April 30, 2018 10:27 PM   Subscribe

In 1980, two recent graduates of U.C. Berkeley managed to ride every one of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's bus lines in a single day. Today, two San Francisco Chronicle reporters managed to repeat the stunt in 18 hours: #TotalMuni2018

**Mostly Twitter links below**

Chronicle reporters Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub rode every bus, tram, cable car, and street car line in San Francisco in eighteen hours.

The genesis of Total Muni 2018.

Preparations. The map.

Twitter hash #TotalMuni2018

Starting at 3am on Treasure Island, they boarded the 25 Treasure Island bus heading into the City. Larry Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants, was one of the original riders in 1980. He and Lou Seal rode along on the F Market street car.
Along their journey they managed to rescue a stray dog (named "Felton" after the bus line), catch a ride from former mayor Art Agnos; were delivered burritos from @burritojustice; hunt down restrooms all over San Francisco; fulfilled some autograph requests; and get coffee delivered by cyclist. They met lots of San Franciscans, and were saved by an astute Twitter follower. They finally finished up at ATT Park, just in time to catch the end of the game.
posted by oneirodynia (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Oh god I love this crazy city and it’s nutso reporters so damn much. I wouldn’t wish a whole day of muni on my worst enemy! And they rescued a dog in the process! LOU SEAL!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:08 PM on April 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yesssssss. A last-minute route change messed up my plans to deliver them drinks and go say hi, but this was amazing to watch, and I was cringing hoping they made it on that 2-Clement. What a long day!

I have a modest proposal for a food-focused follow-up next year: #TotalTaqueria2019. I'm also really intrigued by the idea of a multimodal tour of the 49-mile scenic drive, or at least one using the new bikeshare e-bikes.
posted by zachlipton at 11:18 PM on April 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

posted by halation at 4:14 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Being able to ride every bus, train, etc. in a single day sounds like a horrendous dearth of public transportation.
posted by explosion at 6:50 AM on May 1, 2018 [6 favorites]

How many routes did they take? One of the articles mentioned 71 different routes for the 1980 group but I couldn't find a number for 2018.
posted by graventy at 6:50 AM on May 1, 2018

> Being able to ride every bus, train, etc. in a single day sounds like a horrendous dearth of public transportation.

Well, SF is geographically very compact (7x7 miles). According to wikipedia, there are "54 bus lines, 17 trolley bus lines, 7 light rail lines that operate above ground and in the city's lone subway tube (called Muni Metro), 3 cable car lines, and 2 heritage streetcar lines." You can see a system map here (pdf).
posted by rtha at 8:24 AM on May 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I have a real soft spot for this kind of stunt. Good work, people!
posted by praemunire at 8:46 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I want to know if Felton finds his owner!
posted by tavella at 10:30 AM on May 1, 2018

You can see their line checklist: 60 lines in total. Unlike Wikipedia, they didn't count express/rapid/local routes as separate and skipped the weekend-only Marin Headlands bus.
posted by zachlipton at 10:44 AM on May 1, 2018

Being able to ride every bus, train, etc. in a single day sounds like a horrendous dearth of public transportation.

It could also indicate that many of the lines run frequently enough/at short enough headways that you could use as much of your time as possible on transit, instead of waiting for vehicles.
posted by andrewesque at 11:17 AM on May 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

To be clear, they rode on every line, not every line end to end. This was the route map. You can see there are spots where they rode a line for a stop, got off, went back to a main street, rode another line for a stop, and they were able to avoid large chunks of the city that way. Riding the full extent of every line in a day would be impossible. Despite my incessant complaints about said public transit system, this doesn't really show a horrendous dearth.
posted by zachlipton at 12:03 PM on May 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

Very cool! Thanks for posting this.
posted by salvia at 2:25 PM on May 1, 2018

How do you begin to plan a trip like this?
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2018

As linked above, under "Preparations": Preparing for the ride of our lives on #TotalMuni2018
posted by Lexica at 10:51 AM on May 2, 2018

Oh, sure, I read that article and listened to the podcast, but let's say you're doing this for some arbitrary city. What are the heuristics you use to come up with a successful plan? They alluded to a few -- get up early to ride the owls, stay out of congested places during rush hour -- where do you go from there?

Seattle (excluding 2xx buses that do not really operate in city limits), for one, is simultaneously easy and impossible: it's easy because we're still on a hub-and-spoke system where almost everything goes through downtown, and you could just ride one stop on a bus, get on the one behind it, jog back a stop if there's nothing coming immediately, etc. It's hard because there are quite a few commuter expresses that go north and south into / out of downtown, and I'm not sure how you could cover both sides in one commute time.
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:17 PM on May 2, 2018

An update on Felton the dog, whose real name is Felicia.

It's not entirely happy, but not entirely sad. It's also clear now why she was so comfortable riding MUNI.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:00 AM on May 15, 2018

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