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TALK BACK: Are MUNI drivers being picked on?

There’s no denying that morale is down amongst MUNI drivers. Few will disagree that they have one of the hardest — yet decent paying — jobs in San Francisco.

Last week, a 24-Divisadero driver came under fire for illegally using her cell phone while behind the wheel of a bus. She was later fired by the transit agency.

In another highly publicized incident, the doors on a MUNI light rail vehicle suddenly opened as it sped through the Market Street subway. The agency blamed “operator error.”

San Franciscans love to pick on MUNI for their everyday woes — it’s a civic pastime to point fingers at late trains, malfunctioning buses and surly drivers. In this criticism, are San Franciscans becoming too quick to blame MUNI — specifically the drivers — for things that go wrong? Or has the city’s residents finally had enough with the ailing transit agency to put their foot down and call out the misgivings of MUNI?

Share your comments below.

6 Comments »

  • greg said:

    There may be some misdirected blame here. However, I can honestly say that in my experience MUNI drivers are some of the worst offenders of aggressive (if not unsafe) driving. As a pedestrian, I’ve had to duck from a bus turning right more so than from Taxis or personal cars. They consistently and unapologetically run yellow and red signs. Witnessed many times myself. I’m not even talking about the comfort of riding in a bus that keeps accelerating and decelerating as if the driver slams the pedals with full force without concern for passengers.

    So, the system overall is broken – but the drivers sure add to the failures themselves quite a bit as well.

  • Rick said:

    I’m not sure that complaints about SF Muni drivers are any more or less frequent (and/or legit) than complaints about other Muni employees.

    The driver who was texting while driving was breaking laws and Muni rules. She handled an already bad situation as poorly as she possibly could. Muni management blew it when they first ignored, and then tried to downplay the video.

    Drivers are often the only face of Muni that a passenger sees, and how they handle themselves on the job can become representative of the entire organization.

    There are conscientious drivers who take pride in their jobs, and bring professionalism to work every day. We need to recognize the good ones. Treat them like human beings. Wish them a “good evening” or pass on a “thank you” when exiting the bus or train.

    If we’re all “citizen owners” of Muni, then we’re all also “citizen managers” of Muni. Let’s act like it.

  • ed said:

    FIRE THEM ALL LIKE REAGAN DID WITH THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS!!!!
    THERE ARE A LOT OF QUALIFIED DRIVERS LIKE ME WHO WOULD HAVE RESPECT FOR THE POSITION!!!!

  • Gary said:

    Not to be one of those awful comment people, but the S.F. Municipal Railway is generally referred to as “Muni”, not “MUNI”.

  • Molly Harper said:

    I admit it’s a tough job, but there is no excuse for the behaviors of some of the drivers. Muni drivers are among the rudest people I have ever encountered. One driver on the 47 route is so mean that if he is driving the bus when it arrives at my stop, I will wait for the next one. I once made the mistake of wishing him a nice day as I exited the bus and he cursed me. Perhaps the drivers would receive better treatment from the passengers if they treated the passengers better.

  • gbtw said:

    something bad is happening with the drivers lately. they are ruder than usual, and having less and less patience. i fault those at top for this, as well as probably a sense of entitlement coming from the drivers side. a driver on the f-car two weeks ago called the mom of two young girls (both of whom were with her) a \stupid n*****\. he was still driving that train last i checked. she was being obnoxious, and everyone on the train was over her, but really? since when does a public servant, and the face of a company, get away with such disgusting behavior? i don’t care how annoying some of us patrons may be at times… some can’t move quickly b/c they’re disabled, some don’t know how to pay, or which stop to get off of, or what the route is, or don’t speak english, or have young kids, or whatever- but without us, they have no job. do they forget that? they are hired to serve US. if we’re not abusing them, they shouldn’t abuse us. management needs to provide a lot of training and do a lot of sorting to pick out people who can have patience despite these challenges with the job. i’ll never forget driver \doc\- god bless him, and i hope he reads this, or his bosses read it- no matter how annoying things got with traffic or passengers, he ALWAYS had a smile on his face. no exceptions. they need more drivers like him. sad that he lost his spot on the 10/12 line. mostly only have rude drivers on that line these days.