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Let's Celebrate Some Awesome MUNI Drivers!

We all hear about the "bad apples" at MUNI on the news, and elsewhere. However, when was the last time you heard about the many awesome MUNI drivers who take pride in their work and are doing the job right?

Exactly.

So, in the spirit of President's Day, I wanted to pass along a story of my own, as well as two I found around the Internets reminding us that there are some folks who do a good job, and they deserve a little recognition, for a change.

First off, my own experience on the N Judah inbound last week. I was headed to a party downtown on Wednesday night for Barnes Mosher Whitehurst & Lauter.

Anyway, the N Judah was doing its usual weirdness around the tunnel, but the MUNI operator was super cool. She made sure we knew WHAT was going on, and clearly announced all the transfer points along the way. When we pulled up to UCSF, where there were a lot of people getting ready to go home on a chilly night, she made sure to alert people over the speakers to the fact that if they were paying for a fare in cash, they could get off, and walk to the half empty train in back, thus making the front car less crowded, and did so also at Carl and Cole.

Finally, when we were in the tunnel she made sure to alert anyone who might need to know that the Powell elevator isn't working, and that if anyone needed it to get out early and find another way there.

That last piece of info is important. Sure, the constant rider would "know" this, but what of the tourist who just came in from out of town who would have no idea about said closure? I have talked to people who work with the disabled and this has been a point of contention for some time. So it was nice to see someone doing what they're supposed to. I hastily twittered this, and later called 311 with a compliment as well.

The good folks at SF Citizen also caught a moment of MUNI awesome when they noted that the driver of this bus did their best to avoid splashing the pedestrian with a tsunami, which, if you've ever had this happen know it is no fun.

And finally, we have this interview with a great MUNI veteran (who sadly has been consigned to the empty Culture Bus) who has a great attitude about the job and MUNI in general.

It's easy to be cynical about MUNI employees sometimes, but it is important we recognize those who are doing a good job too. Now if only the City would do more for them, and spend less time protecting the ones that don't care - then we'd be making some progress!

Comments

Hooray for good drivers! I wonder what kind of recognition and reward they will get from Muni management. Oh, what's that? None? Oh.

My favorite N-Judah operator is a Latino gentleman who gets on the intercom and bids you "see you mañana" when he pulls into the Powell station.

My favorite N-Judah operator is a Latino gentleman who gets on the intercom and bids you "see you mañana" when he pulls into the Powell station.

I'm still not completely sure why they don't have automatic announcements at at least all the pre-determined stops out of the Market tunnel and all major connections/nearby major attractions. Anyone who's taken the N outbound on a Saturday knows the tell-tale signs of even the most un-obtrusive of tourists headed to the Park museums: they're the ones with the squinty eyes and bobbing heads, scanning everywhere to figure out just where the heck they are. I've often seen a lot of these folks end up getting off at 9th and Judah or even 19th Avenue, trying to get to the DeYoung.

Anyway, otherwise I have had almost nothing but positive interactions with Muni drivers on the N, at least.

I'm with Karena on this one! That driver is awesome and makes my commute somedays. However, tomorrow is his last day on our line and I know a lot of us will miss him.

My favorite driver on the L used to announce all the stops along Taraval. "Here's the post office", "Here's the best burritos in town", "This place is way better than KFC".

Alas, the good drivers got picked for the Culture Bus because they were *good*. In fact, a previous Chron article pointed out that MUNI put the Culture Bus drivers through extra training. Too bad there's no money to train the rest of the drivers...

@alex: totally. the thing that kills me is that so many GOOD people who want to do a GREAT job work at MUNI, and they don't seem to get the recognition they deserve, which is why I want people to report in drivers who are kicking ass on the job too!

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