San Francisco supervisors have flooded their Twitter accounts with pictures of themselves traveling on Muni, though nearly half of the board took three or fewer trips on Muni, according to organizers of the 22-Day Muni Challenge.
The Transit Rider’s Union issued the challenge last month to supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee to ride Muni for 22 days. The challenge sought to bring attention to a resolution by passed by voters 22 years ago that said city officials should travel by public transit at least twice a week.
Supervisors used the Twitter hashtag #OnBoardSF and posted a selfie for each Muni ride throughout the month of June. The challenge ended on Monday and the results are in.
Supervisor Scott Wiener leads the pack with 106 rides tallied on Muni by the group. Wiener, who regularly rides Muni, has been a staunch advocate for funding and improving Muni. He wrote about his experience on different Muni lines including the L-Taraval and N-Judah:
“It takes way too long to get across town, particularly to non-central neighborhoods, which makes me even more motivated to implement Muni Forward, which will make Muni faster and more efficient through line, stop, and signal adjustments.”
Wiener wrote that he has seen Muni improve, but has a long way to go:
“There are still too many breakdowns, not enough vehicles, not enough operators, and too many street design obstacles for buses and trains. Yet, progress has happened and continues to happen. We need to keep up and accelerate the momentum.”
He also noted that he only experienced three minor delays throughout his 106 trips.
In second place was Supervisor John Avalos with 65 trips, then Supervisor David Campos in third place with 52 trips. Supervisor Julie Christensen ended with 37 trips, followed by supervisors Eric Mar and Jane Kim who both logged 20 trips.
Further down the list were supervisors London Breed (3), Norman Yee (2), Mark Farrell (2), Malia Cohen (2), Katy Tang (1).
Mayor Ed Lee clocked in two trips on Muni, though his office said he rode Muni six times. Lee most likely forgot to use the hashtag for the challenge, which was how the Transit Rider’s Union tallied the trips.
Awards were given out Wednesday night at a closing ceremony to supervisors and to Muni riders who participated in the challenge. Wiener of course won the award for “Most Rides Taken” and Avalos won the award for “Most Distanced Traveled.”
Thea Selby, chair of the Transit Rider’s Union, told SFBay that the challenge was a success:
“The 22-day Muni Challenge succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. We had over 650 tweets and garnered over 1 million impressions for the hashtag #OnBoardSF in the 22 days.”
She also said that each supervisor learned something new about Muni and what it’s like as a daily rider:
“Many supervisors told us that they learned more about what it’s like to ride Muni — the good the bad and the ugly. We hope this will translate into enhanced support from the mayor and supervisors when we need votes for revenue for Muni.”
- Most Rides Taken: Scott Wiener
- Most Distanced Traveled: John Avalos
- Humble Hero: David Campos
- Most District Rides Taken: Julie Christensen
- Eyes of Equity: Eric Mar
- Taking One for the Team: Jane Kim
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. He covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent over a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a native in the city and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Email tips to email@example.com.