When I wrote the infamous post bitching about Muni service, Worst Day on Muni Ever, I intentionally excluded one detail. Despite partially redeeming Muni, I felt this detail didn’t add much to the story. But more importantly this little detail cost Muni money; I wanted to give them time to fix their mistake before I shared it with the world.
Now let’s go back to the story. As you recall, I eventually wound up on a 30 Stockton. But not for long.
The 30 took off and then suddenly made an unexpected turn onto California St. There was no announcement as to why we had just gone off route.
When I boarded the second 30 Stockton, a very friendly woman started talking to me and my girlfriend. She was just as confused as we were about the unannounced route change.
First, she went and asked the driver what was going on. The driver had no idea. To his credit, the driver remained calm despite being confused, and he made the hairpin turn from Stockton to California without a hitch (it’s not easy; the bus temporarily loses power while going uphill on this transition.)
The woman then called 311 to ask about the route change. From what I overheard from her conversation, they simply could not explain what was going on. This part confirms the point of my original story — if 311 wasn’t informed about the change, how were the passengers supposed to know?
But here’s where things get interesting: after several minutes of explaining her situation to the 311 operator, she told them (what I assume) was her home address.
After getting off the phone she told us that they were sending her a free Muni pass!
Moral of the story: if Muni does something as dumb as making an unannounced route change, complaining about it may get you a free pass.
Moral of the story part 2: if Muni provided better service in the first place, they wouldn’t be giving away free passes. And that would be better for everyone.