MUNI Showboating Continues: “Connected Bus?” Meet “Superbus!”

The showboating at MUNI continues. First, we had the trial run of the cool Double Decker Bus last month, and this month, we had the rollout of the Connected Bus, a magical bus painted green that’s going to have WiFi. Wow!

Almost makes you forget about that whole “spend MUNI money on Mayoral aides thing, doesn’t it?

Oddly enough, though, when you start to read the info from the Transit Effectiveness Project, and the story in the Chronicle, most people don’t really mind wifi on the bus per se, but would rather see MUNI prioritize little things like:

— Buses that run on time
— Less-surly drivers
— Graffiti removal
— More comfortable seats
— Back doors that open only for people exiting the bus – not fare cheats sneaking in.

Those darn MUNI patrons. They sure do want the sun and the moon, don’t they? Or at least some better service on a rainy day like today.

One wonders if the people who come up with these ideas actually ride a bus. I mean, given the rate of iPod/iPhone thefts in San Francisco, I’m not so sure the place I want to haul out fragile, expensive technology is on a herky-jerky MUNI bus.

Personally I find this latest showboat-y presentation a bit laughable. I mean, doesn’t anyone remember the “Superbus” during Dot Com Boom 1.0? That seemed to have worked well, didn’t it?

PS: The money quote from this story is how this bus is “not my grandmother’s bus.” Well that’s true. My grandmother’s bus wasn’t a bus, it was a reliable streetcar, and MUNI and Market Street Railway served the city with good service back in the day.

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4 Responses to MUNI Showboating Continues: “Connected Bus?” Meet “Superbus!”

  1. tangobaby says:

    I have another one to add to your list.
    Have enough trains and buses running during peak hours to avoid the incredible crowding, so that even if you wanted to use your wifi device, you’d actually have enough room to hold your iPhone and use both hands.
    Our Muni driver yelled at us today for standing over the yellow line. It was like being in third grade. But we were so packed in there, we had nowhere else to stand!
    Ridiculous.

  2. Bob Davis says:

    I’ve never lived in SF, but first visited (for the main purpose of riding Muni) over 40 years ago. The PCC streetcars of that era may have been held together with duct tape, but they ran all night (except on the M line) and they seemed to run more reliably. That said, Muni’s problems with getting enough GOOD operators seems to be ongoing; I remember seeing a photo of a PCC awaiting a paint job after some body work–one of the shopmen had chalked on the unpainted sheet metal: “Wanted–one operator with brains!” The good operators are really good, they run their cars or buses with pride and make the passengers, whether home folks or visitors, feel welcome. Unfortunately, there are some who give Muni a bad name, by having a crabby attitude (admittedly, having a car stuffed like the proverbial “sardine can” doesn’t help one’s mood) or not paying attention to safety procedures (e.g. failure to set brakes properly on a Milano tram).
    (point of information: I’m a member of Market Street Railway)

  3. I can’t believe Muni’s desperate. Give up. Listen to the people. If you don’t, people will not appreciate the system anymore. But, wi-fi, that’s cool, except last time when I was looking for the Double-decker bus, it never ran! That’s right, never ran.

  4. Jeff says:

    I see this fluff of a press release as a deliberately timed distraction from the Chinatown subway boondoggle. Nevius writes in the Chronicle about the craziness of the central subway; Newsom and Ford immediately respond with a feel good press release about Muni Wi-Fi. Not coincidence.

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