it lightly, the brakes are going to work. There's no need to play the "can I catapult Drew into the awkward guy who's mouth breathing in sweat pants" game. That was fun when you were on time. Hell, at the beginning of the relationship? It was one of those weird reasons I liked you: it was kind of cute in some effed up way.

It now costs me two dollars to be late to everything. Which seems like a really shitty deal. When did you become the cable guy, telling me vaguely that you'd be over at my place sometime between the morning and roughly any time ever, including never? This is not a schedule, unless you are smoking weed all day and you totally got caught up in that Man vs. Wild episode where Bear got stuck in a swamp and ate a fish while it was still alive (which, I'll agree with you, was fascinating, you're totally right).

My favorite is when you're late and act like I'm the asshole. Oh, you're too full? That's cool, there's another bus coming within today and when I have my first child. When I do get on, I feel like I'm holding on to the railing for dear life. I get it. You're angry. We are too.

It used to be endearing. The guy who looked like a meth head wearing one head phone not attached to a portable music device? This was even charming before. But when I'm paying two bucks to sit next to this guy while I'm also late to everything I ever want to do? Not that adorable. Stop being the DMV, who just gave up and decided to be terrible at life from day one.

You are a transportation system. For a major metropolitan city. Put on your big boy pants and start trying a little harder. Thanks.


Drew. And presumably anyone else who lives in the city of San Francisco.

p.s. The sex was never that good, anyway. I never thought I'd say this, but BART is better in bed.



83 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “An Open Letter To SF Muni”

  • Larry

    February 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    And yet another reason why Oakland kicks San Francisco’s ass. Better Fried Chicken & On time Buses!

    • Martin

      April 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm

      Except when AC Transit isn't on time or even worse early and there is one bus an hour.

  • @marycray

    February 5, 2010 at 12:23 am

    you needn’t presume. I’d sign this.

  • Green

    February 5, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Love. It.

  • lori

    February 5, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Beautiful, and thanks for your rhapsodic communique. I would only add: 1) sweet muni, perhaps consider hiring drivers who speak “the English” and 2) stop playing so hard to get. The games are very 8th grade and anyway, we paid for your services, right? Don’t be ashamed. Fucking is great, but we do require that happy ending, wherein we arrive, eventually, at our destination. Even if you’re not in the mood. Thanks.  

  • Andreä

    February 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Oh no. I hope my car doesn’t become my rebound boyfriend.

  • njudah

    February 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    amen, brother. a-fucking men.

  • Jason

    February 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Love it only one problem. MUNI is alot worse that the DMV on it’s worst day.

  • sean

    February 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm


    cost of monthly fast pass for working couple: $70

    cost of monthly cheap downtown parking: $150

    This is disincentive to use public transportation.

  • Andrew

    February 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    how eloquently put!

    shame on us for assuming the increased price and reduced routes/schedules would result in efficiency…

    .. as someone who relies on public ‘transportation’ to be ‘transported,’ i’m extremely frustrated with the lack of reliable schedules, the inability to function properly, and the reluctance to fight for positive changes.

    hey, pissed your budget is being slashed by city, county, or state politicians?.. put an agent at every major stop/station and get riders to sign!! or, use your public relations people into some offense training rather than defense (re: accidents).

    • Andrew

      February 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      Don’t mind my grammatical errors. I was frustrated…

  • Ziggy M.

    February 6, 2010 at 12:04 am


    Clearly, you’ve never lived in LA. Be thankful that you have public transportation. Plus, its SF. If you’re really so pissed off, ride a bike.

    Don’t shit on public transportation. Its PUBLIC transportation. As for the bus drivers, are you really so surprised that, after listening to a bunch of entitled indie assh- whine all day about being late or braking too hard, they don’t want to be your best friend?

    Sorry pal, welcome to the real world. Do you really think that everyone works a job because that’s what they want to do?

    Consider yourself served.

    • Drew

      February 6, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Hey Ziggy.

      First of all, thanks for serving me. I haven’t been served that hard since Omarion did that fly move and I was like, “whhhOOOOOAAAAaaa” back in the hit 2004 film, “You got Served.”

      Second of all: It’s a metaphorical letter to a public transportation system that isn’t good at publicly transporting people, yet charges for it. It was kind of going for the more “that’s funny” demographic.

      Since when was it entitled to expect “do what I say I’m gonna do” service from something I have to pay for? That seems kind of fair. Does it hurt Muni’s feelings too much that I make fun of it, the same way it mocks people’s lives, continuously charges more and cuts routes?

      Welcome to the real world: people use humor to enjoy life and not take things so seriously. Please don’t take a blog called “Rocket Shoes” like the huffington post. Thank you.

      Stop being a holier than thou asshole named Ziggy.

      Consider your yard stomped. (I hope you get that. It’s really funny.)

      • Hilldawgg

        July 18, 2011 at 6:16 am

        I just LOLd in my pants.

    • Cindy

      July 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      Really, are you kidding me? I have lived in third world countries with better transportation systems than SF. At a BARE, BARE , BARE minimum, schedules should be accurate. PERIOD!

    • Cynthia

      March 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      I have to agree with Ziggy here and ask this: have any of you ever been to Los Angeles and attempted to use their joke of a public transit system? It’s light years worse than MUNI. There is no cohesion to speak of, connections are illogical or downright nonexistent, and the types who use it are even more unnerving than your typical MUNI passenger. As a Los Angeles native now living in the city, I can say I’ve seen the dark side and MUNI is not it.

  • Jessica

    February 6, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I support public transportation, I really do. It’s a beautiful thing, and I have known more than one person who used to live in LA and hated the lack of public transit there. But as someone who works in SF but lives in Berkeley, I commute via both BART and MUNI every day – and let me tell you, BART is the picture of efficiency compared to MUNI. MUNI frequently causes me and many of my coworkers to be late for work. This is unacceptable.

    MUNI workers tend not to even bother to offer any sort of explanations for various service delays – at least on BART we are made aware of what the problem is when a problem arises via the announcement system and train operators, and they usually treat us like people who are paying for a service and rightly deserve to have any problems rectified in as timely a manner as possible.

    There are a few pleasant MUNI drivers, of course, but most of them are indifferent and often downright rude. I realize they have to deal with a lot of crazy people and general bullshit, but that comes with the territory in a job like this in a major city. They absolutely are entitled to a minimum amount of respect from their passengers at the very least, but cranky/crazy people are unavoidable and, as they say, if you can’t take the heat, get your ass out of the kitchen. MUNI has had multiple major failures recently. This shit needs to be fixed one way or another. It is inhibiting people’s day to day activities on a routine basis. That is not acceptable. Period, end of story. These frustrations are without a doubt shared by the majority of San Franciscans and other Bay Area residents who use MUNI regularly.

    • jogiff

      March 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      I know I’m a little late here, but I realized something depressing when I read your comment. I was about to disagree with you and say that almost half of the MUNI drivers I’ve had to deal with were pleasant.

      Then I realized that that was because I was defining “pleasant” as “not being overtly rude, simply indifferent.”

      And that’s terrible.

  • Ziggy M.

    February 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm


    Stomp the Yard (2007) D. Sylvain White. BAM! Nice work.

    Alright now, settle down there big fella. I didn’t mean to get you so riled up. I see you consider yourself to be an indie asshole. Well at least we agree on that.

    For someone who is using humor to enjoy life and not take things so seriously, you sure took my comments seriously.

    A piece of advice. The best way to handle a heckler, is not to dignify their heckling with a response. Hecklers are all the same, all they want is your attention. If you give it to them. They win. End of story. Welcome to the real world. Look both ways before crossing.

    And don’t worry, I know Rocket Shoes is nothing like Huffington Post. Ariana Huffington is a self righteous, Jon Stewart idolizing, misguided liberal thief (sorry news aggregator). And your not a thief. At least I don’t think you are.

    The fact of the matter is you had too many people rubbing your jock in your comments, somebody had to step up and be a dick. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    Stop taking shit so seriously, indie asshole.

    Consider your drum lined.

  • Alexis

    February 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Drew good. Ziggy bad.

    • Cindy

      July 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm


  • Drew

    February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm


    There is so much to say, yet in a conflict of “that’s a pretty well thought out comment” interest, I guess I’ll let you win (you agree you’re an internet troll/heckler asshole, well at least we agree on that).

    Gotta say, I feel as though my drum has been lined, but I also feel like you’re a big asshole (who writes angry blog comments at midnight on Friday’s, followed by telling people that they can’t write back to that?) so I should probably, as you say, not take it so seriously. I just thought it was kind of fun to fight with someone actually named Ziggy (besides the cartoon Ziggy. 30 rock joke, I don’t think you right wingers like that show, because it’s “funny”).

    It was a fun “fuck you NO FUCK YOU” while it lasted. Have fun, I presume, Eeyoring the internet. In a moment of irony, I find you funny and well spoken, though.

    I’m off to be an indie asshole. We do kind of agree on that, bub.

    • jay

      July 30, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      For being so “well spoken” (or well written, but neither here nor there), Ziggy still managed to blow the elementary your you’re. Ouch.

      Consider 3rd grade grammar.

  • Kevin

    February 12, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    LOL @ Ziggy.

    Every time anyone complains about Muni there’s always one brainless defender comparing it to a place like LA and saying, “at least you have public transportation!” Is San Francisco now LA? No, it’s not. I suppose it might be a better system of public transportation than Baghdad too but for some reason that doesn’t help me out when I have to wait 30 minutes for a bus that’s supposed to come every 10.

    The fact is that a significant amount of the population in San Francisco relies on Muni to get to work, school and whatever else. We don’t have cars because it’s a bitch to park anywhere and it costs a fortune. We don’t ride bikes because some of the hills in this city are comparable to a black diamond run at Mammoth and lets face it, it’s not a bike friendly city in any way. So what do we do? We use Muni, supposedly one of the best public transportation systems on the West Coast. And what does Muni do? They hire non-english speaking drivers who don’t give a shit about doing their job well or even correctly. They jack up the fares on both single rides and fast passes to the point where it’s almost cheaper to just pay a single fare each ride. We RELY on Muni and our fares cover their salaries and they fuck us in the ass. Why am I paying more for less routes that won’t even get me where I’m going on time?

    So in conclusion, fuck Muni. Fuck Muni drivers, fuck Muni cops, fuck Muni in every way possible. The idea of LA not having a public transportation system does very little to console my boss when I’m late for work because the bus driver decided to hop off and grab take-out while parked at a stop (That actually happened to me once).

  • Chelsea

    February 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    My favorite is when you’re at Daly City BART waiting for the 28 to take me to work and, look! There in the distance! The 28 has finally come! We are saved! It stops right in front of the stop and then…nothing. The bus driver sits there, for 15 minutes, reading a newspaper, looking over occasionally at us lowly peasants waiting patiently for the bus doors to finally open. And then they do. And then two blocks later the bus breaks down.

  • Jason

    February 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Ziggy and Drew (and other posters) have at least achieved one thing with this thread- they have entertained. They haven’t contributed a bit toward improving anything, but they were funny. That’s the big problem with the various hipster cultures represented here and in such numbers across this fine city. They jabber alot but you often get the sense that the only purpose to their commentary is to show you how funny and smart they are. And in the process the actual topic kind of fades away. I mean seriously, this was a quintessential hipsterloogue gone wild with both participants MUCH more interested in one-upping the pop-movie “drum was lined” references than in discussing, well anything.

    People: Stop blaming the drivers for MUNI service. I mean I have been on the bus a thousand times and more often than not they are pretty cool. Drew I suppose you originally thought it was charming when the bus stopped a little too fast because it was all new and exciting, but here’s a news flash: Muni busses share the road with other vehicles and when they stop fast it’s more often than not because if they didn’t they’d end upcrashing into the vehicle in front of them.

    And this is my point. I am tired of people complaing about the system we bought in SF. It’s not more polite drivers that make BART a better experience- it’s an ERORMOUS capital investment that created a COMFORTABLE AND EFFICIENT system. Our system, 99% of which is fighting traffic on surface streets CAN’T work as well as you people expect it to. It’s like someone who buys a Honda Accord and then devotes alot of energy on complaining about how crappy a car it is compared to his friend’s Mercedes. People, if you want us (the city) to buy a Mercedes, push for it- and be willing to pay for it. But if all you really care about is showing how funny and smart you are, by all means, keep on posting stuff like this.

    • Cindy

      July 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Then why is it that no other city I have lived in, including Ascuncion, Paraguay has the problems that muni has. They all ride on above ground streets in congested cities. In the various cities I have lived in, busses are EXPECTED to be on time because people are EXPECTED to be on time. It is only in this pathetic city where people tolerate and excuse horrendous service.

  • Johnny

    February 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm


  • Six

    February 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Regardless of how smug you may be about either side of this discussion, you are paying for a service. MUNI does not shuttle you around for free. If you do NOT like the level of service or the attitude or whatever that you receive for the service you PAY for, then you (or I) have every right to complain. You/we should also have an easy, logical way to voice our concerns for the service that we pay for, just like any other service.

  • Jason

    February 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm


    As long as you keep in mind that what you have “paid” for MUNI is not just the $2 fare. It’s the amount we as a city have invested in the infrastructure of our transit system. None of the complaints anyone makes about MUNI is made about BART, or the Washington DC Metro etc. … and it’s because those systems were VERY expensive per passenger mile to build and are deidicated right-of-way rail systems. Ours is a crappy, on-the-street bus system. It’s like a bunch of people in coach spending the whole flight complaining that they are cramped and who for whatever reason think they should get a 1st class experience even though they haven’t paid for it.

  • Jason

    February 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    It takes longer for some people to commute from the outer Richmond to downtown than for people in Concord, CA to get there. Is that bad management? surly drivers? No. It’s decade after decade of the city not ponying up the money to put a subway under Geary. just sayin.

  • Steve O

    February 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    @Jason – Lots of us who live here in DC are gettin’ scared to ride the Metro (you can get killed!), but thanks for the shout out.
    But we do complain, too; there’s a whole site for that:

  • Jeff

    February 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Oh, how I love this!

  • erik

    February 24, 2010 at 1:13 am

    You write very well, which is why I enjoyed reading your post. That’s where my admiration ends. I don’t think blanketing every MUNI driver, which is how I read it, is appropriate. The letter is written to a singular entity, yet you address drivers, and never the people who aren’t seen running the administration. From your posting, I get the feeling you’ve experienced bureaucracy and Corporate-America. And still, I read only the negatives which come form the people on the front-line. In no way am I condoning the low-service some drivers put out there. My father was a bigot – a damn racist. He blanketed everyone, yet called his Hispanic employee by his name – Oscar. Other Hispanics had many different names, none being the ones their parents’ gave them. (He lived in L.A., so he made many comments per day.) If my dad had taken the time to get to know there are good people and there are bad (asshole) people out there he might have been a more pleasant man; he couldn’t do that though. He wasn’t smart enough to look outside himself. I know you are, there’s too much intelligence w/in this posting.

    When dating, do you show interest in your partner – ask ‘em how they’re doing every time you see them (even if the reply comes back w/ an attitude) – yes, ask them how they’re doing, it’s so easy, and can, though not always, lift their spirit; take into consideration they’re doing something at a minimum of 40 hrs/week they may not want to do, but are stuck having to do it to keep them, and possibly their family, housed and fed; wonder what it’s like to come into contact w/ such an array of people on a hourly basis, w/ some commuters being nice, but having to deal w/, yeah deal w/, some assholes; cutting ‘em slack because they may have had a bad day (where it’d be damn polite if they told you this, but they were in big funk and felt they didn’t need to tell anyone nor did they want to be reminded of it by talking about it – even w/ you).

    Seriously, try and help the situation by suggesting how to possibly correct the system at the primary root and not the secondaries. Why has the fare gone up? The city is in fiscal trouble? Or the state, or the country? I hear ya. I truly do. MUNI needs overhauling, but w/ the economy they way it is it’s not gonna happen for a while. I feel the main angst the drivers experience comes from some of the most disgustingly selfish, brazen, defiant, antagonist assholes who ride the MUNI system. The nastiest, grumpiest, pissed-off jerk driver has never equaled ¾ of some of those “oh so pleasant” commuters. It’s a sad state when people worry about who they’ll encounter while riding MUNI. Find a way to change those selfish, brazen, defiant, antagonist asshole commuters – then get stricter w/ the drivers who are still being jerks.

  • Kevan

    February 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    this is awesome.

  • Endwahl

    February 25, 2010 at 8:45 am

    This was great reading! Thanks!

    Is there anybody else in the USA who is getting an 8% pay raise this year? The arrogance of MUNI and its union astounds.

    I ride MUNI every day to work. I have no choice. But I would love to support a one-day BOYCOTT.

  • Guido's Mom

    February 25, 2010 at 8:53 am

    The creeps cut out my 10 Townsend bus that takes me to my office at Levi’s Plaza. Yes I work, try to earn a living and have no way to get to and from work now – they didn’t just cut back they DELETED my bus and told us to ride the F line – sure if you can get on it with all the Disneyland tourists and it’s lame schedule coupled with dreary drivers I’m into ONE DAY BOYCOTT, let’s confront the drivers at each bus stop en masse with signs so they get it thru their thick unionized greedy skulls. They are all over paid, under worked and get to go to work with a bad rotten tude! WOW what a way to make a living!

  • Jason

    February 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Brilliant. A 1-day boycott! That will really teach them. Most boycotters would probably be passholders so the revenues would hardly be affected. More importantly, if all the people who piss and moan about how much they hate MUNI didn’t take the bus for a day it would just mean the drivers would have less crowded and less grumpy busses for a day. THAT’ll teach ‘em!

  • SDI4lyf

    February 25, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for this blog. Made my day. My favorite is when the L showed up 20 minutes late and told everyone over the PA system, “Don’t blame me… I was one of the few who showed up for work today.” Fuckers.

    • Mike

      February 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      I really like it when I find blogs on the Internet with interesting articles on them but I also love it when I find blogs with fun name. Rocket shoes.. It reminds me of the movie Back to the future.. I don’t know why I guess it’s funny and people should not take life seriously. Life is short. Awesome article and it was not only fun reading it but it was also a fresh air, have a great day!

  • G Uchi

    February 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I totally agree with you as a regular bus rider to work since I live in the East Bay. Comparing the AC Transit drivers to MUNI is like night and day. Not only is MUNI overpaid but they drive like we owe them for the privilege not seeming to understand that we the taxpayers are their employers. They seem to enjoy bodies flying as they jerk and brake buses like it is a race yet the courtesy is totally lacking in nearly all of them.

    The riders need to be heard so that MUNI does something that brings value to the supposed “service” they deliver and never with a smile!

  • James

    February 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Stop bitching and get a bike.

  • Ray

    February 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    First of all I have a bart plus ticket. My question is why ACE SAMTRANS and VTA can enforce the fare and MUNI cannot? come on!! the deficit you are having are coming from fare cheaters period and overpaid muni drivers…..

  • GrowUp

    February 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    The problem as others have mentioned is the inability to look outside YOUR personal experience. The country,state, and city are all in dismal financial condition, in fact as you may know we are currently in a recession. MUNI decided to eliminate the least used routes and is now considering raising fares. Do they do this for fun to personally antagonize you? No they do this in attempt to be fiscally responsible and continue operating MUNI which ultimately provides you with public transportation. The key word here is public, and along with that comes all the charm of the general public. If you don’t like it, ride your bike, drive your car, or get the hell out. I ride my bike all over the city on the reg and funking love it- I do this to avoid many of the pitfalls of public transportation you described. When for various reasons I can’t ride my bike I use MUNI and so far so good. I cant speak on anyone else’s behalf but I was born and raised in the city and if anything MUNI has gotten better. I’m luvin’ on that which 90% of the time is golden and has saved me many a miserable foggy night when I’m drunk out of my mind and the last thing I want is to leave the bar/club early to wait an eternity for the OWL. As for the drivers, this isn’t Pleasantville so move to Pleasanton if that would suit you better. No one wants to hear you whine about you and your little world that consists of demonizing a major metropolitan public transportation system. Your not funny-figure it out and get a life. I’m surprised your big city girlfriend even gives your spoiled self-entitled self the time of day.

  • Drew

    February 25, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Aww…people like you “growup”, are the reason these kinds of conversations are fun.

    The state is in dismal financial condition because they make poor decisions that get us here in the first place. I pay taxes, so I have just as much of a right to write random things on a blog as you have to be…well, just angry at everything with some sense of ironic entitlement that is greater than other people who complain.

    Isn’t that sort of ironic? You’re complaining and ranting about complaining and ranting to people who are complaining and ranting. Who said anything about a car, btw? And what is it with you angry people and “pleasanton” or pleasantville? What does that have to do with “the bus doesn’t work because the city fucked up”?

    You’re just angry and feel entitled because you have a bike. Guess what? A lot of people do. I’d say grow up, but apparently you don’t want to because you sign things “growup” because you won’t even back up your OWN words with your own friggin name. Oh, irony again. It’s delightful.

    I’m allowed to not like the recent bus cuts if you’re allowed to love them. High five, welcome to the free world.

    Oh, and ironically, thanks for giving me the time of day and reading.

  • GrowUp

    February 26, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Good God your witty, you’re like one of those guys who gets on their online soapbox to complain about the trials and tribulations of big city life and how sick of it they are and then…oh wait. Let’s be brutally honest. You wrote your post with light humor in mind to speak about something you do genuinely care about- paying for a service does that not meet either your expectations or the provider’s own standards. Unfortunately as others have mentioned there are several factors such as lack of infrastructure spending, fare cheaters, and having to haggle with the union of the second best paid operators in the nation that have left MUNI with less than adequate means to operate MUNI on the level that you desire. You just wanted to do some light-hearted complaining? Oh I’m sorry for slowing your roll(I honestly did not mean this as a reference to those early posts! ha) but unfortunately it’s not so simple or funny. Addressing my post as you have several others you fail to grasp the larger point- either propose and initiate some sort of change or don’t complain. Don’t berate your detractors just because they challenge you to do something besides come up with witty responses to their critiques of your post. This is in fact what I hoped would become clear to you by using the phrase “GrowUp”, oh well. All I have shared is that in fact, I by in large am happy with MUNI’s service and that I ride my bike whenever possible. If this has come off as angry or you feel belittled, I’m sorry. But really? Please rally your comrades and do something, anything. Cheers.

  • Jill

    February 26, 2010 at 8:08 am

    What a catharsis to read! Thanks for writing it. And GrowUp, are you a shill for the city or something?

  • Drew

    February 26, 2010 at 9:18 am

    GrowUp, it’s not so simple or funny to light heartedly complain? What are you, from Cuba or something? (there’s that wit again, I hope it doesn’t freak you out). There is no point in arguing with you. I get your point, I just don’t think you really ever got mine…sometimes, saying something funny is cathartic. It looks like you get that, because you just keep on posting on this thing you don’t care about. Just go ride your bike or the bus. We will too. And when we laugh about the idiosyncrasies of the things we hate to love to hate, you can scream like Fidel on the bus that THERE IS NO LAUGHTER. I’d love to go to a picket line or whatever it is you want me to do…I have a job though, that isn’t protected by the second highest paid union in the world. I just want the bus to run better. Here’s hoping it does. And here’s hoping you leave a name or email or something so people can write you. If not, well, I guess you made your point again by just kind of, as stated about someone previously, eeyoring happy people who are having a laugh together.

  • Wags

    February 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Driver’s perspective: Busses…Pick a fucking lane!

  • Jonathan

    February 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    As others have pointed out, Drew has every right to complaint when SF has one of the more expensive systems in the country and it doesn’t work. The defenders of MUNI are clueless. What are they thinking? That if SF finally pays enough to go into double secret bankruptcy they’ll get a good system?!? The problems are systemic and cultural. The problems are the unions, and the bureaucracy, and the fact that nobody has the incentives to do a good job.

  • Sid

    February 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Growup, Muni is anything but fiscally responsible. If we’re supposed to pay $2 for horrible service, rude drivers and shrinking routes, then we expect their damn union to accept concessions in benefits and pay, rather than raise fees again. The city charter guarantees them an 8% raise a year. They are overpaid and are horrible at their jobs.

  • Frank

    February 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    All Unions are doomed! They just don’t understand it yet.
    I say good riddance. What a shame they took advantage of a
    good thing and now its over. Just ask Detroit.

  • Jason

    March 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

    To Jonathon: The question is not whether or not you have the “right to complain”- we all know everyone does. The question is- does the funny letter Drew wrote unfairly demonize a group of people who (in my experience) actually are not all that bad in the name of a cheap laugh. And yeah, sorry. It’s pretty easy to pick on MUNI, you’ll always have a bunch of whiners ding in. But some of us who actually ride MUNI only have a bad experience 1 out of ten times and understand the limitations of the system we have. You think I’m clueless. Well, that’s a bold statement from someone who in his post said “SF has one of the more expensive systems in the country and it doesn’t work”. “one of trhe more expensive systems in the country” is a pretty meaningless statement. What per ride? Total budget? Infrastructure insvestment? Also, the system transports 700,000 a day, more than twice what BART does, and I take two busses to and from work and it’s rare I have to wait more than 5 minutes. I think you might say it doesn’t work as super-fantastically as you want it to, but you can’t really say it doesn’t work. It works.

  • Jonathan

    March 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    True enough, Jason. I was too glib and imprecise. It clearly works, in that people end up where they are supposed to be. But does it work for the people no longer served because the budget overruns have caused routes to be dropped? You probably wouldn’t defend it so quickly if your routes were dropped. I don’t have stats on lateness, so I won’t even comment on that.

    Anyway, by “not working” I was referring to the fact that San Francisco is about to go tits up financially, due in no small part because it employs some of the most expensive public employees in the country. MUNI definitely isn’t working if its helping to bankrupt the city. If the drivers are angry, it’s because they are making just under six figures while their friends who fix the

    The cost to ride has doubled in a decade. The budget is $700M. Denver’s RTD has almost twice as many lines and yet their budget is half of MUNIs. Picking on MUNI is easy because it’s so obviously f’ed up. Defending it either means you enjoy being a contrarian for it’s own sake (which I can somewhat appreciate) or you’re clueless (which I can’t). Why you’d choose to take the side of overpriced mediocrity is beyond me, though, regardless. People misguidedly thinking “getting along” and not complaining is a virtue is perhaps why SF is such a mess financially.

  • Jonathan

    March 1, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Meant to say “…while their friends who fix the vehicles are making well over six figures and the managers are making over $250k a year.”

  • Jason

    March 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    “Defending it either means you enjoy being a contrarian for it’s own sake (which I can somewhat appreciate) or you’re clueless (which I can’t).” In the spirit of that ‘either I’m right or you’re wrong’ ad hominem attack I will counter by suggesting that for you to defend your side means you’re either an ill-informed know-it-all a-hole possibly racist republican (which I can’t tolerate) or clueless (which I can).

    Denver’s RTD has twice as many “lines” but carries LESS THAN HALF THE DAILY PASSENGERS (Average weekday boardings: 331,121
    ), so using it as proof of anything is probably not a good idea. And let’s face it we live in the second most expensive Metro area in the US it is going to be more expensive to operate here. And Denver is facing a budget shortfall and service cuts, just like MUNI.

    And let’s be clear. I’m not defending it because I’m clueless or argumentative. It’s because the busses come by all the f%ing time. There are hiccups but they carry an enormous load. People like you seem to just hate the fact that the bus drivers (that is not an easy job) get paid more than you think they deserve because they are to you lowerclass.

  • Jason

    March 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    anyone interested in an actually informative article about MUNI’s problems should check this out:

  • Jonathan

    March 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Ah, I was wondering when the class-baiting posturing would start.

    If you want to do some social justice posturing, consider the effects on the working poor and unemployed who have to pay more for public transportation. Consider all the people that could be hired from the unemployment line if MUNI cut drivers salaries in half, increased service and hired more drivers.

    I don’t hate bus drivers getting paid six figures. I hate bullshit, and the reason they are paid more than college professors is bullshit, and it hurts a lot of people to benefit a small class of people (the union members). The self aggrandizing class warfare can go both ways, and the drivers are making so much they are no longer “lower class,” whatever that means. They are now part of a privileged class abusing their power.

  • vanderleun

    March 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    It is so immensely gratifying to see San Francisco and the state of California get the kind of government they voted for good and hard. Enjoy paying more for increasingly less. Oh, and don’t forget to give all those oppressed government workers a raise. What? You don’t want to? Not to worry, Sacramento will find new ways to pick your pocket while you are all standing at the last bus stop for a long, long time.

  • ahem

    March 4, 2010 at 6:41 am

    I certainly hope none of you are rooting for Obama’s fucked up healthcare plan, because you are going to get the same fucked-up, uncompetitive, inefficient, price-gouging experience you now enjoy with your bus service–and that is really going to suck.

  • vanderleun

    March 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Oh dollars to doughnuts that most of them probably are. The connections in the neural net… they not getting made are.

  • vanderleun

    March 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Drew on Inauguration day, Jan. 2009: “It’s like Obama got on stage, told us we’d get taco bell and candy everyday, that there would be a DJ playing IN homeroom, ki-ci and jojo would play AT our next dance AND we’d all get to date the head cheerleader IF he were elected president. And here’s the crazy thing: I don’t think he was kidding. Because today was the real deal, and I’ve never seen America this happy in my waking life. And it felt good. And I’m REALLY happy I voted him student body president right now. I feel like it’s free cone day at the ice cream store, except it’s free UNLIMITED ICE CREAM DAY at the ice cream store. It’s a pretty cool feeling. And it tastes delicious.”

    Right about now maybe the connection starts to be made between UNLIMITED FREE ICE CREAM for the Muni unions and the actual service the schmucks on the street waiting for the bus get.

    You see, Drew, the problem with unions, socialism, free health care, is that sooner or later you run out of ice cream.

  • mapquest

    April 17, 2010 at 6:31 am

    what a letter

  • juju

    July 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Honestly, the SF DMV actually kicks Muni’s ass. In terms of being pleasant, I mean. And less of a total waste of time.

  • jennifer

    August 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    hey you guys, it’s really just not that serious.

    entertaining post, drew.

  • mark

    April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Fun to read all the comments about how much muni sucks. I was hired six months ago as a parttime driver. I make 20 dollars per hour and I’m not able to support myself on 20 hours per week. If I stick with it in a year or so I will make 29 dollars per hour. At 20 hours per week you figure the math. My take home now is 645 every two weeks. Could you live on that? I didn’t think so. Yes there are bad drivers – yes there are some good ones. In my six months I could tell you stories about idiot drivers cutting off a bus – people running at my bus , bikes doing stupid things you wouldn’t believe. Don’t get me started on the homeless, farejumping nare do wells. Does the system need to be changed? Absolutely, as far as the answer I’m not sure. I’d like to make a decent living. So far this is not it. As far as those drivers making 6 figures. That takes 12 hour days 6 days a week. The maximum you can make in a day as a top muni driver is $350….. usually 6am to 6 or 7 pm then drive home to pittsburgh or antioch or fairfield. what a life.


    • Sandra

      March 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

      I’m sorry, but this is the biggest whine. Even if this is true, at $20 per hour you make more than most LVNs. Nurses, those people who went through years of training and save lives. You think you have to deal with bullshit? Please, shut up.

      P.S. I leave my home an hour and 40 minutes before my shift every day, so I can care for your grandma, because I anticipate your ineptitude.

  • Tim Wayne

    April 18, 2012 at 6:16 am
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  • Fuckmuni

    May 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Brilliant letter.

  • Sola Cupcake

    June 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I just googled “shoe store muni fight sf” and THIS post came up as the SIXTH link. You did it!!!

  • Cindy

    July 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Is it too much to ask for the driver to give you the right transfer slip? I got a $103 ticket because the ever so intelligent bus driver, could not figure out which transfer slip to give me so she gave me the one that expires at 10 am when I got on the 3:09 pm bus. This is after she spent about 45 seconds staring at the slips she had left at a green light and I was the last one on the bus. And no, the driver was not overly occupied with people’s safety as a woman got the bus a few stops later with a child in a stroller fully opened, seated in the stroller with two straps that could barely hold the child in. I shudder to think of what would have happened to that baby in an accident.

    This, in addition to all of the things mentioned in the letter above. Don’t forget, these are the highest paid drivers in the U.S. Actually, they are the second highest paid per a contractual mandate with this requirement, of course that’s not including the generous benefits they receive. The only thing I can’t figure out is why the people of San Francisco put up with this.

  • Liza

    January 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Myriah and I used to text each other “Muni down!!!!” And got the biggest kick out of it.

  • Evan

    January 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Fuck Muni….

    I bought two subway tickets for 2.00 each. I was a tourist in San Fran, and so i wasnt so familiar with their RFID scanners in the subway station that were used to activate the tickets. My girlfriend and i only needed to go two stops back to our hotel, and decided to take the subway because of the rain. Well long story short, despite trying several times, their machine managed to not activate her ticket. So sitting on the subway with one more stop to go fare inspection comes and writes us a fat 103 DOLLAR FUCKING TICKET. Even when i tried to explain to the idiot exactly what happened he just ignored me and then tried to accuse me of abusing the handicapped lane in the subway. This guy barely spoke any english whatsoever…..

    I will never, and let me say again NEVER give a single cent to Muni again. I bought at least 20 dollars worth of bus and subway tickets that day, just to have them fuck me over because one of their machines was not working properly. Even if i end up living in San Francisco at some point, i will sacrifice my time and money in order to avoid contributing at all to these assholes.


    Evan J.

  • OaklandMofo

    March 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    You won’t find Muni at Burning Man either!
    Only AC Transit.

  • Elyse

    March 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Lmfao. I’m actually riding a very delayed (naturally) N-Judah right now. This pretty much sums up the true essence of SF transit. Thank you.

  • jenny

    December 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    You nailed it here: “You are a transportation system. For a major metropolitan city. Put on your big boy pants and start trying a little harder. Thanks.”

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